Las Vegas has a rich history, which means it has a lot of awesome museums as well. From old neon signs to a speakeasy in a mob museum, there’s something to enjoy for everyone! Whether you’re seeking solace from the desert heat or happen to be a history enthusiast, these museums in Las Vegas are sure to leave you feeling entertained, knowledgeable, and eager to explore more unique things Las Vegas has to offer.
The Burlesque Hall of Fame provides an inside look at the popular art form of, you guessed it, burlesque! This Las Vegas museum opened in 1990 in California, but moved to its current home in Las Vegas in 2006. It serves as a tribute to all elements of the art: comedy, theater, dance, music, and costumes. From its controversial debut in the 1950s to its modern-day revival, you can explore the timeline of notable burlesque events and get an up-close look at costumes through the years. There’s even a “Peek a View” view master kiosk, where you can see photographs from the early days.
Perfect for families visiting with children, this museum makes Vegas fun for all ages. Your kids will love the interactive experiences at the Discovery Children’s Museum, which has more than 100 hands-on exhibits, several interactive stations, a huge indoor playground, and even a hurricane tunnel to add to the excitement. Kids also love the miniature Smith’s grocery store area, where children can place their items in miniature shopping carts and take them to the cash register, where they’ll most likely interact with an equally young cashier.
Source: Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum
If you’re ready for a good scare, explore The Haunted Museum in Las Vegas, as seen on the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures. See original collectibles from haunted sites and hear the bone-chilling stories of the paranormal activity that surrounds them. This the go-to destination for paranormal enthusiasts and ghost hunters wanting to see pieces from the “Demon House,” Dr. Kevorkian’s death van, and even the Dybbuk Box. Luckily, there are plenty of bright neon lights in Vegas just in case you’re afraid of the dark after visiting.
For those looking for a bit of history on the natural wonders of the world, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum helps visitors grow their appreciation and understanding of global life forms, past and present. From the desert to the ocean, from Nevada to Africa, from prehistoric times to the present, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum takes young and old alike on a learning adventure around the world. On top of exhibits like the Prehistoric Life Gallery and Treasures of Egypt, the Natural History Museum also has live animals and marine life.
Source: The Mob Museum
Discover all the secrets of Sin City’s original gangsters including Bugsy Siegel, Tony Spilatro, “Lucky” Luciano and Al Capone — all without getting into any kind of “trouble.” The beloved Mob Museum not only invites you into the world of the bad boys but also the FBI agents who took them down. A crowd favorite memento allows you to take a mugshot in front of a police lineup backdrop. The building itself is a registered landmark as the former Las Vegas Post Office and Courthouse built in 1933 which is only fitting for telling the stories of organized crime in Las Vegas.
In late 1991, Congress chartered the National Atomic Testing Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, as the country’s only official atomic museum. It houses interactive displays, short films, timelines and real equipment from the former testing site. You’ll get to learn about the Nevada Test Site that operated just 65 miles from Las Vegas from 1951 to 1992 and its impact on the Cold War. Additionally, instead of storming Area 51, stop by to enjoy the museum’s Area 51 display where you can read articles of UFO sightings and to test out your alien eye vision.
Source: Lonely Planet
When visiting the Las Vegas area, it’s near impossible to avoid the provocative glow of Neon. For a fun historical rundown on some of Vegas’ most iconic signs, a visit to The Neon Museum in downtown Las Vegas is a total must. The Neon Museum is a non-profit organization that focuses solely on collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic, arts and cultural enrichment. Thanks to the folks at the Neon Museum, this thread of Nevada history is being immaculately preserved and restored.
While this museum is currently in the process of relocating, the Pinball Hall of Fame has been a whimsical experience in Las Vegas for over a decade. The new plans include a nearly 27,000-square-foot arcade that will include 600 to 700 pinball machines – up from the 250 found in the previous museum. Once the new location opens in a year or so, make sure to tap into your inner gamer with the large selection of vintage pinball machines. In addition to rows and rows of pinball machines, you can also find popular arcade games for all generations.
Source: REAL BODIES: The Exhibition
It’s one thing trying to keep your eyes open while reading from a boring biology book. It’s another thing seeing the biology makeup of actual bodies at REAL BODIES at Bally’s Las Vegas. Here you’ll get the science lesson you didn’t get in the classroom. See a variety of bodies up close including the heart, lungs, brain and more, including a display of the difference between a smoker’s and non-smoker’s lungs. You’ll leave with a lot of knowledge and a new perspective on how your body works. Be warned, if you aren’t ready to see real, dead bodies, this museum is not for the faint of heart.
As much as we love the bars, clubs, and casinos in Las Vegas, there is no denying that our city has much more to offer on top of the usual Vegas activities. Try out something new and explore the museums in Las Vegas for a totally unique and entertaining trip!