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Learning about America's currency has never been so fun. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (or Chicago Fed as is informally called) is one of twelve regional Reserve Banks, which encompasses the northern portions of Illinois and Indiana, southern Wisconsin, the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, and the state of Iowa. Furthermore, the Chicago Fed is responsible for providing financial services such as cash, check clearing, and electronic payment processing.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, completed in 1922, is located at the corner of South LaSalle Street and West Jackson Boulevard. Besides all responsibilities and formalities, in 2001 the bank opened the Money Museum, offering an interactive and enjoyable way to learn about all of the things related to America's currency. This small structure was carefully designed to make it easy to explore. Here, visitors can learn in simple ways such as taking a look at screens or films, playing some interactive games, trying to separate fake money from the real one, transforming their bills into special coins, putting their faces in comic bills and sending it to their e-mails, and taking some amazing pictures with a cube or suitcase with a real million dollars inside both. The floor with $50,000 in coins is an iconic place for pictures too. By the way, do not forget to take a pack of shredded bills as a souvenir.
As the Money Museum is located inside of the Federal Reserve Bank, they have some strict rules to enter. All adult visitors must show a government-issued photo ID before entering. For international students or tourists, a passport or valid ID from their country is valid. Also, all individuals visiting the Money Museum will be subject to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's screening process.
Chicago has so many interesting places to see, but this one is definitely a convenient place to see even if you are a tourist and you have all your time already planned. This museum, as a small place, is easy to see in about 30 to 45 minutes, so making it fit in your itinerary might not be a difficult task. If you live in Chicago and you have never been there, the Money Museum is open Monday through Friday until 5PM with free admission.