By Alex Stewart
Have you ever wondered, “Where have all the $5,000 bills gone?”
The Kansas City Money Museum at Federal Reserve will teach you more about money than your econ class ever did. With exhibits that showcase the history of the Fed, historic coins, and a framed $100,000 bill, everyone can find something of compounding interest here.
If you’re into heavy lifting, you can hold a solid gold bar that weighs twenty-seven pounds and is valued at roughly $480,000. At the currency design studio, kids can take a picture of themselves and place it on a bill. Another impressive exhibit is the $40 million wall, which shows just how much surface area is required to create such an amount using $100 bills.
Finally, there’s the cash processing and vault area: a nine-story room filled with bills, where real Fed employees sort and examine money, disposing of the ones unfit for circulation and storing the rest in the vault. Three robots—named Huey, Dewey, and Louie after the animated nephews of Donald Duck—lift large piles of money.
This winter, museum coordinator Abby Anderson says you should expect to see a new interactive exhibit about personal finance.
“We’re going to have hands-on activities that help families and children understand basic budgeting, human capital, and banks—figuring out which bank and bank account you should pick for your needs,” she says.
When you leave the museum, make sure to pick up a free bag of money. The cash is shredded and useless, but if it were still intact, it would amount to approximately $165.
1 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64198 View Map