A Geek’s Guide to Las Vegas
From its glamorous nightclubs to its gold-plated casino buffets to its spectacular floor shows, Las Vegas offers only-here things to do for all tastes—and that includes those whose idea of dressing up is a Starfleet uniform.
Here is a treasure trove of Las Vegas activities in or around the Strip where self-identifying nerds can experience all the classic delights of Sin City without completely leaving their comfort zone:
Bet Your Life Against the Undead
At its core, Zombie Apocalypse Store is a survivalist and sportsman shop—albeit one where you can stock up on everything from undead-specific weaponry to first-aid kits to targets that actually “bleed” when you shoot them. But its offbeat motif lurches to life every Friday and Saturday, when blood-spattered corpses claw their way out of the earth and engage players in ghoulish, elaborately costumed paintball battles. For an added Vegas spin, take wagers beforehand on who in your group gets devoured first.
Experience the Ultimate Thrill Ride: An Atomic Blast
Equal parts science exhibit and history museum (with a dusting of extraterrestrials), this Smithsonian Institution associate pulls back the curtain on our country’s nuclear weapons testing program. You’ll pick up a ton of helpful pointers on surviving an atomic bomb, and you’ll actually get to weather the aftershocks during a simulated blast in the Ground Zero Theatre. The museum also hosts rotating temporary exhibits (its current Area 51 exhibit teases fact from conspiracy theory) for extra nerd-points.
Play Dozens of Two-Handed Slot Machines
The New Pinball Hall of Fame
Beeps, bloops, and rattling clangs fill the air of every casino in Vegas. But inside the 10,000-square-foot New Pinball Hall of Fame, those sounds echo from more than 150 pinball machines, all curated and lovingly restored by owner Tim Arnold. The history is palpable, as some of these machines date back to the ‘40s, but Tim encourages visitors to touch—and play—every single one of these Hall-of-Famers, which include 52 classic arcade games as well.
Catch an Extreme Strip Show
For visitors with an interest in biology, Bodies… The Exhibition demonstrates the engineering marvel that is the human form. In keeping with Luxor’s ancient Egyptian aesthetic, Bodies showcases 13 actual human bodies mummified in moments of physical activity. You’ll discover exactly which muscles engage when a football player catches the pigskin, and what a lifetime of tobacco use looks like from the inside.
Party Like Medieval Royalty
Tournament of Kings | Excalibur Hotel
The thunder of two knights on horseback on a collision course. The crack of spears shattering shields. The roar of a crowd of hundreds, their cheers muffled by bites of Cornish game hen. This is the Tournament of Kings, the perfect end to a Vegas trip and the best way to make a time-traveler think he took a wrong turn. Costumed acrobats and jesters round out the lively atmosphere, but a malevolent fire wizard poses a looming threat to the festivities.