Solve A Crime The CSI Way At CSI: Experience

By Heather Cassell

Tonight, fans of CSI will bid ado to the hit television crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, but not to the experience.

Wanna-be crime solvers and geeked out forensic sleuths can still capture the criminal in Las Vegas at the award-winning interactive exhibit, CSI: The Experience (MGM Grand Hotel & Casino; at the Studio Walk, 3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-891-1111; daily, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., last entry is at 8 p.m. for $28, based on the television series franchise.

For 15 years the TV show captured the drama behind crime scenes revealing how detectives and science work together to discover an unexpected series of circumstances and events to solve a crime. Alas, all good things come to an end and September 27, new episodes of the show will halt in a 2-hour series finally on CBS.

Since its first airing in 2000, the show inspired an untold number of forensic scientists, a traveling exhibit, and ultimately spin-offs with CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, and more recently the show that has Super G and me crawling out of our skins living in the heart of Silicon Valley, CSI: Cyber.

So, when Super G and I had the opportunity in Las Vegas to hunt down the criminals we jumped at having our own CSI experience.

Entering the crime scene lay out before us, I put on my investigative journalist hat and Super G put on her techie detective hat. Armed with our notepads and pencils and our observations skills we entered the briefing room where we learned about the TV shows origins and reason, listened to a real-life forensic scientist about construction of the exhibit using input from 175 forensic science experts, and finally our Captain Gil Grissom briefing us on the scene.

Examining the evidence in the lab at the CSI: The Experience at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo: Courtesy of CSI: Experience)
Examining the evidence in the lab at the CSI: The Experience at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo: Courtesy of CSI: Experience)

We were then set loose onto the crime scene. We noted the cigarette butts with lipstick, saw the maggots, but didn’t calculate the scientific value of them; noted the angle of the body, blood stains, examined the purse for finger prints and an identification, any money missing. We then listened to witnesses and then brought the information back to the lab to scrutinize and analyze our findings under the microscope and using our chemistry kits.

The exhibit takes you through each step with cast members of CSI asking questions and providing feedback on video monitors along the way. We also learned more about what it takes to solve a crime using science and technology.

The lab is where the real learning began for us. It was here that we learned how the foundations of science along with a number of practices in a variety of disciplines come together to help solve a crime. Super G was excited about guns analysis while I was more into the anthropology and toxicology. We were both fascinated by the latest technological strategies and tools used to discover truths beyond the surface.

Together, I have to say, we made a very good sleuthing team uncovering clues and unraveling the mystery. We geeked out, hi-fived each other when we got an answer right, and scored nearly 100% on solving the crime.

We won’t spoil your own experience by telling you what happened at the end of the crime story, what happens at The CSI: Experience, stays at The CSI: Experience … except for the memorabilia you take home with you from the shop.

What I can tell you is that Super G and I had a great time. This exhibit is for anyone, fans of the show to kids who like solving mysteries and putting pieces of a puzzle together. It was a good hour of fun and we learned something.

Oh, and the gang will still be on TV in reruns, I’m sure.

CSI: The Experience at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo:
CSI: The Experience at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo:


CSI: The Experience. MGM Grand Hotel & Casino at the Studio Walk, 3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South. Las Vegas, Nevada 89109. 702-891-1111.

HOURS: Daily 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Last admission: 8 p.m.)

TYPE OF EVENT: Interactive Exhibit, Based on a TV Show, Crime Exhibit

RATING: 3 = Aqua

(0 = worst – 5 = best)

VIBE: Fun. Plan to bring your brain and curiosity to this entertaining cerebral action packed crime solving exhibit.

SCENE: Interactive museum filled with adults and kids solving a crime.

NOISE LEVEL: This isn’t a library, but people are respectful of keeping the noise down as they focus on gathering clues and examining the evidence.

DAZZLE ME AGAIN: It’s truly a fun, immersive, crime solving experience that engages guests. It was the most hands-on exhibit I’ve ever been to.

THE TICKET: $$ = $10 – $30

(price of average ticket to enter the event)

WORTH THE OUTTING?: This was a rock’n good time!

To book your trip to Las Vegas, contact Heather Cassell at Girls That Roam Travel at Travel Advisors of Los Gatos at 408-354-6531at or .

To contract an original article, purchase reprints or become a media partner, contact .