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Illuminarium Las Vegas Review: Everything you need to know

If you’re looking for an incredibly unique immersive experience, you have to check out the Illuminarium Las Vegas. The stunning visual effects glow brighter than the Las Vegas Strip.

​If you’re visiting Sin City, check out all of our Las Vegas posts for more help planning your trip.

A planet in space with the words "Illuminarium Las Vegas Review" digitally written on top.

Pete is obsessed with space. Obsessed. He will sit for hours watching YouTube videos about the universe and black holes and quantum physics … and I will wish upon a shooting star when I see one. We are not the same.

So when I booked tickets for us to go to the Illuminarium in Las Vegas, it was most definitely for Pete. The Illuminarium is a 4D immersive experience in AREA15, currently showing SPACE. You take the Hubble Space Telescope, virtually, into outer space, view planets, walk on the moon.

Honestly, I don’t know who enjoyed it more.

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We were able to get a discount to the Illuminarium using points from the MyKonami app. That’s a great way to save in Vegas. Find out more in our Saving In Las Vegas With The MyVegas Slots App post.

Illuminarium Las Vegas Review

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Immersive experiences have been popping up all over lately. Literally popping up. They’re often pop up experiences that pop up somewhere, very often announced with a minimal amount of details (like you often purchase your tickets without even knowing exactly where the experience will take place). And then, after their stint is over, they’re gone.

They’re one of those cultural moments that everyone is simultaneously experiencing.

The Illuminarium building in AREA15 in Las Vegas.

The Illuminarium is different in the sense that it’s a standalone building in AREA15 in Las Vegas (there are two other locations, another in the United States (in Atlanta) and one in Canada (in Toronto), but this review is focused on the Las Vegas location). But, other than that, it’s similar to other immersive experiences, if you’ve been to them. And if you haven’t, you’re in for a treat.

When you enter the Illuminarium, there’s a the Lumin Café & Kitchen, an indoor cafe, and a full bar with outdoor seating and a covered patio, to entertain you while you wait for your showing.

You can see either Space or Wild, depending on the day you go. The day we went, only Space was showing (which is all we wanted to see), so I’m not quite sure how it goes on a dual projection day.

​So, let’s focus on space.

A man dressed like an astronaut in front of a projection of space at the Illuminarium Las Vegas.

When it’s your showtime, you walk through a door into a room with lots of seating. An astronaut introduces you to the experience. He gives you a brief overview of what’s going to happen and you watch some screens around you, while you’re sitting in a comfy seat, as you “lift off” into space.

It feels a lot like an IMAX movie. And a lot like the Illuminarium is going to be underwhelming. Because if you were going to sit and watch screens around you, well, you should have just gone to the IMAX and saved a bunch of money.

And then, just as your wallet is starting to wonder if you can decline the charge … the astronaut is like, “And your time with me is over. Run to the light, Carol Anne. Take one giant leap out that door.”

Okay, fine. He doesn’t say that. But he does say that he’s done with you and points to an open door and sends you on your way.

And once you walk through that door into the main area, you realize this experience is worth every. single. penny. you paid for it.

A planet on a wall and projections on the floor, inside of the Illuminarium Las Vegas.

You’re still in a room, just a different room. And there are still seats, just different seats. And there are screens, just different screens. That’s where the similarities stop.

When you’re in the new room, you’re completely surrounded by screens that are projecting stars and galaxies and information about space. The projections, which are incredibly clear, are on the screens on the walls — some of which are curved, some of which are layered — and extend on the ground across to the screens behind you. So you’re fully immersed in the exhibit. It’s definitely a sensory overload because you want to see it all, but you don’t know where to look.

​Everywhere. You want to look everywhere.

A woman standing with the surface of the moon projected behind her at the Illuminarium Las Vegas.

The visuals are spread across all the screens, which are completely encompassing you. You can watch things like satellites go from one screen to another so seamlessly, just like it’s flying by you. You see all the planets, if you spin around.

It’s basically like looking through a VR headset … without the headset. It’s done on such an extraordinary scale that it’s just incredible.

People stepping on a projection of a rocket and flames coming out at the Illuminarium Las Vegas.

But it’s not just your eyes that get in on the fun. The floor is interactive too. At points, you can step on a rocket’s engine and the flames follow you around.

A man walking on a projection of the surface of the moon and footsteps are behind him.

On the surface of the moon, you can walk and leave your footprints. In space, you step on moonrocks that explode under your feet.

Now, the actual sync between stepping and action is a little delayed, so it leaves a little to be desired. But still. You’re leaving footprints on the moon. Who cares if they lag a little.

