Planning art into a Las Vegas, Nevada vacation can have you overwhelmed with amazing options. Even with all the entertainment options, sometimes you are looking for something else. If a show is sold out and your friends are looking to do something new during your Vegas vacation, add some art and culture.
Lucky for you, there are numerous things to do in Las Vegas and art can easily be incorporated. Those looking for fun art-related things should go to the arts district. But you can stay on the strip if you want to! This list has both options. Whatever you want out of your Las Vegas vacation, here are 10 art things to do in Las Vegas:
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The Lake of Dreams Show at the Wynn
The evening show “Lake of Dreams” creates a fantastic puppet light show for Wynn guests. The 90-foot waterfall has a giant singing frog, astronauts, and music to create an all-new show based on David Bowie’s Space Oddity. Make a dinner reservation on the lake-level patio at SW Steakhouse or Lakeside for the best views. Another option to see this complimentary show is to visit the Parasol Up or Down Lounges. Shows are every half hour from dusk to 11:30 p.m.
The Wynn is known for luxury and its art-loving owner of the same name. Unless you are a serious art collector, you will not be able to see the epic Wynn Fine Art collection. However, you will be able to view a fantastic floral display in the hotel atrium. So try that instead.
Fiori di Como by Dale Chihuly
Located in the lobby of the Bellagio, this world-renowned glasswork was created by Dale Chihuly. This is Chihuly’s largest sculpture, consisting of over 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers. What better way to spend time standing in line to check in to your Vegas hotel than by staring at this beautiful piece of public art? If you really fall in love, visit the Chihuly gift shop in the Bellagio (this is NOT a souvenir shop).
While here, you might as well head over to the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art (BGFA), which has hosted exhibitions such as “Picasso: Creatures and Creativity” and “Classic Contemporary: Lichtenstein, Warhol and Friends.” The entrance is located in the Promenade Shops across from the main pool entrance (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays).
Bliss Dance by Marco Cochrane
Created by Marco Cochrane in 2010 at Burning Man, Bliss Dance is a 40-foot tall stainless steel sculpture of a dancing woman. At night, l.e.d. colored lights change the color of the woman as viewers interact with the colors via iPhone. Initially, the sculpture left Black Rock City for a chance at life in San Francisco, which did not last very long. Ultimately, Bliss Dance made it back to its current home in the desert at The Park at MGM Resorts. While you are in this area, check out Akhob, a “shoes-off” silent immersion light show inside the City Center Louis Vuitton store by James Turrell.
Seven Magic Mountains
Located 10 miles south of Las Vegas, Seven Magic Mountains is a temporary public art installation off interstate 15. Created in by Ugo Rondinone, this piece has seven stacks of boulders painted in bright colors. The work honors land art while offering a critique of Las Vegas. It is one of the easiest land arts to access in Nevada, while still being far enough away to make you pack sunscreen, water and snacks. There are no services on this piece of BLM land, so plan accordingly.
Meow Wolf Las Vegas – Omega Mart
Located inside AREA15 (a play on the famously secretive Area 51) is Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart, a permanent installation that is also an immersive interactive art experience. Omega Mart is a grocery store that is not really a grocery store, and yes you can purchase the items. Play the game and you will follow employee training through secret portals and new landscapes. Purchase tickets in advance and plan for at least a few hours. If you follow the clues to choose your own adventure, do not be surprised when you suddenly realize you have been exploring Omega Mart for 8 hours. Santa Fe’s Meow Wolf is a leader in art experiences, and their Vegas location is a must.
Pro Tip: Wear closed-toed shoes so you can enjoy the slides!
Visit/Stroll the Las Vegas Arts District
The 18 block Las Vegas Arts District is an alternative way to spend time in Las Vegas. Located just past the Container Park is where you can continue your art journey. There are numerous places to eat, drink and view art in this area. Whether you want to learn more about Burlesque performers, sing your heart out at a karaoke bar, or hug your inner nerd at the Millenium Fandom Bar, there are so many things to do in the least Vegas-y part of vegas. If you want to walk around, start at The Arts Factory, where you can find local artists to support.
Tip: Visit on the first Friday of the month for an all-ages event full of vendors, live music, & art.
The Mob Museum
Take a break from the strip and visit The Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas. While not explicitly art, this museum is all about organized crime and law enforcement in the United States. Plan on an hour minimum for the highlights, but add even more time to learn about Al Capone and some of the most famous cases, including Bugsy Siegel (who built the Flamingo). You will learn how organized crime shaped the country (including Las Vegas), and what law enforcement continues to do against it today.
Purchase Deluxe or Premier tickets in advance for access to the Museum & the Underground Distillery, for access to a tour & tasting. Check the Undergound Distillery’s IG for the day’s password to enter the distillery through the side door entrance. This is best if you have already toured the museum. Enjoy a Rasberry Lavender Fizz (non-alcoholic) or Ginger Jake (alcoholic) with a hummus plate if you miss out on a tasting. Always check the museum website in advance to ensure the building is open to the public as private events are frequently hosted.
Las Vegas Downtown Container Park
Located downtown on Fremont street, the Downtown Container Park is an open-air area filled with restaurants, stores, and a treehouse jungle gym. Visit at sunset to watch The Mantis, a 40-foot tall steel sculpture of a Praying Mantis by Kirk Jellum. And yes, The Mantis sprays fire on beat (keep this part to yourself and watch your travel companions react!). No parking on-site. There are metered parking spots across the street, and the Duece stops nearby. And yes, The Mantis is another Burning Man art exhibit that found its home in vegas.
The Neon Museum
A visit to Las Vegas is not complete without seeing iconic signs like the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign or the Silver Slipper. The Neon Museum collects and preserves Las Vegas art signs on the property. They even light up at sunset in the Neon Boneyard. A tour will be the best way to experience the museum, but there are numerous public art installations throughout the city as well.
Art-o-mat Vending Machine
Instead of gambling in Las Vegas, grab an art pack at the art-o-mat. These repurposed cigarette vending machines now offer original art. These art installations can be found all over the world, but there is one inside the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. Bring a 5 dollar bill for a packaged piece of art that can be anything from paintings to jewelry. If you get distracted by the Cosmos chandelier, you can always grab these packs of art on the Art-o-mat website or search for a machine in your area.
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