Ran out of cash for the tables, can't drink three nights in a row, or just want a change of pace?
Visit a museum. Vegas can't boast having the nations biggest or best museums, but certainly some of the most unique spots you'll want to visit.
We can start off with one you may never have heard of, The Erotic Heritage Museum, just to get your attention.
The EHM is located just off the Strip at 3275 Industrial Rd., coincidentally in close proximity to many Strip Clubs. This museum holds weekly meetings and events such as "Naked Yoga" and Sex Ed style meetings. There's a lot to photograph behind small glass displays if that's what your into. The admission fee to EHM varies from $10 military, to $30 non members, but if you have a buddy who lives in Vegas get a locals pass for $15. There open 7 days a week 11a-10p. Unfortunately we have no photos to prove we have been inside here, but trust us. They have a very unique gift shop and sometimes "celebrity" strippers in there.
Next stop since we are in the area of the Strip is Madame Tussauds wax museum. Open in Vegas since 1999, Madame Tussauds holds wax effigies of A-list celebrities, sports legends, political heavyweights and historical icons. Specialized rooms hold certain celebrities within them. In the "sports arena" you can find Shaq or Mohamed Ali and move over to the Music room to visit Rihanna and Snoop Dogg. Located at The Venetian in The Grand Canal Shoppes, open 365 days a year generally from 10a-9p but they do have special events that require them to close early and special attractions such as the Hangover Experience have certain showing times. Call ahead to assure hours (702) 862-7800. Admission ranges from $18-$30 for adults depending on if you reside in Nevada or purchase online etc.
In the early 50's Nevada was known for the nuclear tests being put on within eyesight of many Vegas establishments. So it figures this is the town to find the Atomic Testing Museum. Located at
If you're still looking for that place to drop your quarters into a machine, check out The Pinball Hall of Fame/Pinball Museum. We are talking 400 plus Pinball games from the 1950's to the present, every game works and they're all at original play prices. I can spend hours here for less than $20. Where can you do that in Vegas? They have vintage arcade favorites as well. The museum was opened in 2006 by Tim Arnold as a not for profit organization, he gives all excess donation to The Salvation Army, after covering the museums expenses. They doubled the size of the Museum in 2009 when they moved to 1610 E. Tropicana. Their hours are 11am till 11pm Sun. to Thur and 11am till Midnight Friday and Saturday. Not too far from the Strip, it is also on a bus line from MGM at Tropicana which stops directly in front of The PHoF. I make this an every trip requirement now, not because I consider myself a pinball guru, but for the history Tim Arnold is part of. They're all about charity and having fun. He has an interesting story to say the least but that's for another article. For now visit their website and visit the Hall when in Vegas.
The Nevada State Museum is located at Springs Preserve, which is an exhibit in itself. Pay for one and get admission to the other free. There's a great walk out balcony overlooking the Preserves. The main hall holds permanent displays and the smaller hall is reserved for temporary exhibits. There is a 3rd room used for special events and meetings. The mission of the Museum is to provide inspiration and education about the history of Nevada (not just Vegas). The history starts well before gambling and the Boulder Dam. Starting off with fossils from prehistoric mammoths through the mining days and on to tell of Abraham Lincoln's connection with forming the State out of Utah territory. It touches on all "current" topics such as casinos and the growth of Las Vegas through mob ties. If you're feeling especially nerdy check out the research library. You'll find periodicals from 1905 to present day. The research library also includes files of all Nevada births, marriages and deaths.
Actual address is 309 S. Valley View Blvd. They are open Thurs-Monday 10a-6p.
Nevada residence pay $8.95 all children under 18 are free and out of towners pay $18.95.
The easiest Museum to visit if your flying in to Vegas would be as soon as you land. You can head over to the Aviation History Museum located in The McCarran airport. Its spread out within the entire airport at a few different sites, almost kiosk like. There's actually only one aircraft in the "museum" itself located in terminal 1 at baggage claim. The airplane holds a current world record for flight, I will let you visit to discover what they did to break this record in 1959, the record flight was sponsored by the Hacienda Hotel and Casino and was a huge part of a fund raiser. Other exhibits include advancements from the first flights of 1920 through today's jet airliners. The evolution of stewardesses outfits as well as the first pilot's attire. Stuff like that will catch your eye walking to pick up your bags, you might have walked right by some very important pieces in aviation history and not even realized it. The exhibits are open to people passing through the airport 24 hours a day and obviously free of charge.
One of the prize pieces in the Las Vegas collection of museums has to be The Lied Discovery Children’s Museum located in the Symphony Park area adjacent to The Smith Center. Housed in an amazing 58,000 sq foot, 3 story building, the Lied Museum has nine themed exhibits and a 5,000 sq. foot gallery that holds rotating exhibits from the nation's top museums. Ongoing exhibits include science, business, art and creative play scenarios to expand children's minds. This one might not be on your list as a visitor to Sin-City but your child would love it, visiting or as a local. They host field trips constantly and camp groups weekly. Hours are Tue-Fri 9a-4p, Sat. 10a-5p and Sun. 12p-5p.
Admission is $14.50 from age 1 to 99, all other ages are free.
On to a "Vegas lover" type of Museum, affectionately referred to as Neon Boneyard. The Neon Museum is located at 770 N Las Vegas Blvd. Started in 1996 they are a non profit organization restoring, displaying and preserving the history of these great signs. The visitors area is also a part of history, formally the La Concha Motel lobby.
The "Boneyard" itself is completely outside and hidden behind a large fenced in yard, if you are a neon sign buff or just a casino history geek, you will never forget this trip. Day tours are $18 down to $12 for residence, military and seniors. Night tours are $25 down to $22 for residence, military and seniors. Tours only last one hour with strict rules on keeping with the group. Pictures are allowed but only from certain spots and only your 'basic" camera is allowed. Tour guides are pretty knowledgeable on the history of all signs and you will hear some really interesting stories of how the signs were acquired. The best thing to do would be check their website for tickets, tours are available 7 days a week. You can arrange a private shoot outside of regular tour hours and pay about $75/per person (no models or assistants allowed) for this 1 hour experience. Kind of a heavy price for pictures but I have though about it on several trips. These tours are very limited and you will have to contact the museum for availability. One of our all time favorites!
There are many more museums to see in Las Vegas and many more to come to this BLOG as well, stay tuned.......