Night tour at the Neon Museum in Vegas: visit the cool neon signs in vivid displays on a guided tour
The Neon Museum in Las Vegas in a fantastic and nostalgic place to explore in town. 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 Neon Museum 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.
A brief background of the Neon Museum in Las Vegas
The Neon Museum in Las Vegas, often referred to as the “Boneyard,” is a unique cultural institution that pays homage to the city’s vibrant history through its iconic neon signs. Established in 1996, the museum is dedicated to preserving, restoring, and showcasing the dazzling neon signs that once illuminated the famous Las Vegas Strip and other areas of the city.
The Neon Museum is located on a 2.62-acre campus and features an impressive collection of over 200 vintage neon signs, many of which date back to the mid-20th century. These signs were originally created to advertise businesses, hotels, and casinos, making them an integral part of the city’s visual identity and culture.
Visitors to the museum can explore the signs during guided tours, both during the day and at night when the signs are beautifully illuminated. The Neon Museum offers a captivating journey through Las Vegas’s history, offering insights into the evolution of the city’s iconic signage and its transformation over the decades.
As a testament to the enduring allure of Las Vegas, the Neon Museum provides a nostalgic and visually stunning experience that celebrates the glitz, glamour, and creativity that have defined the city for generations. It stands as a living museum and a testament to the city’s commitment to preserving its unique heritage.
Entering the Boneyard
Not only have the Las Vegas neon 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’. This iconic visitors center is truly unique and fun to visit at the Neon Museum when you check in to your night tour.
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.
Let’s start our Neon lights Las Vegas tour of the old days
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 Neon Museum at night is creepy, fun and colorful all wrapped up into a fascinator tour of these historic and popular signs of the past and represents historic landmarks in Las Vegas that were popular at that time.
The Lido sign – it must have been a really cool place to visit back then don’t you think?
One of the most iconic hotels and signs of Las Vegas’ past, the Lido is now found at the boneyard and dimmed from the lights but still salvaged with its colorful presence.
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
More details for doing the Neon Light night tour in Las Vegas
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.
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.
What else to see close by to the Neon Museum in Las Vegas
While visiting the Neon Museum in Las Vegas, there are several other nearby attractions and points of interest worth exploring:
1. **Fremont Street Experience**: Located in downtown Las Vegas, Fremont Street is famous for its vibrant atmosphere, LED light canopy, street performers, and a range of bars and restaurants. It’s a short drive from the Neon Museum.
2. **Downtown Arts District**: Just a few blocks from the museum, you’ll find the Downtown Arts District, home to galleries, boutiques, and restaurants, making it a great place to explore art and culture.
3. **Container Park**: This unique shopping and dining complex is constructed from shipping containers and features boutique shops, restaurants, and a play area for kids. It’s a short drive from the Neon Museum.
4. **Mob Museum**: Also known as the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, this museum is dedicated to the history of the mob in America. It’s within walking distance from the Neon Museum.
5. **Smith Center for the Performing Arts**: If you’re interested in the arts, check the schedule at the Smith Center. It hosts a variety of performances, including concerts, Broadway shows, and ballet.
6. **Las Vegas Natural History Museum**: A family-friendly attraction that features exhibits on dinosaurs, wildlife, and the natural world. It’s a short drive from the Neon Museum.
7. **Discovery Children’s Museum**: Ideal for families, this interactive museum offers hands-on exhibits on science, art, and culture. It’s located in downtown Las Vegas.
8. **The Arts Factory**: A hub for contemporary art, this venue hosts art galleries, studios, and events showcasing local and international artists. It’s in the Arts District near the Neon Museum.
9. **SlotZilla Zip Line**: If you’re feeling adventurous, try the SlotZilla Zip Line, which runs above Fremont Street. It’s a thrilling way to see downtown Las Vegas from above.
10. **Historic Wedding Chapels**: Explore some of the historic wedding chapels in downtown Las Vegas, known for their quirky and unique ceremonies.
These attractions provide a diverse range of experiences, from cultural exploration to family-friendly activities and entertainment. After your visit to the Neon Museum, you can easily explore the nearby areas and make the most of your time in downtown Las Vegas.
For more articles on Las Vegas, check these out:
Conclusion to visiting the Neon Museum, Las Vegas
Thanks for coming along and visiting the Neon Museum in Las Vegas, if you enjoyed the tour, please do share it with any of the social media buttons around the post, thank you.