Here’s the truth: If you’re visiting Roswell, New Mexico to be immersed in everything alien, you’re probably going to be disappointed. Yes, there is a McDonalds that looks like a UFO, some buildings are covered with alien-themed murals, and the street lights are shaped like alien heads, but other than that, Roswell is a city just like any other you may drive through in the desert of New Mexico.
During our visit to Roswell, we first visited the International UFO Museum & Research Center, which was mainly walls of newspaper clippings, photos, and some video. When we left, we all wanted more of an alien experience. We wanted the kitsch and silliness and fun photo opportunities, so we walked up and down the street to peek inside the souvenir stores and gift shops, and see what we could find.
That’s when we found signs for Alien Zone and Area 51, which claimed to be the best alien attraction in town. Access to Area 51 was inside Alien Zone, so we ducked inside to see what it was.
Alien Zone is just another t-shirt and gift shop with alien merchandise and statues. While they produce their own line of shirt designs by local artists and claim to have hundreds of alien products, the shelves and racks in the store were almost empty, the merchandise wasn’t anything spectacular, and the place looked and felt dirty.
Behind the small shopping area at the front is an indoor play structure for children 12 and under on the right, and on the left, the wall is adorned with alien statues and alien-themed vignettes. If you keep walking, straight ahead is a diner scene with tables where you can sit down next to an alien. And behind the play structure, is the entrance to the Area 51 Museum and if you want to enter, you’ve got to pay $3.00/person at the register up front.
Area 51 Museum
Signs outside the Area 51 Museum made claims that this is the best alien attraction in Roswell. We were skeptical, but paid the admission fees and ducked inside the dark doorway. The Area 51 museum is definitely a bit run down and dirty, but that didn’t matter one bit. In fact, it made it even more silly, ridiculous, corny, and fun.
The Area 51 Museum is a self-guided adventure past 15-20 staged scenes of aliens on Earth and you’re encouraged to climb into the scenes for out of this world photo opportunities.
This delivered the alien fun we were craving when we decided to visit Roswell in the first place! Here you can become part of life-size alien dioramas that include:
- A crashed flying saucer scene
- An alien autopsy and a science lab for alien experimentation
- An alien in an upside-down room or at a bar
- An alien at a backyard barbecue, sitting in an outhouse, and even in jail
- And several others…
We had a blast stepping into the alien scenes and posing for photos, and we were laughing the entire time. Other families visiting were doing the same thing too, which made it even more fun. You just can’t help but giggle at the ridiculousness.
Our Area 51 adventure lasted 30-45 minutes, provided awesome photo opportunities with life-size aliens, and gave a look at a miniature, glowing, nighttime cityscape of Roswell years into the future.
Bottom Line: If you’re hoping for a fun and silly first-hand alien and UFO experience, Alien Zone and the Area 51 Museum is where you want to be. This cheap, family-friendly alien attraction delivers all sorts of interactive photo ops that will have you laughing like crazy.
About Alien Zone And The Area 51 Museum
Alien Zone was established in 1997 by local Roswell residents Randy and Elsie Reeves. They realized that families were visiting Roswell and needed something else to do with their kids other than visiting the International UFO Museum, which doesn’t take very long to go through.
Alien Zone and the Area 51 Museum were created to give Roswell tourists more kitsch alien experience — one where they could become part of the alien story through corny staged vignettes and fun photo opportunities. Over the years, their shop and museum has become one of the most popular alien attractions in Roswell, New Mexico.
Know Before You Go
- Alien Zone and the Area 51 Museum are located at 216 N Main Street, Roswell, New Mexico 88201 in Chaves County.
- Alient Zone is a small gift shop that has a kid’s party place with a small playground structure and dining area, as well as several “alien scenes” along the walls and a few alients sitting at the tables that you can take photos with for free.
- The Area 51 Museum has a $3.00/person admission fee. The entrance is behind the play structure inside Alien Zone. It’s a bit run down and dirty, but with around 20 awesome alien scenes you can climb into and be part of, it’s the most ridiculous, silly, and perfect self-guided photo opportunity you want out of a visit to Roswell.
- While in town, be sure to snap a photo at the Giant Welcome To Roswell Alien Mural located on the northbound side of US Highway 285, just 1.0 mile north of the HWY 285/HWY 2 intersection and 6.0 miles south of downtown Roswell.
- The Roswell Visitor Center is located at 426 N Main Street, Roswell, New Mexico 88201. Here you can get information about local and state attractions, events, maps, and snap a photo with the resident aliens.