Tuesday, March 23, 2010
A Visit to theDenver Mint
We kicked off Spring Break with a day trip to Denver. One attraction we included in our plans, was a tour of the Denver Mint. There are only two Mints (Denver & Philadelphia) that give public tours and since we live so close to this one, we figured we should take advantage of it. Plus, the tours are FREE.
I booked our tour a couple of months in advance through the Mint's website. While it's certainly advisable to reserve a ticket for the tour, it's not necessary. One could just show up at the Mint's tour entrance and wait for a standby ticket. Those who reserve tickets must show up within 15 minutes of the scheduled tour.
Since it's a government building, tourists should bring next to nothing on the tour. A wallet (that fits in your pocket) and keys are pretty much all you can take. No purses, cell phones, cameras, bags or strollers. It's a short tour, 20-30 minutes, so it's not too hard to take a baby, in your arms. The Mint has no public parking, but there is public parking (which you have to pay for, of course) a few blocks away from the Mint.
My kids' ages range from 17 months to just about 7 years old. My twins (17 month) obviously didn't have a lot of interest in the tour. Neither did my 4 year old, but my oldest was quite interested. We had a friendly tour guide who was knowledgeable enough to answer our questions. It was really quite interesting.
The biggest let down of the tour was that we didn't get a newly minted penny. :( I had read online that this was the common practice, but I guess things have changed. They do have a gift shop outside the Mint, though, for those interested in souvenirs.
All in all, a very nice use of time. If you ever have time to kill in Denver, the Mint is a great budget-friendly option.
And if you can't visit a Mint in person, you can always take a virtual tour.