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Is The Neon Museum Better Day or Night? (Neon Boneyard)

Is The Neon Museum Better Day or Night

Vegas is a cornucopia of interesting, wholly unique tourist attractions. While travel experts may disagree on what sites you should see while visiting Las Vegas, there is no question that the Neon Museum is a can’t-miss. However, visitors often ask: Is the Neon Museum better day or night? When should I visit?

The Neon Museum is better at night since the exhibits are located outside. By going when it is dark out, you’ll be able to see the restored neon signs lit up in all their glory. However, going during the day will allow you to better see the non-restored signs in the museum’s Neon Boneyard. 

Are you planning a visit to the Neon Museum in Las Vegas? This article will tell you what you need to know to make your incredible experience at the attraction even better, regardless of what time you visit. 

Visiting The Neon Museum at Night (Lighted Neon Signs!)

Visiting The Neon Museum at Night
Just after sunset, the collection of signs takes on a magical quality.

While the Neon Museum has several exhibits inside, it’s the Neon Boneyard outside that visitors really come to see. The Neon Boneyard consists of hundreds of historic neon signs from Las Vegas’s past. When a casino or well-known business in Vegas is demolished, its sign is added to the collection of signs in the boneyard.

When the sun goes down, the lights come up.

Nighttime Visits to the Neon Boneyard (Guided Tour)

Without a doubt, nighttime visits to the Neon Museum boneyard are the most popular. This, of course, is because you can only see many of the neon signs lit up properly in all their glory at night when it’s dark.

A nighttime visit to the Neon Museum consists of a 45-minute guided tour through the outside boneyard. Here you will see numerous lighted signs that have been fully restored and operate just as they did when first installed on a casino or local business.

Visiting the Neon Museum During the Day

Visiting the Neon Museum During the Day
There’s lots to see during daylight hours at Las Vegas’s Neon Museum.

While there are hundreds of signs in the boneyard, the vast majority of them have not been restored, meaning that they no longer light up. It’s for this very reason that you will be able to better see a lot more of Las Vegas’s historic signs when you visit during the day.

Daytime Visits to the Neon Boneyard (Explore on Your Own)

A visit to the Neon Boneyard during daylight hours will allow you to see all sorts of different signs that you may not be able to see very well or at all at night. Admission to the Neon Museum during daylight hours will allow you to explore the entire main boneyard at your own speed.

Daytime visits consist of a self-guided tour where you will have an hour to walk the outside area on your own, take pictures, and revel in some Vegas history. It’s true that after dark, you’ll see some of the restored signs on the property fully lit up, but you will miss out on seeing the vast majority of signs that you can see during the day.

Note: After sunset, some of the un-restored signs are lit up by ground lighting.

Neon Museum Las Vegas (What It’s All About)

The visitor center at the Neon Museum Las Vegas
The Neon Museum’s Visitor Center building itself was part of the historic La Concha Motel. The La Concha Hotel was demolished in 2005, and the lobby was saved and moved to its current location to become the Neon Museum’s visitors center.

You’ve undoubtedly heard the excitement surrounding the famous Neon Museum in Las Vegas, but is it worth the hype? Well, with 800 neon signs and parts of signs on the property, you’re sure to find something amazing and probably something you recognize from old Vegas.

There are four components to the Neon Museum:

  • The Neon Boneyard Main Collection
  • The North Gallery
  • Public Art
  • Special Exhibits

Here is more information on the different aspects of the Neon Museum. 

The Neon Boneyard

Even the museum's Boneyard Park sign is cool!
Even the museum’s Boneyard Park sign is cool!

With hundreds of unrestored neon signs, the Neon Museum is devoted to keeping the history of neon signs alive in Las Vegas. The museum is a non-profit and works with limited funds to preserve and restore local signage while making it available to the public in the Neon Boneyard and around town.

Many of the old signs that you see lit up while driving downtown and on Las Vegas Blvd. once sat in disrepair in the boneyard. Respecting and displaying this rich history is what the museum and boneyard are all about. 

Even just driving by the museum in the dark, you’ll get to experience some of these signs fully lit up.

The North Gallery

The North Gallery of the Neon Museum is an offshoot of the Neon Boneyard. It holds even more unrestored neon signs and, more notably, is the site of Brilliant. Brilliant is a 25-minute long, 360-degree, fully immersive experience featuring lights and sound. It can be visited for an extra cost and is best seen at night.

Although you can visit Brilliant whenever the museum is open, the neon lights are especially dazzling at after dark.

