17 BEST Museums in Las Vegas [December 2019]

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Between the vibrant casinos, star-studded shows, and around the clock entertainment, Las Vegas is a place unlike anywhere else in the world. This described “adult wonderland” is bustling from dawn until dusk, and continues to entice and lure in visitors decade after decade.

In a city known for wild entertainment, it’s no surprise that Las Vegas also has its fair share of fascinating museums. While it may not be known for the best art galleries or history museums, there is still a wide variety of one-off and unusual things to see during your time in Vegas.

If you’re planning a trip to Las Vegas, then read on. We’re here to help you discover the city’s top museums to visit.

#1 – The Mob Museum

Crime Museum

The Mob Museum

Photo Credit – tripadvisor

  • Experience the dark, criminal world of Vegas
  • Learn about how Police forces crackdown on criminals
  • Cost: $27 (adults), $17 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2- 3 hours

No trip to Las Vegas would be complete without learning how the city earned its rightful nickname – Sin City! The Mob Museum sheds light on the organized crime that lurks behind the neon lights and casino halls.

Visitors will be able to see exhibits on gambling, drugs, bootlegging, and prostitution, as well as the law enforcement procedures that help keep the city in shape. You’ll even find real corpses from mafia-related murders from some of the most notorious gangsters in Nevada.

Purchase your tickets in advance to save big on the admission price!

#2 – Las Vegas Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

Las Vegas Natural History Museum

Photo credit – wikipedia

  • Dinosaurs, geology, and historic Egyptian treasures
  • See live pythons, fish, and snakes!
  • Cost: $12 (adults), $6 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2- 3 hours

Whether you’re hunting for treasures from the ancient world or searching deep beneath the surface of the ocean for marine life, you’ll find what you’re looking for at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.

With over ten different exhibits and galleries to walk through, the museum covers a wide range of topics focused on the world’s most fascinating wonders. Learn about local wildlife, travel back to the age of dinosaurs, and even experience the life of King Tutankhamun.

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#3 – Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum

Specialty Museum

Zak Bagans' The Haunted Museum

Photo credit – travelchannel

  • A haunted house full of scary memorabilia and collectibles
  • Must be at least 16 years old to enter
  • Cost: $44 (adults)
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

Not for the faint of heart, Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum is considered the scariest attraction in all of Las Vegas! With over 30 rooms filled with eerie artifacts and paranormal wonders, this museum is set in a haunted 1938 victorian mansion.

Walk from room to room and learn about the deaths and mysteries that took place, and maybe feel the energy of the spirits that still wander the halls. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, you’ll still get a kick out of the energetic and entertaining tour guides.

What sort of trip are you planning? Las Vegas has incredible hotels for all types of visits!

#4 – Discovery Children’s Museum

Children’s Museum

Discovery Children’s Museum

Photo Credit – discoverykidslv.org

  • Fun for kids, toddlers, and teens
  • Hand-on and interactive exhibits to sharpen the mind
  • Cost: $14.50
  • Suggested duration: 2- 3 hours

Located in a sprawling 58,000 square foot hall, the Discovery Children’s Museum will delight the inspiring and fun-loving kid in all of us. This interactive museum gives children to opportunity to play, learn, and explore using puzzles, games, and experiences.

There’s a water world, mystery-solving exhibit, and even a hand-on laboratory for young entrepreneurs. The museum is also home to several traveling exhibits, including the technology of transportation and a collection of local cultures.

Planning a trip? See our list of the best things to see in Las Vegas!

#5 – Neon Museum

Specialty Museum

Neon Museum

Photo Credit – reviewjournal.com

  • Restored and defunct signs from Las Vegas Boulevard
  • A nightly light projection show
  • Cost: $30
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

Las Vegas is known for its large-scale resorts, non-stop gambling entertainment, and bright neon lights! At the Neon Museum, you’ll be able to see some of the most iconic neon signs that once lined the bustling streets of Las Vegas Boulevard.

You might recognize some of the signs in the boneyard from Caesars Palace, Stardust, and Treasure Island. Don’t miss the nightly 30-minute light show that’s set to live music.

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#6 – National Atomic Testing Museum

Specialty Museum

National Atomic Testing Museum

Photo credit – Yelp

  • 12,000 artifacts on nuclear testing, bombs, and radiation
  • Exhibit on Area 51
  • Cost: $22 (adults), $18 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

Step away from the entertainment and gambling to learn a bit more about nuclear testing that occurs deep within the Las Vegas desert. The National Atomic Testing Museum covers different tests that took place at the Nevada Test Side over the last 70 years.

You’ll find a real nuclear reactor, atomic weapons, and even a replica of the control point room! This museum is a unique and education insight that will please all science and history fans.

