Night tour at the Neon Museum in Vegas
I’ll always remember Las Vegas with its brightly lit neon lights that has been a nightly draw to the strip since the beginning. The many glaring signs lining the strip created a magical presence with a dazzling display every night and making the casinos exciting and larger than life. Nowadays, those majestic neon signs have been replaced with LEDs and other energy efficient bulbs, relegating them as energy consuming dinosaurs along with these old cheesy casinos which blown up one by one in a grand show and last hurrah. Eventually they were replaced with larger casinos covering huge parcels of the strip and glitzier replacements became mega resorts. Fortunately for the Neon Museum organization that had the foresight to try and save what bits of history were left from these old neon signs, and stored them for safe-keeping. Eventually, they started a foundation and opened a museum in 2012, bringing back to life some of these signs so their history will not be forgotten.
Four of these signs have been fully restored and are now part of the featured displays on the night tour, along with the ‘boneyard’ as the place is called. The entire museum is lit up magically with colored spotlights to mimic their non-functioning neon glow and their bygone glory days.
Entering the Boneyard
Not only have the signs been saved and shipped at the boneyard, but the main pavilion and gift shop was originally the old La Concha visitors center. This unique pavilion was donated, cut up and moved in separate pieces to the current location and rebuilt. It is one of the few remaining buildings of a Vegas style affectionately called ‘Atomic Mid Century Modern’.
Signs from yesteryear and places lost and far gone. All we have left are these huge, historical remnants to places where people gathered and had fun in Las Vegas of the past.
We start walking down one alleyway filled with juxtaposed remants of over 150 historic signs including world famous: Caesars, Sahara, Binions, Stardust and who can forget the Gold Nugget in downtown Vegas. The tour leader gives us some history about each unique sign, how and when it was created and how it fits in to Las Vegas rich history and the casinos eventual demise.
The Lido sign – it must have been a really cool place to visit back then don’t you think?
The famous Stardust lights is still aglow with spot lights
Vintage signs from the past, I wonder what they must have been like to visit?
A quirky and cute duck is illuminated
All the tours are guided and you must follow closely with your guides at all times. The tour takes approximately an hour to complete the entire boneyard.
More details for your visit
Reservations required, book through their website below
Day time tours are $18 for adults and $12 for seniors, students, active military and Nevada residents
Night time tours are $25 general admission and $22 for seniors, students, active military and Nevada residents.
No backpacks, camera bags, tripods or monopods allowed on tour.
Closed toe shoes recommended for the tour.
The Neon Museum is also available for private tours, weddings and special events.
The Neon Museum is located on Las Vegas Boulevard just north of the Downtown district. To find out more information about the museum, visit their website here.
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