Top 5 Museums in Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas is home to so many attractions, and it isn’t easy to know where to start. If you’re looking to learn something new in the city, you’ll find a plethora of museums that have just what you’re looking for. Whether you’re interested in geology, nuclear weapons, neon signs, or the history of the mob, you’ll find it in Vegas. Consider these top museums for your next weekend excursion.
The Mob Museum
USA Today called The Mob Museum “the best museum in Nevada,” making this a must-see stop when you’re in the city. The museum’s four floors are packed with artifacts, videos, and fascinating facts on the history of crime in America. Head to the basement to step back into the days of prohibition. If you’re looking for a great bar in Vegas, say the word, and you can get into the museum’s speakeasy and order period-appropriate drinks like the Bee’s Knees.
On the first floor, you can try hands-on activities through exhibits like the Crime Lab and Firearm Training Simulator. Next, take a seat in a restored 1950s courtroom on the second floor for a multi-screen video chronicling the Kefauver Hearings. Finally, up on the third floor, you’ll find the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre Wall featuring 300 bricks reclaimed from the garage where this horrific shooting took place. These and other exhibits provide a rich and intriguing experience that will keep you exploring for hours.
The Mob Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. General admission is $29.95. However, if you’d like to experience special interactive exhibits like the Crime Lab, Distillery Tour, Tasting, or Firearm Training Simulator, you’ll need to upgrade your pass. The Deluxe Pass for $44.95 includes one interactive experience of your choice. The Premier Pass for $48.95 includes two interactive experiences.
Las Vegas Natural History Museum
The Las Vegas Natural History Museum is a family-friendly destination that offers engaging explorations of science and history. In the Engelstad Family Prehistoric Life Gallery, you’ll encounter a towering T-Rex that measures 35 feet long alongside other dinosaurs like a raptor, Ichthyosaur, and Triceratops. The Prehistoric Mammals Gallery features fascinating fossils, while the African Savannah and International Wildlife gallery showcase full-size recreations of bears, big cats, and more.
The Treasures of Egypt exhibit features one of only two authorized replicas of Tutankhamun’s tomb in the world. For those interested in rocks and minerals, the Geology Gallery is an exciting find, featuring fluorescent minerals in all their glowing glory.
The Natural History Museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is just $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, students, and the military, and $6 for children. Visitors age two and under are free.
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
You likely know the history of the Titanic, but you’ll experience this tragic tale in a fascinating new way as you explore Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. This museum showcases over 350 artifacts housed within full-scale recreations of parts of the ship. You can view a complete recreation of the Grand Staircase or step outside onto the Promenade Deck, which is kept at the same cold temperatures experienced the night that the ship sank.
The exhibition also features a 15-ton piece of the ship’s hull, the largest piece of the ship ever recovered. Among the artifacts are an unopened bottle of champagne, passenger luggage, chef hats, chandeliers, and floor tiles. Recreated rooms take you from steerage to second class to first-class as you explore the ill-fated ship.
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. General admission is $32, seniors are $30, military personnel are $25, and children get in for $24. Those age three and under are free.
National Atomic Testing Museum
The National Atomic Testing Museum explores the history of nuclear weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site. This museum has a collection of more than 3,500 artifacts, including Civil Defense items, Mitchell Cameras, and more. On top of that, the collection also includes over 16,000 photos and 6,000 documents chronicling the test site’s history.
You can view a short film about the test site in the Silo Museum and experience a multi-sensory history of atomic testing in the Ground Zero Theater. Exploring the museum, you’ll find Geiger counters, giant drill bits used for underground testing, radio badges, a piece of the Berlin Wall, and more. You can even experience a simulated atmospheric bomb blast.
The National Atomic Testing Museum is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Thursday through Tuesday. Admission is $22 for adults and $16 for children. Those age six and under are free.
The Neon Museum
The bright glimmer of neon lights is synonymous with Las Vegas, so it’s only natural that you’d find a museum dedicated to this signage in the city. The Neon Museum features more than 250 historical signs across 2.5 acres. You can witness this fascinating collection through a guided tour or self-guided exploration of the outdoor exhibit. In addition, the Neon Boneyard has hundreds of unrestored signs that are illuminated only with ground lighting.
The North Gallery houses 40 additional signs. These are part of an incredible augmented reality experience known as Brilliant! Eight projectors and 24 3D speakers create a 360-degree experience that brings the lights to life once again.
This setting creates the perfect backdrop for memorable photos. If you’d like to get some great shots in the Boneyard, you can attend the monthly Photo Walk that takes place at sunset. Admission for this event is $50, and personal portrait sessions are available once a week in the North Gallery for the same price.
Hours of operation vary seasonally. Admission is $20 for an hour-long self-guided exploration or $28 for a 45-minute guided tour. The 25-minute Brilliant! show is $23. Discounts are available for locals.
Did we include your favorite Las Vegas museums on our list? If we missed a great destination, contact our team at Las Vegas Jewelry and Coin Buyers and let us know! We want to make sure we always have the best recommendations for our customers.
Image via Flickr by Roller Coaster Photography