Avoid the crowds! Check out our Best Time to Visit Las Vegas Guide to have Las Vegas to yourself!

#7 – Nevada State Museum

History Museum

Nevada State Museum

Photo Credit – 10best

  • Covers centuries of history
  • Dinosaur bones, old slot machines, mining exhibits, and more!
  • Cost: $19 (adults), $11 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

Las Vegas is more than just the entertainment capital of the US. Located in an indoor and outdoor space of Spring Preserve, the Nevada State Museum covers a wide range of topics from prehistoric creatures to showgirl costumes.

Starting from the first human settlement to the cosmopolitan glitz and glamour of present-day Las Vegas, the Nevada State Museum is your one-stop-shop for everything about the city. Although it’s smaller than most museums, it still offers a chance to dive into the cultural and historical importance of Las Vegas.

#8 – Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition

History Museum

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition

Photo credit – Tripadvisor

  • Authentic memorabilia recovered from the Titanic
  • Walk through life-size rooms and passageways
  • Cost: $32 (adults), $24 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

As one of the largest Titanic museums in the world, the Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition is a must-see museum during your trip to Las Vegas. Located inside the grand Luxor Hotel, you’ll find over 250 artifacts that were recovered from the historic and tragic wreck site of the Titanic ship.

Pieces of luggage, unopened bottles of champagne, and ship equipment are just a few items you’ll find in the museum. You’ll even get a chance to see a reconstructed life-size room of the famous Grand Staircase!

Book your tickets to the Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition in advance and learn more about the ship’s doomed voyage!

#9 – Marjorie Barrick Museum

Art Museum

Marjorie Barrick Museum

Photo credit – unlv.edu

  • Six galleries of contemporary and indigenous art
  • Come to the lectures, classes, and workshops
  • Cost: Free
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

Las Vegas may not be known for its art scene, but the Marjorie Barrick Museum remains an important landmark in the fine arts community of Nevada.

Most of the art inside the museum focuses on Southern Nevada art, however, you will find other installations collected domestically and internationally on display. Since the museum is located on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus, you’ll also see a collection of past graduates.

#10 – Pinball Hall of Fame

Specialty Museum

Pinball Hall of Fame

Photo Credit – reviewjournal

  • Hundreds of working machines from the past 70 years
  • Play all machines for 25 or 50 cents
  • Cost: Free to enter
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

If you can’t get enough of the casino lights and sounds of slots machines, then head to the Las Vegas Pinball Hall of Fame. With over 200 different pinball machines on display, it’s the largest antique collection of pinball machines in the entire country.

You’ll find machines from the 1950s and 1960s, as well as some of the most technologically advanced games from today. Best of all, each game only costs 25 or 50 cents to play, which means you can try your hand at as many machines as possible.

#11 – “Bodies” at the Luxor

Science Museum

"Bodies" at the Luxor

Photo Credit – Viator

  • Compare healthy and unhealthy organs and bodies
  • Real-life organs and full-size human bodies
  • Cost: $32
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

As one of the most well-known museums in the world, the Bodies exhibit has unlocked the world of human anatomy. At the Las Vegas Bodies exhibit, you’ll get the chance to get up close and personal with 13 preserved bodies as well as over 250 organs and body specimens.

These bodies have been dissected and analyzed so you can see exactly what is happening within your own skeletal, cardiovascular, and muscular systems.

Don’t miss the chance to visit the world-renowned Bodies exhibit. Buy your tickets in advance online!

#12 – Burlesque Hall of Fame

Specialty Museum

Burlesque Hall of Fame

Photo Credit – flickr > Dustin Wax

  • Glitzy and shimmery costumes and stage props
  • Learn about the history of this risqué art
  • Cost: $15 (adults), $10 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

As the only museum in the world dedicated to Burlesque, the Burlesque Hall of Fame is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dive into the art of this cultural phenomenon. Inside, you’ll find thousands of costumes, photographs, and authentic memorabilia to ever grace the stages of Las Vegas.

You’ll also see artifacts from other shows around Paris, New York, and Montreal. This small but charming museum is an insightful look into this beautiful theatrical art form.

#13 – Madame Tussauds Las Vegas

Wax Museum

Madame Tussauds Las Vegas

Photo Credit – attractionticketsdirect.de

  • Exhibits on sports, music icons, and classic Vegas icons
  • Get thrills on the exhilarating Marvel superhero 4D ride
  • Cost: $22
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

As you make your way to the Venetian Resort on the Las Vegas strip, make sure to stop by the world-famous Madame Tussauds Las Vegas. Wax figures of some of your favorite celebrities, musicians, and athletes are waiting for you inside!

Snap photos with Drake, take a spin with Elvis and even grab a drink with the guys from The Hangover Movies. Unlike other Madame Tussauds around the world, the Las Vegas museum also includes a bar, Marvel 4D ride, and a virtual reality experience.

