Local News


Fun ways to explore the history of Downtown Las Vegas

Posted at 11:33 AM, Jul 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-24 17:23:31-04

Looking for a summer activity that will hook your interest? Nevada offers a rich and often surprising history – with many incredible stories originating in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas.

You can experience this history firsthand, by exploring three Las Vegas nonprofits that embrace Nevada’s past and offer a fun escape Downtown: The Mob Museum, the Neon Museum, and The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

The Mob Museum

Housed inside a former courthouse where organized crime hearings actually took place, the Mob Museum offers a bold and authentic view of organized crime’s impact on Las Vegas history, as well as its unique imprint on America and the world.

Visitors can experience the real stories and events of mob history, via interactive and engaging exhibits. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Neon Museum

The Neon Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs. Immerse yourself in these glittering Las Vegas artifacts at the museum’s Neon Boneyard, where you can learn the unique stories of each sign during hour-long guided tours.

Tours are available seven days a week, with times varying per season.

Free tours at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts

The Smith Center might be just five years old, but the story and architecture of this world-class performing arts center have deep ties to Southern Nevada’s history. This includes its stunning Art Deco architecture, inspired by the Hoover Dam as a lasting historical influence.

The Smith Center’s free tours, offered two to four times a week, offer the full scoop on many little-known facts about the center’s history, architecture and theaters.

Each tour lasts approximately 60 minutes. A reservation is required to attend a free Smith Center tour. To reserve a spot, visit www.thesmithcenter.com/your-visit/public-tours/. Or, call the box office directly at 702.749.2000.