Located right near Independence Mall, the Philadelphia Mint is another nice (free) break from all the colonial history (but, don’t worry – if history is your thing there are several exhibits with artifacts showcasing the mint’s history). Most people head right up to the top floor, where large windows overlook the production area. The giant machines and long conveyor belts covered with shiny, newly minted coins are pretty cool and there are several hands-on exhibits explaining the features of coins and why they look like they do. History buffs should stop on the first floor to take a peak at the exhibits and watch the short film (hidden off in a side room, with 1 tiny bench seat that holds 2 people??). No photographs are allowed in the building, but there is a large gift shop to satisfy all your coin related needs. Just don’t get suckered into buying a presidential dollar folio, because you will drive yourself crazy trying to collect all the dollar coins to fill it up. You may even go so far as to accost random strangers at the PATCO terminal to see if their change contained any of the presidents you are missing… (In my defense, there are not many places that give dollar coins as change)
On the first floor, before heading up the escalator, check out the Tiffany mosaics that were rescued from a former mint building (Another (free) Tiffany Mosaic).
Tobey says: The PATCO incident was really, really embarrassing…
If you want to continue with the money theme, you can walk across the mall to check out the exhibits at the Federal Reserve (Who is “The Fed”? Exploring the Exhibits at the Federal Reserve Bank in Philadelphia).