#14 – Hollywood Cars Museum

Automobile Museum

Hollywood Cars Museum

Photo Credit – steemit

  • Models of some of Hollywood’s most famous automobiles
  • Over 100 life-size models
  • Cost: $15
  • Suggested duration: 1 hour

Movie over A-list celebrities, because the Hollywood Cars Museum is solely dedicated to famous cars from the silver screen! With over 100 different cars from TV and movies, the Hollywood Cars Museum is an autophile’s dream.

You’ll see the real cars used in James Bond, Fast & Furious, the Hangover and more. Take a drive down memory lane and relive some of your favorite TV shows and movies at this fun and historic museum.

Visit the Hollywood Cars Museum, along with dozens of other attractions, with the Las Vegas Explorer Pass.

#15 – Erotic Heritage Museum

Specialty Museum

Erotic Heritage Museum

Photo Credit – lasvegasweekly.com

  • Dozens of exhibits on sexuality and erotic history
  • Rotating galleries and exhibits from around the world
  • Cost: $15
  • Suggested duration: 1 hour

Las Vegas is home to some of the world’s most exciting attractions, including the Erotic Heritage Museum. But despite what you may think, this museum is actually an education and fascinating look into human sexuality.

Inside the Erotic Heritage Museum, you’ll find exhibits on everything from political scandals to the history of peep shows. Don’t miss the world’s largest erotic bicycle, one of the unique highlights of this quirky museum.

#16 – HeadzUP 3D Trick Art Museum

Specialty Museum

HeadzUP 3D Trick Art Museum

Photo Credit – headzupthingstodoinlasvegas

  • Fool your friends with optical illusion photographs
  • Play with life-size murals and wall paintings
  • Cost: $25 (adults), $13 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

Enter a world of magic and illusion at the HeadzUP 3D Trick Art Museum. Impress your family and friends with mind-bending photos of you in front of one of 60 different painted murals.

You’ll get some of the best photo ops in front of dinosaurs, superheroes, giant pigeons, and even skyscrapers. After your visit the Trick Art Museum, you can venture around the other HeadzUp entertainment zones, including escape rooms, archery tag, and more.

#17 – McCarran Aviation Museum

Aviation Museum

McCarran Aviation Museum

Photo Credit – Tripadvisor

  • Learn about Nevada’s first few flights
  • See a Cessna 172 that set records in the 1950s
  • Cost: Free
  • Suggested duration: 30 min – 1 hour

Dive into 100 years of Las Vegas aviation history at the McCarran Aviation Museum. This museum is appropriately located right in the main terminal of the McCarran international airport.

Spanning over 3,000 square feet, you’ll learn about the airport’s early years and even see a few items on display, including an old Ford Thunderbird and Cessna 172. This small exhibit is interesting and ideal if you have an extra hour before or after your flight.

 

FAQ

How many museums are in Las Vegas?

There are roughly 100 different museums in Las Vegas. While most of the museums can be easily accessible from the Strip, you’ll find some of the coolest and most quirky museums located on the outskirts of the city.

How many free museums are in Las Vegas?

Museums that are affiliated with a  non-profit organization are usually free to enter. The Pinball Hall of Fame and the Marjorie Barrick Museum are a couple of museums with free entry. However, most Las Vegas museums do charge an admission fee to visitors.

What are the hours of Las Vegas museums?

Most museums in Las Vegas open around 9 am. While some art galleries and history museums close at 5 pm, the unique and quirky museums usually stay open later, until 8 or 9 pm. Generally speaking, museums are open seven days a week.

What can I bring into Las Vegas museums?

Las Vegas museums will usually allow visitors to take photos and bring in bottled water. But depending on the museum, food, flash photography, and large luggage may be prohibited.

 

Final Thoughts

Although many people travel to Las Vegas for the gambling, open-buffets, and nightclubs, there is still so much to discover on the famous Las Vegas Strip.

If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, then visiting a museum is the perfect way to spend a few hours of your vacation. Not only will you have the chance to avoid the desert heat, but you also might learn a new thing or two!

Visiting a Las Vegas museum is a great way to soak in the culture of the city. Whether you’re learning about the unruly gangsters or immersing yourself in the glitz and glamour of burlesque history, you’ll walk away from Sin City with a new appreciation!

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About the Author Aaron Hovanesian

Born in Los Angeles, Aaron Hovanesian is one of the original staff writers for Hotel Jules. Having backpacked the world as a young man, Aaron now prefers to travel the world in luxury, proudly staying in the world's most amazing hotels and properties. When Aaron is not traveling he lives in Western Colorado he can be found brewing his own beer (probably an IPA) or spending time with his two amazing golden retrievers.