The North Gallery is also available to reserve for events such as weddings

RELATED: I’ve written another complete guide on the Brilliant Experience at the Neon museum. Read it before going to the museum. [What is the Brilliant Experience at the Neon Museum?] (Coming Soon)

Public Art

Hacienda Horse and Rider Neon Sign was
Hacienda Horse and Rider is a historic sign refurbished and on display downtown for everyone to see.

The work that the Neon Museum has done is not limited to the property the museum sits on. There are several fully-restored neon signs erected and lit up throughout the streets of Las Vegas. This is an excellent (and free) way to take a self-guided tour of some historical, breathtaking Vegas neon. 

The best area for seeing these refurbished and fully operational signs is to walk or drive around downtown on and around Fremont Street.

Although the signs are captivating during all hours, you can truly experience the wow factor of the neon bulbs lit up at night.

Special Exhibits

As with any art museum, the Neon Museum sometimes features special exhibits from neon artists and other creatives. If you’re an art lover, these exhibits are a must-see. The museum has featured many artists over the years.

When Is the Neon Museum Open? (Day & Night Hours)

Stardust sign at The Neon Museum boneyard in Las Vegas.
Many of you will recognize the famous Stardust sign from the Stardust Resort & Casino, demolished in 2006.

The Neon Museum’s hours of operation change from season to season and are as follows:

Seasonal DatesNeon Museum Hours
November 1st – February 28th2 PM – 10 PM
March 1st – April 30th3 PM – 11 PM
May 1st – August 31st4 PM – Midnight
September 1st – October 31st3 PM – 11 PM

No matter the season, the Neon Museum is open to accommodate a daytime or nighttime visit. Please note, however, that what is considered daytime and nighttime hours change month by month as the sun sets at different times. When you buy tickets on the museum website, you’ll be able to choose your time.

The museum’s public art displays situated around the Strip and Fremont street are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Note: The museum is not open during morning hours.

Should You Buy Tickets to the Neon Museum in Advance? (Yes!)

Because the Neon Museum is a popular attraction and is also available to reserve for private events, I highly recommend planning ahead for your visit by purchasing admission tickets. You can purchase tickets to the Neon Museum for any date the museum is not hosting a private event.  

Does the Neon Museum Have Private Tours?

The Neon Museum may offer one of the most unique private tours in Las Vegas. With this helicopter tour (Viator), you’ll enjoy the view of the city from above before coming back to Earth and enjoying an evening tour of the museum’s restored neon signs. 

Are you interested in learning more about Vegas’ rich history? You can book this Vintage Vegas group tour and enjoy a seven-hour private tour with professional photographs. The tour’s finale is at the famed Neon Museum and Neon Boneyard. 

Are Children Allowed at the Neon Museum?

The Neon Museum is a family-friendly attraction that welcomes visitors of all ages. While many parts of Las Vegas are anything but kid-friendly, you can rest assured that this particular museum is excellent for kids and adults alike. 

Are Pets Allowed at the Neon Museum?

There are no pets allowed at the Neon Museum. Service animals are permitted according to Nevada’s state regulations. Additionally, the property is accessible for disabled folks and fully compliant with ADA regulations.

Can You Take Photos at the Neon Museum?

Can You Take Photos at the Neon Museum
The old Hard Rock Cafe giant guitar sign resides in the neon boneyard.

Phones and tablets are permitted for taking pictures for personal use during your time at the Neon Museum. That said, taking pictures for editorial or commercial use is strictly forbidden. Pro-quality digital and film cameras are also prohibited.

However, the Neon Museum does have specific photo walks, which is a great opportunity for photographers to take professional-level photos of the exhibits for personal use only. During the allotted photo walks, cameras, tripods, and other photography equipment are permitted within the museum. 

Location of The Neon Museum (Near Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas)

The Neon Museum is located in downtown Vegas on Las Vegas Boulevard, north of the area known as the Strip. Head north on Las Vegas Blvd (approximately 3 miles past The Stratosphere) to: 770 N Las Vegas Blvd.

Final Thoughts

Visiting the Neon Museum at any time will leave you entertained and intrigued, but visiting after dark will allow you to see the hard work of the neon restoration team in all its glory. Here are a few must-see aspects of the Neon Museum:

  • Public art 
  • The Brilliant show at the museum
  • The Neon Boneyard
See the neon lights at night.

No matter when you visit, you will see a spectacular display of neon signs and learn more about Vegas’ rich history.

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