If you’re looking for something a little different to do on your next Vegas visit, there’s nothing that quite captures the history and spirit of the city like the Las Vegas Neon Museum. The museum includes the so-called “Neon Boneyard,” a collection of retired old signs that once lit up the Strip, and it’s one of the most fun places in the city to explore and photograph!
WHEN TO VISIT THE LAS VEGAS NEON MUSEUM
The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 pm. “most days,” according to its website. But one VERY important point: Definitely call before you visit to make sure you can access the Boneyard. It’s a popular site for events and photo shoots, and it’s not unusual to find it booked and closed to the public!
Once you’ve got your date locked down, it’s time to consider the really important question: day or night? Obviously, at night, you’ll find the Boneyard signs lit up in their former glory. But after having visited in the day, I think there’s something to be said for a daytime visit as well; after all, only 15 signs are fully illuminated at night, so if you visit in the day, you’ll have the advantage of getting a clear look at all of them. Either way, you can’t go wrong!
LAS VEGAS NEON MUSEUM TICKETS & ADMISSION
When you visit the Neon Museum, you can either join a tour or explore on your own. You’ve got four options: general admission, which lets you explore the Boneyard at your own pace ($22 adults/$17 NV residents/students/seniors veterans active military/children 7-17); guided tour, which takes about one hour ($28/$24); Brilliant!, which is a 30-minute light show that does NOT include entrance to the Boneyard with the signs ($23/$15; and a combo ticket, which pairs a guided tour with admission to Brilliant! ($42/$32). You can purchase tickets either at the museum or on its website, but if you go the online route, be aware that your tickets will bear a designated time.
I can’t speak to the quality or content of the tours since we personally chose to stroll around without one given our limited time (and budget, as this stop was part of our cross-country moving road trip!). But even if you don’t take a tour, you’ll find that the Neon Museum staff members are super knowledgeable and love telling stories about the signs in the Boneyard. They’re open to your questions as you walk through it!
LAS VEGAS NEON MUSEUM PHOTOGRAPHY
As the Neon Museum is a popular photography spot, the museum has some rules it enforces. Visitors can take snapshots for personal use, but they can’t do photo shoots without scheduling them and getting approval in advance. And if you’re thinking of doing a wardrobe change while you’re there—even for personal photos—those are prohibited, too. The museum lists all of its guidelines on this page!
For more serious photographers wanting to bring in tripods—again, only for personal use—the Neon Museum also offers pre-scheduled “photo walks” several times each month. If you’re interested, you can read more about them here!
When I visit museums, I always pay with a credit card that earns a bonus on entertainment. For me, that’s the Citi Premier, which earns 2x on anything in the category, which also includes sporting events and movies. It’s not alone, though! Cards such as the Capital One Savor net entertainment bonuses, too.
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