If you’ve ever wondered who “The Fed” is, the displays in the “Money in Motion” exhibit at the Federal Reserve Bank will answer this- plus everything you wanted to know (or not) about the flow of money and regulation of banking in the United States.  The Federal Reserve is the nation’s central bank – supervising and regulating consumer banks, setting monetary policy (including interest rates that banks charge for loans) and issuing currency.  They are an independent organization, whose board is appointed by the President and approved by Congress.

Lots of interactive screens with videos and quizzes (identifying counterfeit bills, how to be a bank manager, knowledge tests), make this small, free museum WAY more enjoyable than it would seem.  There are also some cool exhibits showing early American money (including Spanish “pieces of 8” and wampum) and  bills from 1791-1934, including a $100,000 bill.  Plus, you get this cool souvenir (how often does the government give you FREE money??) along with a break from the colonial overload of Old City.


For a bonus, check out the Alexander Calder mobile in the lobby – said to be the world’s largest mobile.  Since photos aren’t allowed in the building, I’m using this photo from the Association of Public art:

Alexander Calder mobile, Federal Reserve Bank Philadelphia
White Cascade by Alexander Calder. Photo credit: Association for Public Art

Field Trips: They offer free school field trips that sound like they could be fun.  Have to put it on my list…

Note: They recommend the exhibit for kids 10 and up.  You must go through a security screening to enter the museum.

Location: Old City