Posted Sep 14, 2018
My family and I were so excited to check out the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. Because it was such a beautiful day, we decided to visit on a Saturday and actually drive into the city and park.
We were able to snag some great parking right around the corner for $10. This parking was in an attended garage and actually covered the 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. time span. We went through the Parking Panda website to purchase this parking, and then used our app when we arrived at the garage. If you do not want to drive in and park, you also have the option to take the Metro. There is a Metro station right near the Spy Museum (Gallery Place/Chinatown Station).
Once we arrived at the Spy Museum, we entered the Main Lobby where you'll find a large gift shop and bathrooms. I would recommend using the bathrooms here because there are not any bathrooms on the other levels. There was a short wait in the line to get on the elevator to begin our experience. We had our tickets, so we were able to jump right in the elevator line. If you choose to purchase tickets there, then you have to wait in the ticket line as well. Your Spy Museum ticket has in-and-out privileges, allowing you to come and go as much as you want on the day you are visiting.
After you board the elevator, you are taken to a room where you must assume your identity. Each member of my family had a different identity. We took photos because you do need to remember all the details about yourself. Once you have assumed this identity, you enter into the next room where you are shown a short film discussing "all things spy."
After finishing the film, you start the self-guided experience. There are tons of different spy gadgets, as well as interactive exhibits available to test your skills in the first self-guided area. You then make your way through areas that explain "spies throughout history." Finally, toward the end of the museum, there is a special exhibit that showcases 50 years of Bond villains. This was my family's favorite area.
If you are visiting with kids 10 and under, there are some really fun activities you don't want to miss, including going on a secret mission through the duct work and trying to stay extremely quiet, diffusing an atomic bomb, and hanging from a construction site and comparing your time to Bond's time. There is a "Family Mission" activity pamphlet that they give you with your ticket. You can do different things throughout the museum to complete this. It is a lot of fun and acts as a great guide throughout the different sections of the museum.
Because we went on a Saturday, the museum was quite busy. There were a lot of people in all areas, making it hard to see everything in a timely manner. If you have the option of going during the week, that would most likely be better. Also, our son is 7. The museum is recommended for 7 and older, and I would definitely agree with this statement. There isn't a lot to do if you have little ones. Overall, this is a great museum to put on your D.C. bucket list.
Staci is a member of CertifiKID's MOM Squad Ambassador program. She was given free admission to International Spy Museum in exchange for her honest review.
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