Last Updated on March 22, 2022
The National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas documents and honors the history of the nation’s nuclear weapons program and the Nevada Test Site. History buffs and anyone with a curiosity about the atomic age will enjoy the interactive exhibits, history, and pieces of memorabilia and equipment that will offer a new perspective on our nation’s nuclear and military history.
About the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas
The Las Vegas Strip is filled with glitz, glamor, sparkling lights, and culture. When looking at the lights of the Strip at night, it’s hard to believe that just a few short minutes away is a museum that will blast you into history (pun intended).
Many people don’t know that Nevada is home to the United State’s main nuclear testing site and that the region has a long and complex history revolving around nuclear warfare. Throughout the past 50-plus years, much has happened in the realm of nuclear warfare, and the National Atomic Testing Museum stands as a collection of history and artifacts to help us understand it all.
The National Atomic Testing Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and welcomes visitors to explore the history of atomic testing in the twentieth century and beyond. Much of what is held in the museum focuses on testing that occurred in the desert areas outside of Las Vegas, but there’s also a comprehensive history of atomic and nuclear happenings around the country.
A tour through the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a cool part of history, but it also brings into reality many parts of history that we’ve only heard about and imagined. This is a great adventure for history buffs, families, and the curious. Many of the exhibits will have your heart racing and pulse-pounding as you take part in the retelling of our nuclear history.
Exhibits & Collections
The exhibits and collections at the Atomic Testing Museum are diverse and span the entire atomic era, starting with the very first test at the National Test Site in 1951. The museum documents history from that point forward to the present with numerous displays devoted to prominent moments and memorabilia, including the history of atomic bombs and the Manhattan Project.
Another attraction that gets lots of attention is the Ground Zero Theater which offers an interactive experience and allows visitors to witness an atmospheric nuclear test. In addition to all of these, you can see interesting pieces of history, including a massive B-53 bunker-buster bomb from nearly 60 years ago, a piece of the Berlin Wall, and scrap metal from the World Trade Center, among other exhibits.
Ticket Price & Admission
General Adult Admission
Youth (7 to 14)
Seniors 62 and Over
General admission tickets for adults start around $22, with children ages 7-14 receiving a discount. Children ages six and under are admitted for free. There are also discounts for seniors, students, active military, and Nevada residents. Be prepared to show a valid ID to verify residency or age for these discount passes. Prices are always subject to change.
Children are welcome into the museum, but anyone under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Also, keep in mind the nature of the museum. There are displays and memorabilia from nuclear tests and other things like atomic bomb displays. This is definitely an enriching, history-drench experience, but young children might have difficulties grasping some of the concepts that the museum covers.
Location & Hours
The Atomic Museum is located at 755 E Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV. It’s located just shy of two miles from the Las Vegas Strip.
Currently, the museum is open Thursday-Tuesday for self-guided tours. Most days, the museum opens at 9:30 and closes at 3:30, but hours may change, so it’s best to check directly with the website or the museum for up-to-date information when planning your visit.
To really give yourself time to appreciate each exhibit and the artifacts (and peruse the gift shop!), you’ll want to give yourself at least one to two hours if you want to thoughtfully explore each display. The last check-in is about an hour and a half before the museum closes.
Explore Science and History at the Atomic Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada
Not far from the Las Vegas Strip sits a museum that honors the history and offers a different perspective on atomic warfare. Lovers of history will find the compelling collection of memorabilia to be one of the most fascinating ever seen. Step away from the typical Sin City scene, and step back into the past with this one-of-a-kind museum.