Ever want to slip on the trench coat of an international spy and enter into the mysterious world of cloaks and daggers? Admit it, adults and kids share this particular fantasy. Witness the long-lasting popularity of James Bond movies and the success of the Fox television show 24.
But just how close to the real thing is the fictional world of spies? Washington, D.C. is home to a fascinating museum that answers this question and provides enough fun and information to keep you and your little spies-in-training turning down every corner. The International Spy Museum is constructed to appeal to those who want to learn what really goes on inside the world of international intrigue, as well as keep children from being bored by providing a healthy dose of hands-on, interactive fun.
You begin the tour by choosing a secret spy identity from those posted around the welcome room. These secret identities range in age from the very young to the very old and give you names and birthplaces from around the world. In addition, you are also instructed to memorize several facts such as why you are in America, what kind of job you have (including student) and your spy’s family background. You have about two minutes to memorize this information and will be quizzed at the end of the tour.
Visitors to the International Spy Museum are then unleashed on a history of espionage, where you will see exhibits that reveal all the amazing tricks of the trade. Beside the exhibits there are interactive entertainment stations in which you and the kids can attempt such things as identifying a spy in disguise on a video screen or experiencing what it is really like to crawl inside an air duct and spy on other unwitting visitors. The exhibits are a great history lesson, but also toss in some kid-friendly things like the radio signal beacon disguised as a piece of dog poop.
And if the kids still aren’t satisfied, wait till you get to the International Spy Museum gift shop, which sells nearly every kind of spy gadget you have just seen.