Best Museums in Las Vegas

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Las Vegas has several interesting museums that cater to a variety of interests. Have you been to any of these museums? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of them!

The following are some notable museums in Las Vegas:

Mob Museum:

Address: 300 Stewart Avenue, Las Vegas, NV

Website: themobmuseum.org

The Mob Museum, officially known as the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is a crime museum in downtown Las Vegas.

The museum provides a detailed and immersive look into the history of organized crime in the United States, with a particular focus on the Mafia and the efforts of law enforcement to combat criminal organizations.

The museum features a wide range of exhibits that cover different aspects of organized crime. Visitors can explore the history of the Mafia, the Prohibition era, and significant events such as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

Exhibits also delve into the lives of notorious mobsters, law enforcement efforts to bring them to justice, and the impact of organized crime on American society.

The Mob Museum houses a collection of artifacts related to organized crime, including weapons, clothing, and personal items belonging to mobsters and law enforcement officials. These items help bring the stories to life and provide a tangible connection to the past.

The museum incorporates interactive displays that engage visitors in the learning experience. Interactive exhibits allow visitors to participate in simulated court hearings, listen to wiretapped conversations, and explore various aspects of crime and law enforcement.

One of the highlights of the museum is the restored courtroom from the 1950 Kefauver Committee hearings. The hearings investigated organized crime in the United States and played a significant role in shaping public opinion about the Mafia.

The Mob Museum includes a speakeasy called The Underground, where visitors can experience a 1920s-style bar and distillery. It adds an entertaining and thematic element to the museum visit.

The Mob Museum aims to provide a comprehensive and unbiased look at the history of organized crime, acknowledging both the criminal activities and the efforts to combat them.

It serves as an educational resource and cultural attraction, offering visitors a unique perspective on a significant chapter in American history.

In 2016, Time Out Magazine named the Mob Museum one of the best attractions in Las Vegas.

In 2018, New York Magazine named the Mob Museum one of the nine best offbeat museums in Las Vegas.

In 2019, Yahoo News named the Mob Museum one of the top five museums in Las Vegas and USA Today named it the best museum in Nevada.

In 2023, the Mob Museum was voted the best museum in Las Vegas in a reader’s choice poll conducted by Las Vegas Weekly.

Neon Museum:

Address: 770 Las Vegas Boulevard North, Las Vegas, NV

Website: www.neonmuseum.org

The Neon Museum, located in Las Vegas, is a unique museum dedicated to preserving and showcasing the iconic neon signs that have been a defining feature of the city’s skyline.

The museum is often referred to as the “Neon Boneyard” due to its collection of retired and restored neon signs from various hotels, casinos, and businesses.

The main attraction of the museum is the Neon Boneyard, an outdoor exhibition space where visitors can walk among a fascinating collection of vintage neon signs. These signs, many of which date back to the mid-20th century, represent the history and culture of Las Vegas.

While some signs in the Neon Boneyard remain in their original, weathered state, the museum has undertaken efforts to restore several signs to their former glory. Restoration work includes repairing and replacing neon tubes and bulbs to bring the signs back to their vibrant, glowing condition.

The Neon Museum offers guided tours of the Neon Boneyard, providing visitors with insights into the history of Las Vegas and the stories behind the individual signs. The guides share information about the design, cultural significance, and the businesses associated with each sign.

In addition to the outdoor Boneyard, the museum expanded with the addition of the North Gallery, an indoor space that houses additional restored signs and serves as an event venue.

The museum occasionally hosts special exhibits and installations related to neon art and the cultural history of Las Vegas.

The Neon Museum serves as a cultural and historical institution, celebrating the visual arts and the unique role that neon signs have played in the development and identity of Las Vegas.

It provides visitors with a nostalgic journey through the city’s past, showcasing the evolution of neon design and technology.

The Neon Museum also plays a role in educating the public about the importance of preserving and appreciating these iconic elements of urban history and design.

In 2016, Time Out Magazine named the Neon Museum one of the best attractions in Las Vegas.

In 2018, New York Magazine named the Neon Museum one of the nine best offbeat museums in Las Vegas.

In 2019, Yahoo News named the Neon Museum one of the top five museums in Las Vegas.

In 2022, Travel + Leisure Magazine named the Neon Museum one of the 27 best museums in the U.S. and USA Today ranked it at number one on its list of the 10 best pop culture museums in the U.S.

Las Vegas Natural History Museum:

Address: 900 Las Vegas Blvd N, Las Vegas, NV

Website: www.lvnhm.org

The Las Vegas Natural History Museum is a family-friendly museum in Las Vegas. It focuses on educating visitors about various aspects of natural history, including prehistoric life, wildlife, marine life, and the cultural history of different regions.

The museum features exhibits that explore the world of dinosaurs, showcasing fossils, replicas, and information about the Earth’s prehistoric past. This includes dinosaur skeletons, interactive displays, and educational materials about paleontology.

The marine life exhibit highlights the diversity of underwater ecosystems. Visitors can learn about different species of fish, marine mammals, and other aquatic life through displays, dioramas, and interactive elements.

The museum has a gallery dedicated to Ancient Egypt, featuring exhibits on Egyptian culture, artifacts, and mummies. This gallery provides insights into the history and traditions of one of the world’s most fascinating ancient civilizations.

The museum showcases a variety of exhibits focused on wildlife from different parts of the world. These exhibits often include taxidermied animals, dioramas, and interactive displays to educate visitors about the diversity of life on Earth.

