Grown-Up Field Trip: Las Vegas Neon

Hop a bus from LA and see all the shiny, shiny lights of the Strip.

WHAT WAS YOUR LAST FIELD TRIP? We're not talking about any school trip you might have chaperoned or volunteered on. What was the very last field trip you took as a kid? It might have involved a visit to a dairy or a museum to see how geologists study very old rocks. But we'll wager it happened during the daytime and it probably happened during the morning hours. Correct? Very few field trips happen at night, and if they do, well. You probably need to be age 21 or over. Unfortunately those don't come around all that often, but when they do? They sparkle, they twinkle, and they probably take place in Sin City.

UNDER THE NEON, THAT IS... Regardless of what new hotels or restaurants debut in America's Adult Playground, and what LED-type whizbang signs they put up, neon will always be associated with Las Vegas. So much so there's a still new-ish Neon Museum near downtown Vegas. And so much so that the Museum of Neon Art, which is based in Southern California, organizes an annual overnight field trip to study and admire the neon of the Nevada city. And that field trip is just ahead, on Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28, when the Neon Cruise rolls.

PLAZA HOTEL OVERNIGHT: Nope, you won't be staying up all night, driving around, looking at neon -- your $250 fee nabs you a room at the Plaza near downtown (and all of that iconic signage). You'll also get a bus ride from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on Saturday (and back on Sunday) and a four-hour nighttime tour of the city's best and weirdest signs. Your guides? Zed Adams and J. Eric Lynxwiler, two smarties who know a lot about art and urban settings. Your fellow travelers? Neon lovers, all, of course, and people interested in advertising, mid-century design, and funky iconography. You'll be back in LA by 6 p.m. on Sunday, with a little time to  yourself to play in Sin City (or even revisit some of the signs you saw the night before).

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