Saturday, April 3, 2010

Money Museum of Kansas City

Money Museum of KC Location: 1 Memorial Drive, KC MO

Cost: Free


Age Appropriate: All ages. From infant to adult. Bring em if you got em.


Grab the kids, it's time to go see some money.

The Money Museum inside the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is worth a trip. And it's free. I love free stuff, it makes the world better.

But there are some things you need to know: 1. You are going to need to have a picture I.D. to even get into the place. Why? Because it's real money friends. Millions and Millions. 2. You can't get out of the museum unless you are let out by a guard. They are serious about this. 3. No pics where they sort the money.

Other than that, it's good to go. Once you get into the museum they have special wooden lockers that you can put your backpacks and coats in. And they lock, you get the key, no money required to rent them. It's small things like this that make this a great place to go to.

The building itself is more of the granite over the top architecture which is really pretty cool to look at. The museum itself is set on the first floor of the building and if your kids get bored they can run around the massive entry hall.

The exhibits themselves are also well done. They spared no expense as if evident by the exhibit on what 10 million dollars looks like. It's right next to the bigger stacks of millions, you can't miss it. The Truman coin collection is also here which contains from every president, from Washington to Bush. The kids didn't like this part so much but it was great for the dads.

The museum layout is very free flowing. The majority of exhibits are in the center floor and you wander from one to the next in no particular order. There is a lot to see and read but having kids, we didn't get to read all of it. However, there are two things that I want to point out. The first is that they give you a chance to spot a counterfeit 20 dollar bill. I couldn't do it and if I wasn't told which one it was, I wouldn't have been able to find it.

Next, you and your kids get a chance to pick up an actual gold bar. Yup, that's real gold. It's behind glass so you actually don't get to grab it but there is a lever that you pull to get the idea of the weight of it. We spent a good 10 minutes cheering on all the kids to see if they could. They could by the way, mainly because they are being raised by their fathers and are tough and strong, just like their dads. It weighs 27 pounds and when we were there, it was worth right around 500,000 bucks. There is a digital ticker underneath the gold bar that lets you know how much it's worth according to current gold pricing. It was really pretty cool.

The next part of the museum, and probably the highlight, is the glass room where they count and destroy money. A lot of money. Literally, a ton of money. Behind very thick glass are about 5 people that are feeding money into a machine that either shreds it, or sends it back into circulation. Any counterfeits get sent to a person for closer inspection. They fill up these large boxes of money and then the robots come get them.

Yes, I said robots. This is why your kids will love this. Millions of dollars: Cool. A real gold bar you can try and lift: pretty cool. Robots carting stacks of millions back to a warehouse: Totally awesome. You look through a big glass window while these forklift robot things go get the money and motor on back to the warehouse. My son didn't want to leave them.

If anyone is wandering what to do on a cold day, this one is a good bet. You'll be there for about 45 minutes and it's worth the time.

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