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“Enjoyable but Serious History Just Blocks From the Strip”

The National Atomic Testing Museum
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Ranked #78 of 467 things to do in Las Vegas
Certificate of Excellence
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Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This museum is devoted to the Nevada Test Site.
Reviewed 17 June 2014

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.

Thank Mary_Frances_From_TN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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850 - 854 of 1,342 reviews

Reviewed 15 June 2014

They have two exhibits: the atomic testing museum and the area 51. Area 51 is mainly about UFOs and related stuff. It's made up in a very sensational and speculative way and we found it a waste of time. Save the 6 extra bucks and go straight to the museum itself. This is indeed very interesting. You can easily spend at least 3 hours looking at all the pictures, movies and authentic artefacts. They give also many technical details, some on scientific level.
One could criticize that the negative aspects were treated rather superficially like the damages to the health of the soldiers and civilians affected or how the natives of the bikini islands were treated...
But still our bottom line: highly recomended

Thank Carlos C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2014

The history is really impressive and the theater presentation is a must to watch. Worth the fee and was very enlightening. Even my 13 yr/old learned from this

Thank hastw160
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2014

I came across this by accident. It was a good way to kill a few hours. Learned a lot. Was a bit empty. Don't know if I would go again.

Thank Barbara O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 June 2014

This is something that all history classes should have to teach!! Unbelievable!! Who knew what our tax dollars were doing and to our own people? I am sure that there was some good come of it somewhere but such a waist of life!

Review collected in partnership with Riviera Casino & Hotel
Thank LeisaF37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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