4 Museums that Will Boost Your Financial Literacy

(Photo by Jessica Hromas/Getty Images)
Photo by Jessica Hromas/Getty Images

The process of learning about money can take many shapes and forms. When it comes to financial literacy, a variety of tools exist that provide enjoyable and effective ways to learn. One option is planning a trip to a museum with a financial education theme. When it comes to museums, you have many choices beyond the arts and culture. A museum trip is a unique way to involve the entire family in financial education. Here are four finance museums that will provide a fun and educational experience for the entire household.

1. American Numismatic Association Money Museum

If you are interested in learning about coins, currency, and related items, this is the museum for you. The American Numismatic Association Money Museum, located in Colorado Springs, Colo., features exhibits about rare coins, the history of money, and lost treasures found at shipwreck sites. There is also a special section just for kids called Kids Zone, where financial education is encouraged through play and hands-on exercises.

This museum is not only ideal for financial education but also a great way to celebrate National Coin Week, which is held every year during the third week of April. General admission is $5. Senior citizens, students, and members of the military pay only $4 (ID is required). Admission is free for ANA members.

2. The Higgins Museum of National Bank Notes

Visit the Higgins Museum of National Bank Notes to learn more about the national banking system. The museum, located in Okoboji, Iowa, features the largest permanent collection of National Bank Note issues in the United States. Bank note artifacts and reference materials are also on display. If you want to learn more about the Higgins Museum’s collection, you can read all about it. The museum released a book about its collection titled Iowa National Bank Notes, written by James C. Ehrhardt and Steven J. Sweeney. The museum is open 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free.

3. Museum of American Finance

The Museum of American Finance is located in New York City on 48 Wall Street. Guided tours (free upon admission) are available to museum-goers on a first come, first served basis. Exhibits include “A History of Money,”  “The Financial Markets,” and “Banking in America.” The museum also has  a collection of stocks and bonds and financial documents.

The museum is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Admission prices are $8 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens, and free for members and children who are 6 years old or younger.

4. The Money Museum

The Federal Reserve has money museums throughout the country housed within its 12 banks. You will learn about banking and the inner workings of the Federal Reserve System. In addition, you’ll get a chance to see cash and gold vaults up close. One of the best parts of your trip is that you’ll leave with a souvenir bag of cold, hard cash. There’s only one catch—it’s shredded. Make sure to call ahead before your trip; the museums are closed on bank holidays. Admission is free.

If you and your family can’t get out to The Money Museum, the Chicago Federal Reserve also has a Virtual Money Museum.  You’ll be able to learn quick lessons about money with the click of a mouse.

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