If you don’t know where to take the kids in Washington, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (300 14th St SW, Washington DC) 20228, is always a great weekend destination.
Kids will marvel at the way U.S. paper currency is printed, stacked, and examined before being released to the general public.
In addition to the paper monies that it is famous for, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing also is responsible for producing special White House invitations, Treasury securities, identification cards, naturalization certificates in addition to a host of other sensitive security documents.
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing was established in 1862. At the time, the office was much smaller and only employed six people who sealed notes by hand in the basement of the Treasury building. The Bureau was moved into its own office next to the National Mall in 1914.
Tours of the facility last about 30 minutes and are offered every 15 minutes. Note that for us weekendtrippers, you’d have to go on a Friday as the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is closed on Saturdays and Sundays and between Christmas and New Year’s. During the summer, the facility is open afterhours between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Because of heightened security, tour policies are subject to change. If the Department of Homeland Security level is elevated to CODE ORANGE, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is CLOSED to the public.
The best part? From September to February, admission is free!