Chicago Fed's Money Museum
Join Us on October 14-15 for Open House Chicago
The Chicago Fed and the Money Museum return in 2017 to Open House Chicago. Join us on October 14-15 from 9 am to 5 pm for this once-a-year opportunity to view the Great Hall and to visit the Money Museum on the weekend. When you enter the Great Hall, look up, so you don't miss its soaring height, the marble supporting columns and the chandeliers that light your way. In the museum, see if you can find the coin that was hidden at one time in the walls, or stand on they money pit, which was once served as an elevator. And, of course, don't leave without your free souvenir Fed shreds.
What You'll See
Exhibits and interactive displays
- Real historical currency and artifacts that tell the story of the United States dollar
- Treasures like a preserved pine tree shilling from colonial America and notes from the U.S. Civil War
- Games and simulations that allow you to interact with the roles and responsibilities of the central bank of the United States, the Federal Reserve
- Save the economy as you try your hand at Monetary Policy decision-making in “The Fed Needs You” exhibit
- Help payments run smoothly as you choose which bills to shred and step into the shoes of a Secret Service agent to detect counterfeits
- Learn about the Fed’s role in helping banks run safely and soundly as you take the perspective of a bank manager in our “Banker Challenge” game
- Preview the displays at our Virtual Money Museum
The Money Museum is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00pm, except on Bank holidays. You should plan about 45 minutes for a self-guided visit.
The Money Museum is located on the first floor of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago at 230 South LaSalle Street, the corner of Jackson and LaSalle.
Daily Guided Visit at 1pm
Monday – Friday at 1pm, we offer a guided visit which lasts roughly 30 minutes. Reservations are not needed; simply show up at 1:00 to join the group. The guided visit includes:
- A presentation about the functions and responsibilities of the Federal Reserve System from a Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ambassador
- A short video about what we do at the Chicago Fed
- A Q&A session following the video and talk
The Money Museum is wheel chair accessible. Wheel chairs are not provided. Exhibits are ADA compliant.
Photo ID requirement
All adult visitors 18 years and older must show a valid, government-issued photo ID before entering the Money Museum.
All individuals visiting the Money Museum will be subject to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's screening process. The following items are not allowed in the Museum. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Fire arms, stun guns, knives (including large pocket knives), utility/box cutters
- Pepper spray or mace
- Illegal drugs
- Other illegal or potentially dangerous or destructive items
Prohibited items, not illegal, that are detected will be placed in a container, marked with owner’s name, and returned at the end of the visit. Illegal items that are detected will be confiscated and not returned to the owner.
At no time are firearms allowed into the Museum regardless of concealed carry status. Individuals may not store them and will be asked to leave the premises.
The Money Museum is most appropriate for junior high school students and above. Museum staff members are not able to accommodate groups of children under third grade. School groups are encouraged to have at least one adult chaperone for every ten students age 17 or younger. Reservations are highly encouraged for all student groups with 15 or more attendees. If you do not have a reservation, your group may be turned away if the museum is at capacity.
Read about Nearby Attractions to see our recommendations for additional stops on your field trip.
Reservations for guided visits are offered for groups with 15 or more people. A guided visit lasts approximately 1 hour and includes a presentation geared to your group about the Federal Reserve System, a short video, Q&A session, and time to explore the museum exhibits.
Reservations are offered Monday - Friday at 9am, 10am, 11am, 2pm, 3pm, or 4pm and can be made up to six months in advance. Click here to book a reservation for a group with 15-49 people. For groups larger than 49 people, divide your group and schedule separate visits for each group, or contact the Money Museum team. If you do not have a reservation, your group may be turned away if the museum is at capacity.
- See military currency from three different wars
- Learn about the history of U.S. currency
- Discover the origins of the Federal Reserve
- Check out $50,000 in coins
- Try your hand at detecting counterfeit notes
- Create your own money
- Decide whether currency should be shredded
- View rare currency from our museum's collection
- Stand next to the $1 million cube
- Test your skill at being head of the Fed
- Find out what $1 million in $20 bills looks like
- Get a souvenir photo with $1 million
- See how we keep currency in good condition
There is also a Visitors Center located at the Bank's Detroit Branch. Please see the Detroit Branch Visitors Center page for information on hours, location and visit availability.
- What should I bring with me?
- Admission is free. Adult visitors age 18 and over must present a valid government-issued photo ID to enter. All visitors must go through our security screenings (think: airport security metal detectors). For a list of restricted items, see the "Security Screening" section on our website under Plan Your Visit: www.chicagofed.org/museum.
- Where should the bus drop us off and park?
- Buses can drop off and pick-up in front of our building at 230 S. LaSalle Street. According to the City of Chicago’s website Choose Chicago, there is free on-street motor coach parking at Canal and Roosevelt. You can find more information here: www.choosechicago.com
- Can we eat lunch at the museum?
- Unfortunately, we do not have cafeteria space that is available for visiting groups and we do not allow open food or drinks in the Money Museum. There are many restaurant options nearby though!
- Do you have any teacher resources to help us put together lesson plans before or after our visit?
- Yes, the Chicago Fed offers a “What We Do” lesson plan kit for educators in high school and entry level college economics courses. Please note that the film included in the “What We Do” kit is the same film shown during a guided Money Museum visit. We also recommend the New York Fed’s educational comic book “Once Upon a Dime” and accompanying lesson plans for middle school and high school classes.
- What do I do if my group is larger than the 49 visitor limit?
- The Money Museum limits group reservations to 49 people because that is the number of seats we have in our auditorium. We encourage larger groups to split into separate hour reservations. Half the group can visit the museum while the other half goes to lunch or visits a nearby destination in Chicago (such as the Willis Tower). If that cannot work for your group, please contact us. We’ll try our best to accommodate your group.