Hi loves! I am back today to share my family’s experience at the International Spy Museum. We found out about the International Spy Museum from a gentlemen who was visiting Oregon from Washington, DC- he said it was a must see! At that point, we had no choice, but to add it to our itinerary.
Located in the heart of downtown Washington, DC in the Pennsylvania Quarter neighborhood. We opted for a rental car during out trip, which seemed more of a pain then it was helpful, due to parking. My suggestion, take the metro. Parking was hard to find and very expensive.
International Spy Museum Mission:
The mission of the International Spy Museum is to educate the public about espionage and intelligence in an engaging way and to provide a context that fosters understanding of its important role in and impact on current and historic events. The Museum focuses on human intelligence and reveals the role spies have played in world events throughout history. It is committed to the apolitical presentation of the history of espionage in order to provide visitors with nonbiased, accurate information.
Where: between 9th and 8th Streets at 800 F Street, NW, Washington D.C.
- Museum hours depend on the date you plan on going. You can check the hours here.
- Last admission is given one hour before the museum closes.
- $21.95 adults (12-64)
- $15.95 senior citizens, law enforcement, military
- $14.95 youth (ages 7-11)
- Free for children under 6
How Long: 2-4 hours
Tip: You can leave the museum and re-enter as many times as you want. There are so many great food carts within walking distance. I would suggest checking them out for a quick, good, cheap meal!
We entered through the Spy Shop into the main lobby of the museum. We were greeted by so many nice museum employees, it was such a breath of fresh air. They all provided amazing customer service. During check-in, one of the associates explains how the exhibits works, because parts of the exhibits are interactive. Children are also asked if they want to take part in a museum scavenger hunt for a prize at the end.
Now, this is where the real fun begins. Before you are able to move forward in the museum, you must first pick a different identity for your mission.
One you have chosen and memorized details for your new identity, you are then moved into another room for a “briefing”. I am not going to spoil this for you, you will just have to take a trip to Washington, DC and see what it is all about.
In the first exhibit, you learn spy skills on disguises, listening devices, etc. You also get to learn how people were smuggled in cars to escape Germany. In this exhibit you also put your memory to the test and answer questions on your fake identity. If you pass, you move on to your next mission. Keep an eye out for the air duct, you will need this to answer one of the scavenger hunt questions!
In the second part of the exhibit and scavenger hunt, we learn about secret codes like the Caesar Cipher and enigma machine. The kids also get the opportunity to decipher messages on their scavenger hunt sheet. This section also showed the role spies played in some of our important wars.
When my kids found all the items on the scavenger hunt, they had to decipher one last hidden message and take it back to the front desk to get their prize. I won’t spoil that for you, but it is something that all kids love. Plus it’s a free souvenir, can’t beat that! My kids are 14 and 8- both really loved how interactive the museum was and the great exhibits. They enjoyed the challenge of the scavenger hunt, while learning through out the experience.
If you’re a Bond fan, this museum is a must see, and it’s great for the whole family! I would also suggest checking out some of their interactive experiences like the Operation Spy or Spy in the City. We didn’t get to do any of them on our visit, but we will definitely be checking them out on our next visit!
**Disclaimer: Free tickets were provided for a review. All opinions are my own**
After our day at the museum, we decided to knock out a few of the memorials.
The international spy museum is relatively close to the national mall. This made the trek fairly easy. My youngest one had one request, we could not leave until she got to see the Lincoln Memorial- so of course, we took her! We were also able to see the World War II memorial and Korean War memorial. We had a full day of activities and making memories! What are some of your favorite vacation spots?