The latest Las Vegas attraction, AREA15, is nearly as mysterious as the nearby alien site its name plays off. It’s meant to be.
It was sometime in 2018 when a few shovelfuls of dirt were tossed in a dusty desert lot and a big block building began to take shape. Although minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, and not far from the city’s bustling Chinatown district, it was a forgotten plot of land tucked neatly under a highway. That was until September 2020 when AREA15 revealed itself.
Guarded by artwork on the outside and bathed in black lights and dripping in bright neon inside, AREA15 is a trippy, interactive playground where virtual reality instantly becomes reality.
Entering AREA15 you’ll be transported into a kaleidoscope of color, light, and sound. Here, you can put back a drink under a 25-foot-tall glowing LED tree, soar like an eagle on a virtual reality ride, hang glide through the building, navigate a mirror maze, or toss axes—and that's just the half of it.
The experiences at AREA15 are meant to be fluid and will change over time to remain fresh. Future projects, according to investors, could include an arcade, escape room, and much more. Here is a rundown of what to expect in AREA15’s wild world.
Art & Experiences
- Art Island: The visual spectacle unfolds the minute you park and walk through Art Island, an outdoor gallery of avant-garde artwork, near the entrance. Take a few minutes to stroll by the massive Burning Man-esque art pieces.
- Omega Mart: Billed as an interactive superstore, Meow Wolf’s second permanent exhibition promises surprises throughout its 52,000-square-foot exhibition.
- Birdly: Lay flat on your stomach and flap your arms—you’re flying. Well, sort of. Birdly is a fun flight simulator that will have you feel the wind in your face (thanks to a small fan) as you soar in the sky above New York or another one of the digital landscapes.
- Haley’s Comet: For a real bird’s-eye view, hang glide over AREA15 on Haley’s Comet. The rollglider thrill ride is a lot like zip lining on roller coaster-like tracks anchored to the ceiling. And with two parallel tracks, you can race a friend.
- The Portal: Lights. Sound. Action. The 360 Experience is a 30-minute otherworldly escape that uses top sound and light technology inside a 360-degree projection-mapped room to immerse you in the experience.
- Museum Fiasco: A 12-minute audio-visual experience synchronizing sound, light, and music, “Cluster” creates abstract scenes that transform the room with the blink of a strobe light.
- Dueling Axes: “No beards or flannel required” is the motto for Dueling Axes. And if you like mixing your axe throwing with some food and drinks, then you’ve found a new sports bar. Dueling Axes has a beer and wine bar and 18 throwing lanes.
- Five Iron Golf: Devoted golfers will love the eight simulators, putting green, and access to teaching professionals. Those less serious can still take some swings before eating wings, enjoying the full bar, and playing shuffleboard.
- Wink World: Get lost in space. This dramatic installation from Blue Man Group’s Chris Wink is “equal parts psychedelic art house and carnival funhouse." View kinetic art pieces awash in black light while walking through six infinity mirror rooms.
Find your muse inside Wild Muse Boutique, packed with rave-ready apparel, candles, and wellness products. The shop features handcrafted jewelry, accessories, and eye-catching (and jaw-dropping) festival outfits.
Eat & Drink
- Oddwood: Sip coffee or a craft cocktail in a lounge under a 25-foot-tall digital Japanese maple. The art tree cycles through a series of colors as its 5,000 leaves (outfitted with 50,000 LED lights) twinkle while you savor drinks. Try the Willow, made with Ketel One Peach & Orange vodka, elderflower, lemon, and a champagne splash.
- The Beast Food Hall: James Beard Award-winning chef Todd English unleashed The Beast on AREA15. It features a rotating menu with items such as a chile lime watermelon salad, loaded fries with short rib ragù, Korean chicken wings, and a variety of sharable sliders.
- Emack & Bolio’s: Now Vegas gets their own outpost of Boston's favorite ice cream shop. Featured flavors like pumpkin, black raspberry chip, matcha, and fudge cake batter get scooped into specialized cones ringed with Fruit Loops, Oreos, or Golden Grahams.
- Rocket Fizz: Step back in time at Rocket Fizz—an old-fashioned candy and pop shop. Tubs of saltwater taffy and nostalgic candies line the walls where unusual soda flavors like green apple, strawberry, and black cherry are all the norm.
- Lost Spirits Distillery: Blending spirits and amusement rides, this large distillery will include whisky and rum tastings, boat rides, and a restaurant when it opens in early 2021.
Admission to AREA15 is free but a reservation is required. To reserve, or to purchase experiences, visit area15.com.