The Atomic Testing Museum is a good day time activity in Las Vegas, especially if you enjoy history or want to know more about the area than just the casinos. The museum is just a few blocks off the Strip, but I would drive or look into other modes of transportation as opposed to walking. I would allow myself about two hours to fully take in the exhibits, and maybe take some rest beforehand so that you can process the information and enjoy it.
We visited using a Groupon that was essentially two for one admission. This option has been on Groupon for months, so it would be wise to look into this if you plan on going. We did buy the extra pass for the Area 51 exhibit. I would suggest you skip the Area 51 exhibit, as I don't really think it belongs in a museum. It was speculative and perhaps fun, but it persisted of handwritten information on walls and arts and crafts projects that my elementary school aged children could have created. If you are a believer, it would be worth it, but for anything informational or actually based in fact, I would just go to the museum itself. The exhibit is supposed to close soon, and hopefully they bring in a more credible show.
I found the Atomic Testing Museum itself very enjoyable and informative. It is maintained in conjuction with the Smithsonian, which should be a signal of quality. There are many artificats and interactive options that are very interesting and engaging. In short: if you see a touch screen, go for it! I enjoyed all of the interactive elements. Also be sure to visit Ground Zero theater, which does shake and gives what I assume is a realistic experience of being there at a detonation site.
I thought that the positives and the negatives of atomic testing were well presented. Since so much testing was done in the area, it does feature it quite heavily, but there were several things, especially the film at the theater, that discussed the human and environmental impact.
If you are an enthusiast for this part of history or science, I recommend taking a visit to the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge, Tennessee if you ever make your way to East Tennessee. The AMSE presents the life and background of those who created and made the atomic weapons, and the Atomic Testing Museum explores the impact of the area and those who tested them.
I didn't really find anything of interest in the gift shop as it mainly ran more towards kitsch. I would say this attraction is suitable for mid to late teens, but some action may be too intense for young children. If you are interested in history and/or science, I would make this a detour during your Vegas trip.
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