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Geeking Out in Vegas: Sin City Hot Spots for Nerds, Flickr: mwichary

Pinball Hall of Fame


There is something for everyone in Las Vegas. From the families to the bachelorettes and everything in between, there is no shortage of activities to fit every niche. Even the geeks. From comic book stores to antique toy museums and even a Sci-Fi Center, Vegas has got the geeks covered.

Today, we’re giving you some of the best places in Vegas to get your geek on, thanks to Pj Perez, who won’t say he’s a geek, but his tattoos of superheroes and robots say otherwise. The maybe geek is a writer (check out BleedingNeon.com), illustrator, musician, editor and social media wrangler … and has lived in Las Vegas for 20 years.

Whether you’re just embracing your inner geek, or a full on geek, these are the spots in Vegas perfect for you:

Alternate Reality Comics – This Off Strip spot isn’t too far from the main action and can easily be visited via cab. Or, for those who want to pound the pavement, head there on foot (but it is a hike). According to Perez, it’s the best comic book store the city has and has a fantastic selection of independent comics, kids, adult and superhero comics. Plus, there’s an art gallery displaying works from local artists, along with original comic book art.

HellPop! – Located inside the Arts Factory in the 18B Arts District, HellPop! Is the newest comic shop to the Strip with a focus on back issues of comics. Every first Friday of the month, this part of town comes alive with live music, arts and general festiveness. It’s a fantastic place to visit, not just for geeks, but for anyone who wants to experience Las Vegas beyond the tourist hot spots.

Sci-Fi Center Las Vegas – It may not be in the most attractive part of town, but the Sci-Fi Center in Commercial Center is the place the hardcore nerds visit. “If you speak Klingon, this is the place for you,” said Perez. An added bonus? Commercial Center has some of the most eclectic places to visit in town, including fetish stores, churches, swingers clubs, gay bars and one of the most acclaimed Thai restaurants in Vegas.

Pinball Hall of Fame – South from Alternate Reality Comics is the Pinball Hall of Fame. “Anyone who loves classic arcade games must make a pilgrimage here to this living museum at least once,” said Perez. Located nearby University of Nevada, Las Vegas, this spot is a treasure trove of antique pinball machines which date back to the 1950s. There’s also a sweet selection of classic arcade games like Donkey Kong and Tron. For those who want to stick to Las Vegas Blvd., there’s a smaller outpost of the Pinball Hall of Fame inside the Riviera. It’s not as stocked with games, but still an option.

Insert Coin(s) – Part bar, part arcade hall, this is some adults-only geek awesomeness. Head here to play arcade games, video games, chill to the DJ spinning tunes and have some liquor or PBR. Weekends, this Fremont East spot is the place to be for geeks, hipsters and the locals who flock here.

Las Vegas Toy Shack – Perez calls the Toy Shack (located in Fremont Street Experience), which is part antique toy museum, part store, a “hidden gem.” It’s pretty easy to see why – the attraction’s focal piece is the 7 ½ foot USS Flagg air craft carrier from the 19080s GI Joe: A Real American Hero toy line.

KidRobot – One of the hippest hotels on The Strip is getting in on the geek action with KidRobot. Located inside The Cosmopolitan, KidRobot offers limited-edition, artist-designed vinyl toys and figures. Even if you don’t plan to buy anything, a browse is definitely a must while at the hotel.

Zombie Apocalypse store – What would happen if zombies invaded Las Vegas? Well, if you had visited this store, you’d be safe. Located west of I-15 on Spring Mountain Rd., the Zombie Apocalypse store offers plenty of the necessary supplies to save yourself from a zombie invasion.


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photo: mwichary

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