International Spy Museum
Go undercover for an exciting glimpse into the world of intrigue and deception.
Get in line for one of the hottest museum tickets around. Lines at the International Spy Museum (1; 800 F St. NW) can be long in the summer, so consider reserving online. The excitement builds while you’re in line, and kids get drawn in by video screens showing interviews with former spies. High-tech lighting and décor set the mood, and you’ll find yourself whisked upstairs on an elevator to the identity room, where you’ll choose a cover; kids will revel in choosing from the various identities. Then, you’ll enter the briefing room to see a thrilling film about spies. The next stop is an espionage-training area, where kids get to see films and ogle getaway cars, cipher machines, a KGB necktie camera, and a real shoe with a heel transmitter, along with countless other spy accoutrements.
Throughout, there are fun places for kids to experiment with spy stuff. Some of the permanent exhibitions may get a bit dry, and the Cold War galleries may be scary for younger kids. Afterward, head downstairs to the Spy City Café for hot dogs and sandwiches with cheeky spy titles, like the Red Square Dog; try to nab one of the booths, which have fun graphic facts on the tables. Wrap up at the International Spy Museum Store, which has a great stash of books, toys, spy stuff, and T-shirts.
Text © 2008 by Christina Henry de Tessan
Illustrations © 2008 by Jessica Hische
Text by Ingrid Roper Catron