Las Vegas has no problem standing out, whether it’s with showgirls, its nightlife or the “what happens here, stays here” attitude it is famous for. The city’s propensity for novelty permeates its culture, from entertainment down to the unusual museums it offers. While there are plenty of other things to do in Las Vegas, visiting these unique galleries and shows should definitely make your list.
The Harry Mohney Erotic Heritage Museum
The Erotic Heritage Museum, located on Industrial Road across from the Trump Hotel, has been open since 2008. You can’t miss it; its pink and purple neon signage beckons visitors inside from behind the Las Vegas Strip. The museum pays tribute to the history of erotica in all forms and how it impacts society today.
Besides the variety of erotic painting and sculpture on display, the Erotic Heritage Museum offers a number of exhibits for its guests to interact with, including a collection of erotic objects from Catherine the Great and the World’s Largest Erotic Bicycle.
3275 Sammy Davis Jr. Drive, Las Vegas, NV, USA, +1 702-794-4000
Bodies: The Exhibition
A museum full of dead bodies may sound morbid at first, but Bodies: The Exhibition is anything but. It first opened in 2005, but its premier at the Luxor Hotel was in 2009.
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. Patrons get a close-up look at various organs in differing states of distress, such as smoker’s lungs and cancerous tumors. Due to the nature of the exhibit, patrons can choose to avoid certain rooms if they wish; side doors in each room will divert to the next display.
Titanic: The Exhibition
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. The entire exhibit takes between one to two hours and is family friendly. When entering the museum, visitors are given a replica of an actual Titanic passenger’s boarding pass. By the end of the tour, you find out if your “passenger” survived the wreck. The exhibit recreates different rooms of the famous ship, including the grand staircase. Photography is not allowed inside the museum.
3900 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV, USA, +1 702-262-4400
The Mob Museum
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 tells the stories of organized crime, and how they impact modern law enforcement, especially in Las Vegas.
Throughout the three floors of the museum, guests go on a self-guided tour. There is a wall dedicated to 100 years of “made men”, and a sound booth that plays real-life stories of La Cosa Nostra. Other displays include bullet fragments and a piece of wall from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
300 Stewart Ave., Las Vegas, NV, USA, +1 702-229-2734
Accessibility & Audience:Accessible (Wheelchair), Accessible (Deaf)
Services & Activities:Guided Tours, Gift Shop
Atmosphere:Indoors, Historical Landmark
Criss Angel’s Mindfreak Live!
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 as well. Acting as a replacement to Criss Angel’s beLIEve, which ran from 2008 to 2016, Mindfreak expands on his eponymous television show. With 3D special effects, motorcycle tricks and a troupe of beautiful dancers, it sets itself apart from the traditional Vegas magic show.
3900 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV, USA, +1 702-262-4400
The Neon Museum
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.
770 N Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV, USA, +1-702-387-6366
The Lion Habitat Ranch
At The Mirage, you get to pet dolphins. At the Lion Habitat Ranch, you get to see adult and lion cubs in a way that you can’t anywhere else in the city. Located south of the Las Vegas Strip, the habitat allows its patrons 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 also. You can also meet the only giraffe in the entire state—Ozzie, who paints.
382 Bruner Ave, Henderson, NV, USA, +1 702-595-6666
Thunder from Down Under
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 have performed at the Excalibur since 2001. You can’t tip the performers, but if you’re lucky you might find yourself on stage.
3850 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, USA, +1 702-597-7777
The Tournament of Kings
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 classic dinner theatre entertainment that is fun 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.
3850 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV, USA, +1 702-597-7777
Coming Soon: Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum
The host of Ghost Adventures is opening his own museum. His museum, located in a house originally constructed in 1938, is expected to open in the spring of 2017, and signs advertising the museum have begun to appear around the city. While few details are available through the museum’s website, Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum will be an interesting addition to the landscape of Las Vegas attractions.