Welcome back to our series on Vegas secrets! We whetted your appetite in our first post about secret dining options. In this installment, we’ll explore secret, hidden and less-traveled attractions.
The Pinball Hall of Fame
This is the perfect place for ‘pinheads’ like us – a museum offering 10,000 square feet of games you can play. What better way to experience some history! This place showcases a collection of hundreds of classic arcade-style pinball games from the 1950s through the 1990s. Older models are a mere quarter to play, while newer (1990s) ones cost just 50 cents. All of the machines are fully operational, situated side-by-side in a bright facility that designed to facilitate nothing more than good, old-fashioned fun.
The Neon Museum
Well, this isn’t so much a museum per se as it is a well-curated outdoor junkyard of retired casino signs. The Neon Museum offers three separate collections: the Neon Boneyard, the Downtown Gallery and the Las Vegas Signs Project, with signs dating as far back as the 1930s. While the Downtown Gallery is available for viewing 24 hours a day, the Neon Boneyard is only accessible via a guided tour. Check the website for tour information.
The Center for Gaming Research at UNLV
987 E Harmon Ave, Las Vegas, NV [Map]
If you love the games of Vegas, here’s a prize you may not know about: The Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas sponsors a monthly “Gaming Research Colloquium Series.” Some of the topics are academic enough they may not interest the general public – “Data Collection and Analysis as Everyday Gaming” anyone? – but others provide fascinating insight into the culture and science that underpins the whole Vegas experience, like “Surveillance and the Marketing of Vice” or the upcoming discussion of Vegas as Pleasure Mecca. UNLV also hosts a collection of Vegas history artifacts that are worth checking out on their own merits.
Clark County Museum
Our city and its environs have a storied past that reaches far into history, easily preceding the onset of the casinos. If you’d like a glimpse of our heritage, visit the Clark County Museum (Las Vegas is part of Clark County). It’s an exceptional museum that offers high-caliber exhibits, like the currently running exhibit “Cowboys and Indians: Myth and Reality.” The 30-acre site also hosts a ton of other features, included restored historic buildings and even a reconstructed Ghost Town and Mining Trail.
Next up: how to score secret Vegas deals.