Las Vegas has no problem standing out, whether it’s with the nightlife, the showgirls, or the “what happens here, stays here” attitude it’s famous for. The city’s propensity for novelty permeates its culture, from entertainment down to the unusual museums it offers.
In a city that’s ever-changing, you’ll always find strange things to do in Las Vegas. While there are plenty of activities in the city, visiting unique places should be a part of your itinerary. Find out more about the quirky side of Sin City with our guide of unusual things to do in Las Vegas
A museum full of dead bodies may sound morbid at first, but Bodies: The Exhibition is anything but. While it opened in 2005, it’s only been in residence at the Luxor Hotel since 2009. Here, visitors get a close-up look at various organs in differing states of distress, such as smoker’s lungs and cancerous tumors; however, due to the nature of the exhibit, you can choose to avoid certain rooms if you wish as side doors in each room will divert to the next display. Many of the cadavers are posed in various forms of movement, to give viewers an inside look at the inner workings of our muscles and skeletal structure, making this an unusual experience.
The Erotic Heritage Museum, located on Industrial Road across from the Trump Hotel, has been open to the public since 2008. Its pink and purple neon sign that lights up in the dark invites visitors to a museum that pays tribute to the history of erotica in all forms and how they impact society today. Besides the erotic painting and sculpture on display, the museum offers a number of exhibits for its guests to interact with, which includes a collection of erotic objects from Catherine the Great and the world’s largest erotic bicycle.
Located next door to Bodies: The Exhibition, Titanic allows visitors to take an inside look at the construction of the infamous ocean liner, and at the people who lost their lives aboard it. Step inside the family-friendly exhibit that takes between one to two hours, and you’ll get to experience how it was being a traveler on the ship. When entering the museum, visitors are given a replica of an actual Titanic passenger’s boarding pass and by the end of the tour, you find out if your “passenger” survived the wreck. To make the experience as realistic as possible, rooms on the famous ship have been recreated, including the grand staircase.
The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement is the only museum in the United States dedicated to organized crime. Located downtown in the former post office and courthouse, the three-story museum explains how organized crime has impacted modern law enforcement, especially in Las Vegas. Visitors are able to stroll around the three floors on a self-guided tour to get the most out of their visit and learn everything at their own pace. To make the experience as realistic as possible, a wall dedicated to 100 years of “made men,” a sound booth that plays real-life stories of La Cosa Nostra, displays including bullet fragments, and a piece of wall from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre can be found at the museum.
Yes, Las Vegas still puts on the occasional magic show. Criss Angel’s Mindfreak Live!, located inside the Luxor Hotel & Casino, is the only magic-themed Cirque du Soleil act on the Strip. Mindfreak wows its audience with not only mind-blowing feats of magic but with stunning acrobatic performances in a fiery setting. Having taken over from Criss Angel’s Believe, which ran from 2008 to 2016, Mindfreak expands on his eponymous television show with 3D special effects and motorcycle tricks.
The Neon Museum, also known as the Neon Boneyard, preserves iconic signage from Las Vegas’ past. From the iconic Stardust lettering to the original signage of the Moulin Rouge, the museum allows visitors to explore how Las Vegas went from a small mining stop on the way to California to “the entertainment capital of the world.” Be sure to book your tickets in advance; there are a limited number of tours available throughout the week, and they sell out fast.
At the Mirage, you get to pet dolphins, but at the Lion Habitat Ranch, you get to see adult lions and cubs in a way that you can’t experience them anywhere else in Las Vegas. Located south of the Strip, the habitat allows visitors to interact with lions, ostriches, and other animals. General admission allows visitors access to the ranch, but additional experiences such as feeding the animals or eating with them are available for an additional fee. If you’re looking for something unique, the ranch also cares for the only giraffe in the entire state – Ozzie – who also happens to be a painter.
If you’re in Las Vegas and need ideas for a bachelorette party, Thunder from Down Under is a popular choice. Before Magic Mike Live at the Hard Rock, the Australian troupe were performing nightly, thrilling their audiences with a variety of comical and seductive acts. The all-male revue has been on the Strip since the early ’90s, and has performed at the Excalibur since 2001. While you can’t tip the performers, if you’re lucky you might find yourself on stage.
You can expect to see many strange things in Las Vegas, but you might not expect to see jousting. Inside the Excalibur, the Tournament of Kings provides a classic dinner theatre entertainment suitable for the entire family. Ticket prices include the three-course meal that comes with the show, but there is an option to buy a dinnerless ticket as well. If you arrive early, you can catch the open house prior to the show, where they demonstrate some of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into the show.
If you’re into all things scary, Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum is the place for you. Located in a house constructed in 1938, Zak Bagans invites paranormal enthusiasts into a museum filled with rooms that have taken inspiration from Hollywood films like The Possession. Bagans, who is also the host of TV show Ghost Adventures, frightens visitors through the hundreds of items of memorabilia, chilling hallways, and – of course – the unknown.