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The Summer vacation is rapidly approaching and with that, you may be on the lookout for some exciting family fun activities. Well, look no further! The Exchange Interactive Centre is a museum centrally located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison. This 18th-century building holds many memories from its various uses throughout the years and is reflected beautifully in the museum it has become today. Here are the top five reasons you should plan a visit:


  1. Learning about Barbadian currency: Currency is a topic of discussion now more than ever, as Barbados is in the process of upgrading its notes to a polymer by the end of the year 2022. The notes will feature a new design, making it harder to counterfeit, and allows for many more security features to be added.  The current denominations will remain, so we’ll still have our $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills. As of now, no changes will be made to the coins and the older notes will still be legal tender but eventually, they will be removed from circulation as the time progresses.


  1. Discover the various currencies of the world: Beautifully displayed in our second-floor gallery is what we call a ‘Currency wall’ with numerous notes from around the world. If you haven’t seen a note with a 100,000 denomination before, this is your chance. Not only do we have a variety of notes, we also have a display wall of coins from several countries around the world!


  1. Admire the building’s architecture: The Exchange is a historic building. It initially served as Harrisons Free School, which held 24 students, all being boys. The building was then purchased by masons in the late 1800s and became a masonic lodge after they added another floor. Even after refurbishments were done, most of the original structure remained and you can even get a visual of the lath and plaster, an old building technique used in the construction of the building.


  1. Take a trip down memory lane in an 18th-century classroom: As the first place to home to one of the oldest schools in Barbados, an 18th-century classroom replica exists within the Exchange. The school was named Harrison’s Free School after the founder, Thomas Harrison who was a merchant planter. Our toys of yesteryear displays will take you back to a time of fun childhood memories. There is much to see and even more to learn within our classroom.


  1. Interactive displays for all ages: As one of the newer more modern museums in Barbados, we have many interactive features that we have seen make a learning experience more enjoyable. Take a look below to see some of the interactive features that exist within our galleries at The Exchange Interactive Centre.
  • An audio phone that tells the story of Rachel Pringle
  • Touch screens that show videos of cultural aspects of Barbados
  • Shading stations for Barbadian coins and masonic symbols
  • Pull and discover drawers
  • Lift windows to discover fun facts hidden underneath
  • A touch screen with a calligraphy game in our 18th– century classroom


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