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Origen Museum

Flash Flood Exhibit

The name "Origen" was derived from two words: original and generations. As the interpretive focal point for history at the Springs Preserve, the Origen Museum features more than 75 permanent exhibits, an indoor theater and traveling exhibit space.

Wander and explore the connecting galleries, within which await documentary films, multimedia historical recreations, live animal habitats and much more. Some of the highlights to be found in the Origen Museum include:

Dino Summer

Adventure into the prehistoric world at Dino Summer daily, through Sept. 20! Visitors will witness an animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops, interact with state-of-the-art video game technology, take a journey in a Safari Jeep on a Jurassic Park-style narrated tour through a virtual dinosaur world, and more.

Eat or Be Eaten: Predators and Prey

The chase is on between desert predators and their prey—it's survival of the fittest! Join Springs Preserve zoologists and staff inside the cool confines of the Origen Museum for our live animal show, Eat or Be Eaten: Predators and Prey.

The rotating cast of animals will include: bugs, lizards, snakes and small mammals. Audience members will be invited to participate in trivia games to earn prizes.

Eat or Be Eaten: Predators and Prey takes place every weekend through Sept. 27 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Modernism at Risk Exhibition

A project of the World Monuments Fund Modernism at Risk program, Modernism at Risk consists of large-scale photographs by Andrew Moore, and interpretative panels with case studies exploring the role designers play in preserving modern landmarks. This exhibit is on display in our Big Springs Gallery through Sept. 6. Special thanks to the Nevada Preservation Foundation for their assistance in organizing the exhibition's visit to the Springs Preserve.

Want to know what else we've got in the works? See what's coming soon!

"Miracle in the Mojave"

Shown in our 156-seat Big Springs Theater, "Miracle in the Mojave," introduces visitors to the Springs Preserve. Narrated by Martin Sheen, the film explores the natural history of the region and takes an in-depth look at the importance of water in its development.

We also show entertaining educational films several times throughout each weekend inside the theater, with themes tied into each month's programming. Check our Events & Classes calendar for the current line-up.

Flash Flood

One of the Preserve's most popular exhibits, this theater space recreates a desert ravine, emulating the beauty and tranquility of the desert, until a thundering storm erupts. Suddenly, more than 5,000 gallons of recycled water rushes through a simulated canyon, crashing around and below your feet. Both exhilarating and educational, the Flash Flood exhibit will leave you with an appreciation for the awesome power of desert flash floods and their impact. View a video about our Flash Flood exhibit.

Live Animal Exhibits

View a video about our live animal exhibits.

  • Relict Leopard Frogs - Once thought to be extinct, the relict leopard frog is alive and well at the Springs Preserve. Come witness history, rediscovered. View a video about our Relict Leopard Frogs.
  • Lizard Habitat - Amongst the rocks and boulders housing several large exhibits, you'll find nine different species of lizards, including the chuckwalla, tiger whiptail and desert iguana.
  • Desert Cottontails -They're cute, they're fluffy, and they're so close you can almost touch them. Hopping about an exterior enclosure, these critters can be seen from a variety of perspectives, but perhaps the most fun is via a domed window from beneath the habitat!
  • Gray Fox - Though the nocturnal gray fox sleeps in its burrow during the day, you can see it through a small window inside a darkened rockwork cave.
  • Pocket Gopher - View an excavated trench exposing the network of burrows created by a Botta's pocket gopher.
  • Gila Monsters - Explore a grotto of large boulders to view Gila monsters in their burrows.

Land Auction

Immerse yourself in the famous 1905 land auction that set the stage for the boom town that Las Vegas would become. Life-sized, sculpted figures and audio narration from the "people" recreates the experience of the city's birth.

The Railroad

Step onto a recreated railroad car from the early 20th century as seated, sculpted figures tell stories about the early days of the railroad.

Native American Settlements

Explore the lives of the Las Vegas Valley's original inhabitants through a series of recreations, including an archaeologist's tent, a Puebloan dwelling room, a Patayan and Paiute garden, a group of Southern Paiute wickiups, and a Mojave pithouse.

Hoover Dam Exhibit

Learn about the history and construction of Hoover Dam in "Dam, This is a Lot of Work," an immersive experience tying together a short documentary film and a scaled recreation of the dam itself.

Video: Origen Museum


The Origen Museum speaks to the origin of our city and the generations that have passed through here.


Photos: Origen Exhibits

Origen Museum

Take a virtual tour of the exhibits featured inside the Origen Museum.

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