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Las Vegas’s Neon Museum and Boneyard

In downtown Las Vegas, there’s a nonprofit that’s literally electrifying the city’s history. It’s the Neon Museum, also called the Neon Boneyard, and it’s committed to collecting, displaying, and in some cases, restoring the iconic signs of The Strip from decades ago.

Established in 1996, The Neon Museum has grown into three branches: the outdoor Neon Boneyard, the Las Vegas Signs Project, and the Downtown Gallery. Tours last 45 minutes to an hour, and general admission for adults is $18. The tour guide’s knowledge brings the personal story of each sign to life, as the outdoor museum does not include labels or information boards with the collection. You’ll want to stop inside the museum’s clamshell-shaped gift shop (the exterior of which was salvaged from La Concha Motel), to pick up a book detailing the history and significance of the signs and how casinos have evolved over the decades.

The museum offers more than tours–if getting hitched at a neon chapel isn’t your thing, opt for a classier ceremony at the Neon Museum. The museum hosts “neon nuptials” and other events with a reservation and fee. You can also support the museum with a $500 donation which will result in your name being carved into one of the museum’s paver stones.

The museum features both unrestored and restored/electrified collections. Wear your closed-toe shoes and beware of possible broken glass and rusty metal, as the signs are exposed to the elements. Be sure to look for the Stardust and Silver Slipper signs, relics of iconic casino-hotels from the 1950s. Feeling iconic yourself? Film and photo shoots can be arranged in advance.

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