And, let’s talk a little bit more about that floor. I’ve read a lot about the in-floor vibrations at the Illuminarium, using haptic systems (which I’m not at all familiar with, but if you click that link, that article is actually pretty interesting and describes them in a palatable way). But, I didn’t notice the floor vibrating at all. I’m pretty sure that only happens during Wild: A Safari Experience. That virtual safari experience also uses scent systems, which you don’t get during Space.

Venus projected on the wall at the Illuminarium Las Vegas.

Every six or so minutes, if I had to guestimate, the scenes change. You’re still in the depths of space, often still seeing the moon, but it’s the moon in the future. Or it’s the astrological signs. Or it’s technicolor nebula. The scenes change quick enough so that you’re not bored, but remain long enough that you have a chance to really walk around and check it all out.

And you need to walk around. If you spend the whole time in one spot, you’ll miss the scenes hidden in the nooks and crannies of the walls. Like the scenes from the actual James Webb Space Telescope that were used as a basis for the realistic projection you’re seeing.

Stephan's Quintet HCG 92 projected on the wall at the Illuminarium Las Vegas.

Sometimes there are explanations and definitions on the walls, so you see the image and then it explains what you’re looking at. For me, with my very limited knowledge of space (I’m still in the Pluto Is A Planet camp), the educational part wasn’t my favorite. But Pete appreciated it.

What we both really loved was the music. Songs like David Bowie’s Space Oddity fit perfectly and add to the experience. It doesn’t detract at all (even when it caused me to dance all over).

The inside of the Illumarium Las Vegas.

​The full loop of scenes is about 50 minutes before a countdown to the next rocket launch begins.

You can stay through another loop if you want. Really, if you want, you’re able to stay all day. 

We stayed for a little bit of the second loop, but then we left, leaving space for the next crowd (no pun intended, but you like what I did there, didn’t you).

A rocket launch projected on screens with the countdown at 00:00:08 at the Illumarium Las Vegas.

Illuminarium Las Vegas: Frequently Asked Questions


3246 W Desert Inn Rd (in AREA15)

Phone Number:

(725) 527-3100


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 11 am to 4 pm; Wednesday and Sunday: 5 pm to 11 pm; Friday and Saturday: 11 am to 7 pm.

Space After Dark happens Monday through Friday from 8 pm to midnight.

How much are tickets to the Illuminarium?

Standard tickets are $35 for adults and $30 for kids. 

For an extra $15, you can upgrade to VIP tickets, which include a poster and a $10 voucher for the café or shop.

Can you get discounted tickets for the Illuminarium?

You can get discounted tickets on (they’re currently 25% off).

I redeemed points from the MyKonami Slots app (which is a free slot machine app for iPhone and Andoid) for a free standard ticket.

How long does it take to go through Illuminarium Las Vegas?

It takes just under an hour, from start to finish, if you stay through one loop of the video.

Is the Illuminarium good for kids?

The Illuminarium is definitely a family-friendly experience. We saw a bunch of families with kids inside. The younger children were definitely more interested when the experiences were happening on the ground (they loved popping the moon rocks).

It’s a little expensive to bring your family, but it’s Las Vegas. There aren’t that many things available for kids there, so you definitely need to enjoy the family-friendly activities that are there.

​Is the Illuminarium worth it?

I absolutely loved it. I’m not even that interested in space, and it was definitely an unforgettable experience. The way that you’re transported and immersed in the visuals is unlike anything I’ve experienced before.

Personally, I would love to go back and check out the Wild exhibit. I’m never going to get to South Africa, so it would be incredible to go on a virtual African safari. To see the world’s most exotic animals, even though they’re just projections, and be immersed in that would just be so cool.

What is Space After Dark?

The Illuminarium turns into a nightlife venue and hosts a Space After Dark experience for adults (21+), which includes a selection of specialty cocktails and small bites. Tickets are $35 (or $45 and include one of the signature cocktails, which is worth it since the cocktail Pete bought when we were there was $16).

The Illuminarium used to host the Ultra Lounge on Saturday nights from 9 pm to 2 am, which was for adults (21+) and had a DJ playing music while you sip cocktails in night markets of Tokyo and floral gardens of France. Tickets aren’t currently available for that, but I haven’t found anything that said it’s closed completely. So don’t plan your trip around that, but keep it in the back of your mind.

Is there a parking lot?

There is a parking lot behind the Illuminarium. It’s free, which is really nice because parking in Las Vegas can get expensive.

You can leave your car there and walk over to AREA15’s main building, which houses Omega Mart, indoor golfing, restaurants, and more.

AREA15 is also where Lost Spirits Distillery & Circus is. If you’re looking for something else mind blowing to do in Las Vegas, that’s it. It’s basically a burlesque Circus du Soleil which we really enjoyed.

Have you been to the Illuminarium Las Vegas? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.