I recently took a trip to Virginia with my daughter, and she asked me take her to a local museum. We spent the afternoon walking around while she took hundreds of pictures and read information on about half of the displays.
When I agreed to take her to the museum, I admit that I wasn’t looking forward to the trip. But I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the experience. I got to see some real Faberge eggs and even a real mummy! …But what does this have to do with gambling?
This experience made me think of some of the cool things I’ve seen on my trips to Las Vegas. While I mostly focus on gambling in Las Vegas, I always carve out some time to see something new. This includes some of the world class exhibits located in Las Vegas.
Here’s a list of five museums located in Las Vegas that every gambler should visit at least once. You don’t have to try to squeeze them all in on one trip, but if you visit the city frequently you should try to hit one or two every time you visit.
1 – Las Vegas Natural History Museum
The Las Vegas Natural History Museum is located on Las Vegas Boulevard at Washington Avenue.
The main attractions at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum are animals. You can enjoy specimens from prehistoric age all the way to the present. In many ways, this museum is better than a zoo for animal lovers, because it combines real live animals with those that have been extinct for hundreds of years.
The museum also has a giant Egyptian display of ancient artifacts. The display mixes actual artifacts with replicas of King Tut’s tomb and throne. If you’re interested in Ancient Egypt, you don’t want to miss the display at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.
2 – Madame Tussauds Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds is a wax museum located inside The Venetian on the Las Vegas Strip at Spring Mountain Road.
This is my favorite attraction in Las Vegas outside of gambling and eating. Madame Tussauds has over 100 wax figures of famous people. Some of them are so realistic that you will swear they’re real people. Others aren’t quite as good, but they all are amazing in their own way.
Make sure you take your camera with you so you can get your picture taken with your favorite singer, movie star, or politician.
In addition to the Las Vegas location, Madame Tussauds also has displays in:
- New York
- Washington DC
- San Francisco
- Hong Kong
3 – Las Vegas Mob Museum
The Las Vegas Mob Museum is located downtown on the intersection of Third Street and Stewart Avenue.
At the heart of the Las Vegas Mob Museum is the actual courtroom used in the televised Kefauver hearings. Another big attraction is the actual brick wall from the Valentine’s Day massacre in Chicago in 1929. This is the massacre lead by Al Capone’s gang against the Moran gang, killing seven men.
The museum covers the mob in Las Vegas as well as other parts of the country. It includes items owned by some of the most famous mob members including:
- Al Capone
- Lucky Luciano
- Bugsy Siegel
- Left Rosenthal
- Meyer Lansky
- Sam Giancana
- Tony Spilotro
- Mickey Cohen
The Mob Museum does include some graphic displays, so you might want to skip it and enjoy one of the other museums on the list if you have small children with you.
4 – Neon Museum and Boneyard
The Neon Museum and Boneyard is located at 770 Las Vegas Boulevard North.
The museum is located in the old La Concha Motel and the boneyard is in two acres beside the motel. In addition to the museum and boneyard, nine signs have been restored and placed on Las Vegas Boulevard. The nine restored signs include:
- Binion’s Horseshoe
- The Landmark Hotel
- The Silver Slipper
- 5th Street Liquor
- The Bow and Arrows Motel
- The Hacienda Horse and Rider
- Society Cleaners
- The Lucky Cuss Motel
- The Normandie Motel
You can take pictures for personal use while visiting, so make sure you remember to take your camera when you visit.
5 – Pinball Hall of Fame
The Pinball Hall of Fame is located on Tropicana Avenue and Spencer Street.
The gambling industry is closely related to the pinball industry through real money slots. Many pinball manufacturers also made slot machines, and when the pinball industry went into decline, many companies survived by switching to the slot machine industry.
At the Pinball Hall of Fame, you can find antique machines and the newest models that are still being produced. And even better, nearly all of the 200 plus pinball machines machines are playable so be sure to bring your quarters.
I like to gamble as much as anyone when visiting Las Vegas. But I always like to see something new and exciting when I visit the gambling capital of the world. These five museums are a great place to look when you take a break from gambling. Plan to visit at least one of them in your next trip to Las Vegas.