Amid all that glitters, Las Vegas has a soft side that abounds in cultural and historic experiences for groups who know where to look. An array of museums and venues—exploring everything from the city’s mob days to scientific breakthroughs—are ripe for the picking. The storied history of Las Vegas’ eye-catching signage—from Caesars Palace and Stardust to Binion’s Horseshoe—is on display at the Neon Museum, which along with numerous galleries, includes outdoor exhibition space called the Neon Boneyard. Spread over a 2-acre campus, over 200 neon signs explore the city from the 1930s onward. Most signs are exhibited in the Boneyard where they continue to inspire the artists who travel near and far to see them.
The Las Vegas Natural History Museum offers numerous backdrops sure to wow attendees. The museum teamed up with the Smithsonian in 2002, which has deepened the scope of its exhibits dramatically in terms of its cultural and educational offerings. Educational sessions include the “Paleo-Lab,” in partnership with the Geo-Science department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, which features paleontology demonstrations, while the Egypt Living History demonstration plunges groups into ancient Egypt with help from local actors. Groups can also have educational close critter encounters with the museum’s living collection, where biology, ecosystems and conservation are on the agenda. One of Las Vegas’ most popular museums by far is the Mob Museum, The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, featuring three floors of interactive exhibits on the sordid tales of some of the world’s most notorious mobsters. Las Vegas’ casinos lured in droves mobsters who sought to profit from the spoils of Sin City.
Themed meeting spaces sprawl across all three floors of the historic building, The Meet and The Courtroom spaces being the largest, with room for 200 people combined. Groups are free to meander through exhibits in between meetings, take in a mob-themed movie, or get down to brass tacks with a scavenger hunt to keep the creative juices flowing.
No less splashy, Madam Tussaud’s Las Vegas, located in The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, not only offers some of the best celebrity wax figures in town, but seven themed rooms for flip your wig back events. The Marvel Super Hero 4D Experience takes place in a 70-seat theatre where multisensory action spills into the room. Other spaces offer karaoke and sleek and swanky lounge seating.
Inside Madam Tussauds is a sports arena and TV show room, where groups can dress up as some of their favorite TV characters from the past.
Groups looking for a little R&R away from the city lights should check out Springs Preserve, a registered National Historic Place filled with award-winning gardens, exhibits and newly opened Butterfly Habitat with free-flying butterflies. Here, groups can enjoy guided garden walks and gardening workshops.
The Preserve also hosts several signature events throughout the year such as Mardi Gras Vegas, Green Living Expo and Run Away with Cirque du Soleil, where artists from the hit circus arts show run or walk a 5k with the community and provide plenty of music and acrobatic entertainment.