Thursday, November 10, 2011

Touring the Federal Reserve in Atlanta

A few months ago, we decided to visit the Federal Reserve in Atlanta for a tour of their Visitor’s Center and Monetary Museum.  It was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon with our boys and we learned a few things about money in the process.  Here are some of the highlights of our trip:

  • Cash Cow:  It’s hard to miss the cash cow in the lobby.  Painted by Cheryl Myrbo in 2003 for an art exhibition, it was later purchased by the Federal Reserve.  This cow is huge and I really wanted to get a photo of it, but pictures are not allowed inside the building.  The image above is a postcard from the Federal Reserve that I scanned.
  • History of Money:  The museum has a great collection of “money” --- from items used for bartering to current day currency.
  • Gold Bar:  There is a gold bar on display inside a heavily protected case.  The case has a lever attached to the gold so that you can see how heavy the gold bar actually is.
  • Free Money:  Yup…that’s right…we got free money.  We each got a bag of shredded money to bring home. This was pretty cool for the little guys.   I am still trying to come up with a craft project with our shredded bucks!
  • Cash Processing Viewing Area:  This area was by far the coolest part of the visit.  We saw a machine that shreds bills, watched folks working in the cash processing area, got a glimpse inside the huge vault and watched the automated Cash Buses move money from one location to the next.  The image below is the front of the Visitor’s guide and shows one of the cash buses.
All in all, we enjoyed our visit to the Federal Reserve and we learned some things about the cash processing system.  Admission is free to the Monetary Museum and Visitor’s Center.  Check their website for hours of operation.

Do you have any ideas for family activities to help kids learn about money or financial management?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.


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