Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Royal Canadian Mint - Ottawa

Goofing around at The Mint
When we were planning our trip to Ottawa The Mint wasn't originally on our itinerary since we only had a few days and there is a lot of great stuff to do in Ottawa.  I didn't think touring a coin factory would be at the top of my kids' list of things to do, but a friend said it was surprisingly fun and the Science museum was under construction when were went so we figured we would give it a go.

Trying to lift the gold bar at the start of the tour.  
My friend was right!  It is surprisingly interesting and fun even for kids.  The tour is less than hour so it isn't too taxing for young attention spans.  Our tour guide was great and answered all my kids' questions.  Who knew kids would have so many questions about how coins are made?
You are only allowed to take pictures at the gold bar in case you are wondering
why I have included two pictures of that!
The Mint in Ottawa doesn't make coins in general circulation, only collector coins but it doesn't really matter to kids.  A coin's a coin as far as they are concerned.  I would recommend going on a weekday since they don't actually make the coins on the weekends.  You can still tour the facility but you won't actually see the coins being made which is most of the fun of the tour.
More goofing around
Highlights for my kids were watching the coins being made and seeing the coins from around the world that are made at The Mint.  Another big hit with my kids was seeing the Olympic medals from Vancouver which were produced at The Mint.  

The Mint is right by the National Gallery of Canada and a short walk from Bytown Market so you can easily combine a trip to The Mint with a visit to one of those other attractions.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Reservations are recommended.  When we went it wasn't busy so the man who wandered up and wanted to join the tour was able to do so but I suspect if it is busy you could be turned away.  You can make reservations by calling: 1-800-276-7714.
  • It costs $18 for a family of four to take the tour.  
  • They have a pretty good gift shop.  The tour basically starts and ends in the gift shop so you'll see it whether you want to or not.  We picked up some Christmas presents while we were there!
  • You can't take pictures during the tour.  The only place you can take pictures inside The Mint is with the gold bar.  

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