Looking for Fun Things to do in Vegas? Immerse in Las Vegas history through a tour of The Neon Museum which houses iconic Las Vegas signs that formerly lit various hotels and casinos in the Sin City. Founded in 1996, the Neon Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting these iconic Las Vegas signs for educational and cultural enrichment. There are various ways to see The Neon Museum depending on what you get out of it and what your schedule in Vegas looks like – they happen to be open until midnight! Check our 10 Tips for Visiting The Neon Museum and plan a visit on your next trip to Las Vegas.
10 TIPS FOR VISITING THE NEON MUSEUM LAS VEGAS:
1. Book the right tour to The Neon Museum:
- General Admission – See the Neon Museum at your own pace, without a tour guide between 9AM – 4PM. Museum interpreters are stationed in the yard to answer questions. I would recommend this for those who merely wishes to see the signs, take a few photos and selfies.
- Guided Tour – Learn about the signs and their history through a 1-hr guided tour starting at 6PM. You will learn a lot from this guided tour, I highly recommend this for its educational value. Lots of history about Vegas that I would have never known.
- Brilliant Experience – a 30-minute show, uses light projection to illuminate unrestored signs and incorporates music and archival footage to transport guests into Las Vegas’ history. Highly recommended. You can purchase a combo guided tour + Brilliant Experience tickets or just this experience alone.
2. Purchase your tickets online in advance
Tickets are released about a month in advance. They only allow 22 people per guided tour so your date and time may not be available if you book too close to your visit. The Neon Museum is FREE for 6 and under. Each guest must have a ticket including young children under six, so book them even if they are free.
3. Use your ID to save on tickets at the Neon Museum Las Vegas:
Nevada residents, Seniors, Veterans, Students, and Active Military can avail of discount tickets to the museum (valid ID required at check-in).
Tickets to The Neon Museum run for $19 for general admission ($15 with ID), $28 for the guided tour ($24 with ID), $42 for a combined guided tour + Brilliant Experience ($32 with ID), and $23 for the Brilliant Experience only ($15 with ID). Rates as of 2018.
4. Consider the weather when visiting as it is hot in Vegas during the summer months:
As the museum is an outdoor collection, I wouldn’t advice visiting during daytime in the summer. You can take a guided tour at night instead where it will still be warm but not scorching hot. We took the 7PM tour and it was still hot but I booked this time so I can take good photos just before the sun would set – giving me the chance to take photos of The Neon Museum both in daylight and night time where 11 restored signs are displayed and the remainder of the collection is illuminated with ground lighting.
While we’re at it, it’s hot in the summer, cold in the winter – do dress appropriately for the outdoor weather in Vegas.
Please note that all scheduled tours are subject to cancellation due to inclement weather such as high winds over 25 mph or lightning. They seldom cancel for rain. If a tour is cancelled, they will try to place you on the next available tour wherever possible or provide a full refund.
5. Consider the following when visiting The Neon Museum Las Vegas with young kids:
Because of the length of the guided tours, young kids may not enjoy it. You may consider doing the general admission so you can be in and out of there or do the Brilliant Experience instead. Our 8yr. old enjoyed listening to the rich history of the Las Vegas signs from our 1hr guided tour but our 5yr old – not so much. She was very behave though and just sat at one of the benches that lined the tour but based from The Neon Museum, this is their recommendation:
“Due to the broken glass and rusty metal, day tours are best enjoyed by visitors ages 10 and up. Night tours feature the fabulous neon of our 11 restored signs, and our beautifully and dramatically lit un-restored signs. Due to the broken glass, rusty metal and darkness, we recommend night tours for visitors ages 12 and up.”
The Neon Museum has just signed a 50yr lease with Las Vegas though so should you decide to wait, you can still visit another time when the kids are a little bigger.
6. Everyone can visit, The Neon Museum is ADA Compliant:
The Neon Museum is accessible in accordance with ADA (AA) requirements. The Neon Boneyard lot has a fine gravel surface that both powered and unpowered wheeled devices can easily navigate.
7. Drive to The Neon Museum Las Vegas, parking is FREE:
The Neon Museum is not close to the Las Vegas strip, it is pass Fremont Street and Downtown Las Vegas. Drive to it and park for free at the designated lot adjacent to the museum.
8. Check-in on time and visit the gift shop and make time for the restroom:
When you purchase your tickets online, an email confirmation/receipt will be emailed to you after you have completed your purchase. Bring your receipt and check-in at the La Concha Visitors’ Center – it’s the mid-century, shell-shaped structure. If you’re seeing Brilliant!, you may check in at the Boneyard Park adjacent to the parking lot. You will then be escorted to the gift shop where you will find a lot of fun stuff to buy including drinks to take to your tour to stay hydrated. Head outside of the gift shop to use the restroom before the start of your tour then go back to the waiting area where your tour will start.
9. There are restrictions to your visit to The Neon Museum Las Vegas:
- Backpacks, camera bags, large bags, additional camera lenses, monopods, tripods and selfie sticks are not allowed in the yard. They may check your bag in the lobby.
- Photography is strictly for personal use only. They allow guests to bring one camera and one attached lens. No additional photography equipment is permitted (ie: selfie sticks, tripods, monopods, reflectors, etc.) Photo shoots on a guided tour are strictly prohibited.
- Video and/or audio recording is not allowed on guided tours. They do allow visitors to capture video and photos at the conclusion of Brilliant!.
- Only service animals are allowed on tours.
10. Consider booking a Photo Walk or a Photo Shoot:
The Neon Museum is a great place to do photo shoots but has photography restrictions when taking tours. If you want to take more photos or do a photo shoot, here are your options:
- Photo Walk – special Photo Walks are pre-scheduled numerous times a month. Hobby photographers can wander the Neon Boneyard and take photos of the sign collection, for personal use, with all of their chosen equipment including tripods, multiple cameras and extra lenses. Portraiture, models and assistants are not allowed on these tours and tickets are sold per photographer. Drones are not allowed. Personal use include social media, personal websites and blogs, home décor and custom stationery. The cost for photo walks is $50; Nevada residents, students, active military, veterans and seniors pay $35 with valid identification.
- Photo Shoot – The Neon Museum Boneyard, and the adjacent North Gallery, are available for photo and video shoots by individuals, professionals, and organizations. Usage fees apply and vary according to the type and scale of shoot, size of participating crew, staffing requirements, and proposed image use and distribution. These types of shoots range from engagement/wedding/quinceanera photos to music videos to large-scale motion pictures. Generally, two weeks’ notice is required to accommodate photo shoots.
disclosure: this was a hosted visit to facilitate this post.
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