Museums in Las Vegas

Downtown Las Vegas has become the mecca for arts and culture in Southern Nevada in recent years. With the opening and expansion of several museums in the downtown area, it’s definitely the place to be if you’re looking for something a little different during your next visit to Las Vegas. Here are some of the museums you can check out in Downtown Las Vegas:

1. The Mob Museum

300 Stewart Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89101

One of the most popular museums in Las Vegas is The Mob Museum, or officially, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement. With Las Vegas historically having ties to organized crime in the past, the Mob Museum is the perfect place to get a more in-depth and honest version of how Sin City got its start.

The Mob Museum has won multiple awards for its interactive displays and creative exhibits that tell the true stories of infamous gangsters, mobster mysteries, and how organized crime influenced American history. Only a five-minute walk from Downtown Grand, we offer a special Mob Museum Room Package that includes a room and two admission tickets to the museum.

Mob Museum exhibit showing an early slot machine

2. Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum

600 E Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104

If you’re up for some bone-chilling fun while in Downtown Las Vegas, Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum is one for the books. We’re pretty sure you’ve never experienced a museum like this one. Featuring over 30 rooms of anything and everything scary, spooky, morbid, and disturbing, you’ll have a chance to tour the fascinating collectibles throughout the venue.

Some of the most popular rooms at The Haunted Museum are The Devil’s Rocking Chair, Jack’s Van, Lugosi’s Mirror, The Funeral, The Cauldron, and Peggy the Doll rooms. You don’t even need a description to anticipate how terrifying these exhibits truly are! Guided tours are conducted every 15 minutes during operating hours, and purchasing tickets ahead of time is recommended. Also, keep in mind that children under the age of 16 are not permitted in the museum and IDs will be checked to verify age.

3. The Neon Museum

770 Las Vegas Blvd N, Las Vegas, NV 89101

The Neon Museum offers a glimpse into the iconic past of Las Vegas with some of the most famous neon signs and displays that helped make the city into what it is today. The museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and displaying historic neon signs in a way that pays homage to Las Vegas and educates visitors.

The Neon Boneyard at the museum houses some 200 notable neon displays, including the original Stardust, Riviera, Golden Nugget, Sahara, and La Concha signs, as well as the Aladdin lamp, Liberace’s famous signature sign, and the recently retired Hard Rock guitar. The museum also hosts special events and exhibitions throughout the year.

4. The Burlesque Hall of Fame

1027 S Main St #110, Las Vegas, NV 89101

As you may or may not know, Las Vegas was highly influenced by the risque burlesque scene full of flashy costumes and sultry dance moves. The Burlesque Hall of Fame in the Las Vegas Arts District dedicates its entire collection to educating visitors on the beautiful, artistic, and cultural relevance of the burlesque era and how it shaped to “art of the tease.”

As the world’s largest collection of vintage burlesque clothing, stage props, stunning photography of burlesque dancers, and personal effects, you’ll get an in-depth look at the burlesque lifestyle from those who were a major part of it. Plus, they have a top-notch gift shop where you can get unique souvenirs you won’t get anywhere else in Vegas.

5. Las Vegas Natural History Museum

900 Las Vegas Blvd N, Las Vegas, NV 89101

The Las Vegas Natural History Museum in Downtown Las Vegas is more of a traditional museum in that it offers educational exhibits that highlight prehistoric mammals, marine life, ancient Egyptian artifacts, and other historical collections. This museum is an excellent option for adults and kids of all ages who want to take a break from the sweltering Vegas heat.

One of the biggest draws for the museum is the impressive marine wildlife gallery, which displays life-sized recreations of ocean life in a fascinating underwater-like setting. There is also a 3,000-gallon tank with live sharks, stingrays, and other marine life that captivates all museum visitors. Also, be sure to check for special exhibits throughout the year.

6. Discovery Children’s Museum

360 Promenade Place, Las Vegas, NV 89106

This exciting interactive museum is all about the kids. Right in the cultural corridor of Downtown Las Vegas at Symphony Park, the DISCOVERY Children’s Museum was opened to spark curiosity, imagination, and interest in the arts and sciences in a fun and playful environment. Kids are encouraged to explore the hands-on exhibits and educational displays throughout the museum.

Some ongoing exhibits include the Discovery Lab that explores critical thinking, The Summit, which is a 70-foot tower that features science “stations” amid climbing and sliding structures, and Fantasy Festival, a medieval-inspired playland filled with a life-sized ship, castle, and costumes.

7. Metropolitan Gallery and Art Museum Las Vegas

450 E Fremont St #270, Las Vegas, NV 89101

Located on the second floor of Neonopolis on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas, the Metropolitan Gallery & Art Museum features modern art exhibitions by local and world-renowned artists. Rotating and special exhibits include paintings, stone sculptures, photography, prints, and other types of contemporary art installations.

Because this museum is right in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas, it’s the perfect little break from the hustle and bustle of the crowds. It’s also within walking distance of Downtown Grand and steps away from Downtown Las Vegas restaurants, bars, the world-famous Fremont Street, and the popular Fremont East District.

Performing arts center and children's museum in Symphony Park in downtown Las Vegas

8. The Nevada State Museum at Springs Preserve

309 S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89107

The Nevada State Museum can be found at Springs Preserve just outside Downtown Las Vegas, about four miles west of Downtown Grand. The museum explores thousands of years of history of the local area with impressive displays of plants and animals that inhabited the thriving valley in the past. It’s a great way to explore the history of the region and learn more about Las Vegas before all the glitz and glamour.

And although Springs Preserve itself is not a museum per se, it is a place of natural wonder with a recreated historical streetscape from 1905, dedicated nature trails, a beautiful botanical garden, and an annual butterfly habitat that attracts people from around the state. Owned and operated by the Las Vegas Valley Water District, there are countless events and activities throughout the year that are perfect for all ages.

Other Great Museums In Las Vegas

There are plenty of amazing museums outside of Downtown Las Vegas, too. Here are a few to add to your list of things to do in Las Vegas:

Pinball Hall of Fame

4925 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89119

There’s nothing like walking through the world’s largest pinball machine collection! Visit the Pinball Hall of Fame to see the various styles of pinball machines designed over the decades—some of which you may even remember from your childhood. This is a great place to visit with the whole family and gives you 25,000 square feet of pure nostalgia to explore.

Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art

4505 S. Maryland Pkwy. Las Vegas, NV 89154

Located at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), you’ll see amazing artwork that is made to challenge and inspire every individual who sets foot inside the museum. The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art creates a space for art that is often dismissed or neglected by the mainstream, including BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ pieces. To avoid building barriers to art, access to these exhibits is free of charge.

Museum Fiasco

3215 S Rancho Dr. Las Vegas, NV 89102

You’ll find Museum Fiasco at the recently opened Area 15 in Las Vegas.  It is a self-described “immersive sound and light spectacle” you must experience at least once while in Las Vegas. You’ll find unique installations using abstract perspectives and scenes to explore different concepts and ideas affecting the world today. Local and military discounts are available.

Downtown Las Vegas Is the City’s Cultural Corner

While visiting Downtown Las Vegas, take a moment to appreciate the cultural resurgence happening around you! Many downtown businesses, including Downtown Grand, have embraced the evolution of this area in addition to the typical thrills you’ll find in Vegas. If you’d like to explore a different side of the city by visiting any of these museums, Downtown Grand is right in the middle of all the action. Also, our staff is more than happy to help you plan and organize your museum excursions. To book your room, contact us at 1-855-DT-GRAND or email us here.

Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino with Fremont Street in the background

Tags: Downtown Las Vegas | Events | Things to Do