MuséeNevada State Museum, Las Vegas

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The Nevada State Museum showcases state history, desert life, nuclear testing, showgirl costumes, and the mobsters who controlled the Las Vegas Strip. If you want to brush up on your Silver State history or if you're a fan of old-school Vegas, then the Nevada State Museum is the place to be!

The museum features permanent exhibits, changing exhibits, education room, a research library, gift shop, lecture rooms and a banquet hall, complete with a spacious outdoor balcony overlooking the Strip.

The education room provides fun activities for kids and school groups including touchable exhibits, interactive crafts and other projects, and scavenger hunts.

The permanent exhibits take you through Nevada's geology, fossil and desert wildlife, as well as mining and railroad history. The "Dusk to Dawn" exhibit covers the Great Basin Desert of central and Northern Nevada. It features animal displays with dusk-like lighting and the sounds of desert animals. It's a different kind of Vegas nightlife!

Another highlight is the fossil collection which includes the ichthyosaur, Nevada's state fossil. This reptile swam in the seas of Nevada 225 million years ago and measured 48 feet long. Nearby is a life-size replica of a Columbian mammoth. Mammoths roamed the Tule Springs National Monument area in the northern part of the Las Vegas Valley thousands of years ago.

Early Nevada history exhibits feature railroads, including an interactive hand car, a Chinese temple, covered wagon, and other interesting artifacts. Mining is an important Nevada industry and you can explore the tools and technology of the mining profession and learn how metals like silver, gold and copper are formed. Or check out the fluorescent minerals! The museum also has exhibits about Native American inhabitants of Nevada.

Modern history exhibits highlight construction of the Hoover Dam, the Nevada nuclear test site , World War II history, the mob, and much more. The museum even showcases Howard Hughes.

Old slot machines, neon signs, poker chips, and other casino items bring back vintage Vegas. At the entrance to the museum you can stand next to the 15-foot Stardust Hotel Rocket time capsule.

Another fantastic piece of vintage Vegas is a fabulous display of showgirl costumes. Displayed on a shimmering sequined wall, the costumes and hats shine from oval windows. It's a treat to see these elaborate, colorful costumes up close.

The Changing Gallery rotates every three to four months. Exhibits have included photos of Nevada ranching life, Nevada art work, and a history of communications. The Curator Canyon also features changing exhibits of favorite items from the museum collections selected by the museum curators for display.

The Cahlan Research Library in te museum provides access to Nevada periodicals from 1905 to the present. The library also includes Nevada census records as well as historic Las Vegas records and documents.

The Museum Store has fun trinkets, art, jewelry, stuffed animals, tumbled rocks, and more.



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    4 out of 5 rating 03-30-2019

    Good idea! ... Izi. travel is fine for whetting a person's appetite about the museum. ... Can Friends also post videos here about their projects, too? ... For example, what about OMEKA project or new goals for Traveling Trunks (like adding a STEM-themed trunk)? ... Maybe more locals would participate in these projects if they viewed the videos?

  • Traveler

    3 out of 5 rating 05-05-2018

    This audio highlights tour is a fantastic idea --with mediocre implementation. it's not clear until several tracks in (should have been explained in the intro track), but each staff member was asked to talk about what their favorite thing in the museum is and why. I absolutely love this idea! Some of the tracks were pretty good, while others were much too short and conveyed new info. Needs more context: why is that object in the museum/how does it relate to NV? Also, audio quality varies widely.

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