Top Las Vegas Museums for an Offbeat Getaway

The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art will soon be home to a Picasso exhibit.
The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art will soon be home to a Picasso exhibit.

Clients visiting Las Vegas who may be in the mood for a change of pace beyond the gaming, fine dining, shopping and live entertainment can sample the city’s cultural side. Museums and such cover fine art, pop culture and some unique local history.

Regarding the latter, The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, has been named to numerous “must” and “best” lists by various media. It presents an authentic view of the Mob’s impact on Las Vegas history via engaging exhibits, high-tech theater presentations and more than 885 artifacts. Regular admission is $21.95 for adults ages 18 and over with special pricing for online purchase, children, seniors, military, law enforcement, Nevada residents and teachers.

Bonus: Couples can now get married at the museum. The overnight “Sleeping with the Mob” package begins with a wedding ceremony in the museum’s historic courtroom at 8 p.m., followed by appetizers and cocktails. It concludes at 9 a.m. the next day with continental breakfast. In between, the wedding party and guests enjoy a screening of “Casino,” a midnight Museum Scavenger Hunt, a courtroom slumber party for up to 50 guests and a lineup photo.

Paying tribute to Las Vegas’ glitzier side, the Neon Museum includes nine restored neon signs, such as Binion’s Horseshoe and The Silver Slipper, among others, that can be viewed as public art and visited on a self-guided tour 24/7. A highlight is the outdoor Neon Boneyard with more than 150 neon signs, six of which have been restored to date. The North Gallery houses additional rescued signs and is used for weddings, special events, photo shoots and educational programs. Hour-long docent-guided tours of the Boneyard are available seven days a week.

“G-Men” toys on exhibit at The Mob Museum.
“G-Men” toys on exhibit at The Mob Museum

Pop culture is the life blood of Las Vegas, so what better place for Madame Tussauds to set up shop? Now through December 31, your clients can be a VIP among the stars with a new all-inclusive party package. For $45 per person, it includes admission, sparkling wine or beer and a shot, a feather boa or mustache sunglasses and a guidebook. Regular admission is $29.95 for adults; $19.95 for children ages four through 12, and free for those three and under.

With more than 100 wax figures, Madame Tussauds, which is at The Venetian, allows guests to take pictures, touch and get up close in a themed setting. Visitors can relive “The Hangover” with Alan and Phil, pose for paparazzi with Lady Gaga, fight crime alongside Spider Man in the Marvel Super Heroes 4D Experience and more.

In addition to such establishments as the Contemporary Arts Center and the Big Springs, Centerpiece and Trifecta galleries, visitors may find art treasures inside their hotel.

The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, for example, has showcased such diverse artists as Claude Monet, David Hockney and Andy Warhol and it recently concluded a “Faberge Revealed” exhibit. Set to open next is “Picasso: Creatures and Creativity.” Running July 3 through January 10, it will reportedly include a large number of paintings, lithographs and linocuts from the Claude Picasso Archives. Bonus: Chef Julian Serrano’s Picasso restaurant at Bellagio features several of its namesake artist’s works for diners to behold.

The Cosmopolitan has an artist-in-residence program, a component of its larger art program, in which international and local artists are invited to create projects that are interactive and participatory, giving guests the opportunity to connect at an authentic and personal level.