People don’t travel to Las Vegas for the museums and cultural experiences, but maybe they should. One thing I’ve learned during my two years as a resident of this city is that history and the arts are all around us, despite the stereotype that Las Vegas is completely preoccupied with casinos and nightlife. Although I could rattle off a long list of must-visit institutions in Southern Nevada (Clark County Museum, Mob Museum, and the Smith Center to name a few), perhaps the most unique is the Neon Museum.
This outdoor collection of retired signs is the type of thing you won’t find elsewhere. It is distinct in its subject matter and conception. Guests enter through the transplanted La Concha Motel lobby, which now serves as the Neon Museum’s visitor center. The “neon boneyard,” where the signs are stored, is open to visitors via a one-hour guided tour.
The words “guided tour” can make some parents pause, but it is possible to have a successful visit to the Neon Museum with kids. Here’s how:
1. Keep in mind that visitors must stay with their guide during the tour. No wandering away from the group is allowed. There are other rules too, both to protect the visitors and to preserve the historic signs. I recommend this tour for kids who are well-behaved enough to understand and follow the rules.
2. Warn your kids ahead of time that they might not understand everything the tour guide says…and that’s ok! I told my daughter that if she had questions she should save them for the end of the tour.
3. Encourage kids to appreciate the bright colors, crazy fonts, and fun subject matter of the signs.
4. Make sure youngsters are wearing comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and a hat or sunglasses.
5. Purchase your tour tickets in advance.
We enjoyed our visit to the Neon Museum, and my daughter even talked me into buying her one of the “Ugly Duckling” sign t-shirts from the gift shop.
The Neon Museum is located at:
770 N Las Vegas Blvd.