Your Parenting Info Sign Up

Souvenir Pennies

by Ronald A. Rowe | August 5th, 2010 | Product reviews

My family and I just returned from a week in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee where we did all the touristy things that tourists do.  Traveling with two children means that at every gift stand, souvenir stand, lemonade stand, and band stand we pass I hear two voices clamoring with urgency to buy something.

Without any doubt the best value in vacation souvenirs is the souvenir penny.  You’ve seen the machines at amusement parks and tourist destinations around the country.  The kids insert fifty-one cents, two quarters and a penny, and get the penny back, stretched and imprinted with some design.  There isn’t much you can buy for half a buck plus a penny, but these souvenirs satisfy the kids desire to get something and provide a collectable reminder of the trip that will last for many years to come.

As an added bonus, most of the machines involve a large crank wheel that the child gets to turn in order to press and push out the penny.  Often, there are four different designs available at each machine and several different machines scattered throughout the attraction.  For the meager investment of seven dollars, give or take, you can purchase a penny display wallet that will hold the pennies snugly and keep even the messiest child from losing their keepsake (unless they misplace the whole wallet, which is a distinct possibility).

A few venues have started offering souvenir quarters – exactly the same set up except you insert four quarters and get one back with a design.  Although my first thought was that this was a needless increase, I’ve come to realize that this can be a frugal parent’s friend.  My son actually pleaded with me to buy him a Dollywood 25th Anniversary quarter.  He walked through the gift shop filled with over priced $20 items and asked for a $1 souvenir quarter.

Souvenir pennies (and yes, quarters, too) make a great, affordable keepsake to remember your journeys as the kids grow.

Comments on Souvenir Pennies