The museum covers topics related to geology, including rocks, minerals, and the Earth’s geological processes. It also explores paleontology beyond dinosaurs, highlighting the study of ancient life forms and ecosystems.

The museum has a dedicated space for younger visitors called the Children’s Discovery Room, where children can engage in hands-on, interactive activities related to natural history.

The Las Vegas Natural History Museum aims to provide an educational and entertaining experience for visitors of all ages. It serves as a resource for both locals and tourists interested in learning about the Earth’s history, biodiversity, and the wonders of the natural world.

Before planning a visit, it’s a good idea to check the museum’s official website for the latest information on exhibits, events, and operating hours.

In 2019, Yahoo News named the Las Vegas Natural History Museum one of the top five museums in Las Vegas.

Discovery Children’s Museum:

Address: 360 Promenade Place, Las Vegas, NV

Website: www.discoverykidslv.org

The Discovery Children’s Museum is a family-friendly educational institution in Symphony Park in downtown Las Vegas.

This museum is designed for children and families and offers interactive exhibits focused on science, art, and culture to engage young minds in a fun and educational way.

The museum features a variety of interactive exhibits that cover different areas of learning, including science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). These exhibits are designed to be engaging and hands-on, allowing children to actively participate and learn through play.

This exhibit focuses on the arts and humanities, allowing children to explore their creativity through activities such as storytelling, puppetry, and theater.

Water World: A water-focused exhibit that introduces children to the principles of fluid dynamics, water conservation, and the science of water.

An exhibit that explores environmental sustainability and introduces children to concepts such as recycling, renewable energy, and eco-friendly practices.

This exhibit is dedicated to fostering creativity in children through various art forms, including painting, sculpting, and other hands-on artistic activities.

An engineering-focused exhibit that encourages children to explore and build using a variety of materials, fostering an early interest in engineering and problem-solving.

A dedicated space for younger children, Toddler Town provides a safe and age-appropriate environment for exploration and play.

The Discovery Children’s Museum focuses on creating a dynamic and interactive environment where children can learn through hands-on experiences, fostering a love for learning and exploration.

The exhibits are designed to be both entertaining and educational, making it a popular destination for families and schools interested in promoting STEM and STEAM education in a fun and engaging way.

In 2023, Time Out Magazine named the Discovery Children’s Museum one of the 17 best things to do with kids in Vegas.

Pinball Hall of Fame:

Address: 4925 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas NV

Website: www.pinballmuseum.org

The Pinball Hall of Fame is a museum and arcade in Las Vegas that is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history of pinball machines.

Unlike traditional museums, the Pinball Hall of Fame is also an operating arcade, allowing visitors to play a wide variety of pinball machines spanning several decades.

The museum houses one of the world’s largest collections of pinball machines. The collection includes machines from the 1950s to the present day, showcasing the evolution of pinball technology and design over the years.

The Pinball Hall of Fame is a nonprofit organization, and the machines on display are owned and maintained by the organization. Revenue generated from the arcade’s operations is used to cover operating expenses, with any remaining funds going to charitable causes.

Visitors can find classic and rare pinball machines that may not be easily accessible elsewhere. The collection includes machines featuring various themes, artwork, and gameplay styles.

Unlike traditional museums where exhibits are meant to be observed, the Pinball Hall of Fame encourages hands-on interaction. Visitors can play the machines, experiencing the unique features and challenges each game offers.

The space recreates the nostalgic atmosphere of a classic arcade, with rows of pinball machines lining the floor. The sound of flippers, bumpers, and ringing bells contributes to the lively and entertaining ambiance.

The Pinball Hall of Fame is a destination for pinball enthusiasts, families, and anyone interested in experiencing the nostalgic charm of classic arcade gaming. It offers a unique opportunity to appreciate the art, craftsmanship, and entertainment value of pinball machines throughout the years.

In 2016, Time Out Magazine named the Pinball Museum one of the best attractions in Las Vegas.

In 2018, New York Magazine named the Pinball Museum one of the nine best offbeat museums in Las Vegas.

Sources:
Peterson, Todd and Sarah Feldberg. “The best Las Vegas attractions.” Time Out Magazine, 6 Jan. 2016, timeout.com/las-vegas/things-to-do/las-vegas-attractions
“The best museum in every state, how much it costs and what it’s known for.” USA Today, 29 April. 2019, usatoday.com/picture-gallery/travel/experience/america/fifty-states/2019/04/17/best-museum-every-state-and-how-much-costs/3497569002/
“Las Vegas’s top 5 museums to visit now.” Yahoo News, 11 May. 2019, news.yahoo.com/las-vegass-top-5-museums-155835438.html
“Best Pop Culture Museum? Head to Vegas.” USA Today, 25 March. 2022, 10best.usatoday.com/awards/travel/best-pop-culture-museum-2022/
Carrick, Eric. “27 of the Best Museums in the U.S.” Travel + Leisure, 26 Nov. 2022, travelandleisure.com/best-museums-in-the-us-6826638
Windyka, Kim. “The 9 Best Offbeat Museums to Visit in Las Vegas.” New York Magazine, nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/06/the-9-best-offbeat-museums-to-visit-in-las-vegas.html
Lopez, Gerrish and Krista Diamond. “The 17 best things to do with kids in Las Vegas.” Time Out Magazine, 21 April. 2023, timeout.com/las-vegas/things-to-do/things-to-do-with-kids-in-las-vegas
“Readers’ Choice—Best Museum: The Mob Museum.” Las Vegas Weekly, 10 Aug. 2023, lasvegasweekly.com/news/2023/aug/10/readers-choice-best-of-vegas-museum-the-mob-museum/

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