Special Assignment: Fun at the International Spy Museum
By Meg Brunson
When it came to planning our year on the road, DC was one of those cities that we knew we wanted to spend time in - both because it's the capital of our nation and therefore important and educational. We were excited to visit the International Spy Museum!
First of all, the museum has moved since I lived in DC over a decade ago, and it's now located right outside the L'Enfant Plaza metro stop - so, not only is it easy to get to on public transportation, but it's right in the neighborhood of the National Mall - making it super convenient for all tourists since the National Mall is pretty much the central point of everything you'll want to see in DC (the Washington Monument, Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, and multiple Smithsonian Musuems)!
With so much FREE stuff to do in DC, why should you PAY to visit the International Spy Museum?
It's true - the Spy Museum is not part of the Smithsonian network of museums, and there is a fee to enter... and, let me tell you: it's SO worth it! This is not your mother's museum. The International Spy Museum is a unique combination of museum exhibits to view/read, interactive exhibits, and immersive experiences that put you at the center of an undercover spy mission!
The Immersive Experience
When you enter, everyone is assigned an undercover agent disguise - name, city, and profession - and that's how the mission begins. The data is all housed on a name badge that you wear throughout the museum and at various checkpoints you will participate in missions by scanning your badge and completing the challenges. At the end, you receive a debriefing that outlines how you measure up as a spy. It was SUPER fun and unique - the biggest challenge for me was being able to play along and help the kids... next time, I would take some screenshots of the information at the intake, so that I could keep all the kids' information straight! Either way - it was SUPER fun!
The Interactive Exhibits
I was thrilled to discover how many interactive exhibits there were - and they truly appealed to each of my kids. I love that there was plenty for my pre-schoolers and my 'tween to enjoy! There was a game (pictured to the right) where we put sister vs. sister and they had to decide not only if they would trust or betray their sibling - but if they thought their sibling would trust or betray them... as you can see - this test did not play out very well for my 8-year-old who had a shocking surprise when she was betrayed... but it was all in good fun!
The kids loved testing their physical strength and endurance hanging by a beam... and creating secret codes, then decoding each other's messages, as well as playing all sorts of different mindgames!
The Other Museum Exhibits
The museum covers historical accounts of espionage and spying through times of war and national security issues... and also how spies are depicted through the media and pop culture. The exhibits will appeal equally to history buffs and Bond-lovers... and it was a lot of fun for our whole family!
Washington, DC is a MUST for your family vacation bucketlist (and if you haven't been in a while, it just might be time to go back) - and the International Spy Museum is a "Can't Miss" any time you are in DC. Learn more about planning your visit - and - current exhibits at the Spy Museum!
Read about some of the other adventures we're having on our Year-Long Road Trip!
© 2019 Meg Brunson
Thanks to The International Spy Museum for sponsoring this review. All opinions expressed are my own. See more on Instagram!
Meg is a mommy blogger, Facebook marketer, and much more. She is a mom to four daughters who live full-time in an RV exploring the US! As a former Facebook employee, Meg remains a Facebook addict and handles KidsOutAndAbout.com's Social Media Marketing in addition to providing freelance services for other small businesses on how to best leverage Facebook as a part of their marketing strategy. Meg also hosts the FamilyPreneur Podcast, a podcast for parent entrepreneurs raising entrepreneurial children. Learn more about Meg at MegBrunson.com!