Summer vacation doesn't have to mean leaving collecting fun behind

?Summer is nearly here, and for collectors, that can mean a brief relaxation of their collecting activities. 

Longtime collectors and dealers know that the hobby often takes something of a breather in the early summer. Families, with the children out of school, often use this time for vacations.

The marketplace can also take a breather

This year, like many years, the appearance of important auctions, while not completely halted, has slowed somewhat. Conventions and coin shows, too, are on something like a break, with the Whitman Baltimore Expo in July merely whetting the appetite for the larger American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money near Chicago in August, when the hobby and marketplace should resume its normal pace.

Still, collectors taking vacation in the weeks ahead need not take a complete break from their hobby. Vacation destinations often offer the collector in the family ample opportunities to sate their collecting needs.

Collectors visiting the nation’s capital, for example, have several hobby-related sites that even noncollectors can enjoy. 

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s main facility in Washington, D.C., offers a tour taking in the production of Federal Reserve notes; tickets to the tour often are snapped up fast, so families should plan their stop at the nation’s money factory early. (And if your vacation takes you to Texas, the BEP’s Western Satellite Facility, also offering public tours, is located outside Forth Worth.)

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington offers numerous different museums; a family could easily spend a week at the Air and Space Museum, the American Art Museum, the American Indian Museum, the African American History and Culture Museum, and the American History Museum. This last museum should really appeal to the collector, since that’s where the National Numismatic Collection is housed. Better yet, starting July 1, the new Gallery of Numismatics and the inaugural exhibition, The Value of Money, opens at the museum, making the museum a must-stop for visitors to the District of Columbia.

Visitors to other cities will often find hobby-related stops beckoning as well. In the City of Brotherly Love, the Philadelphia Mint offers public tours. Visitors in Colorado will find both the Denver Mint and the ANA Museum in Colorado Springs well worth the stops.

But when August gets here, the nation’s numismatists will head to the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Ill., where the ANA will hold its World’s Fair of Money from Aug. 11 to 15. An amazing bourse floor with numismatic collectibles of all kinds will await showgoers, as will educational events and exhibits, and more.

Summer is here and the collecting is fine (or Extremely Fine). 

What summer hobby activities do you have planned?