New from my Oyster Locals Blog… Following your teen around the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.
About six years ago, my teen was all about spies. She lived and breathed spies. She was a spy for Halloween. Her favorite movies: Spy Kids 2 with a chaser of Spy Kids 3-D. What was on her Christmas list that year? Spy goggles and a motion detector lock for her bedroom door. While her love for playing spies waned, her interest in visiting the International Spy Museum in D.C. held strong.
With schools closed for the day in the fall, I envisioned a day filled with decluttering, household fixing, clarinet playing, and last minute homework. My husband had other plans. He suggested taking our 6-year-old to the National_Zoo while I took the teen to the International Spy Museum. I gave our tween the choice between the National Zoo and the Spy Museum. She chose the zoo.
What age is the right age for a child to visit the Spy Museum anyway? My teen and I spent quite some time reading tags, labels, and maps. A younger child might not have the reading skills or attention span to fully comprehend the exhibits. Some of the exhibits focus on spies who murdered others or were executed. This subject matter would be inappropriate for younger children. Although the Spy Museum website lists the child admission rate as for ages 5-11, I would suggest that the exhibits are more appropriate for the late elementary school child — 10 and up.
After stepping off the elevator at the Permanent Exhibits (Espionage, School for Spies, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the History of History), my teen and I were instructed by the guide to read the spy biographies on the walls and choose a spy. For the duration of the visit, I was Carol Liu en route to Volgograd in search of museum papers. The teen picked a girl around her age who was headed to Dublin. We were told by a museum guard to memorize our “covers.” I quickly memorized everything about Carol Liu. Could we stay undercover?
The teen LOVED the Spy Museum. So, did I. We worked up an appetite walking around the Permanent Exhibition. The Spy City Cafe offers a selection of salads, sandwiches, and hot dogs, as well as scrumptious looking cupcakes. Lunch at the Spy City Cafe fortified us for our next mission: Operation Spy.
Spy Museum Admission, Events, and Hours:
- Permanent Exhibit (Child ages 5-11) $15
- Permanent Exhibit (Senior ages 65+, Military/Intelligence Community) $17
- Permanent Exhibit (Adult ages 12-64) $18
In addition to the Permanent Exhibition admission charge, you can experience the following for an extra charge:
- Operation Spy $14
- Spy in the City (1.5 hour GPS-guided tour of D.C. experience) $14
- Spy at Night Experience (Friday & Saturday Evenings) $20
- Spy Combination — 1 hour Spy in the City + Operation Spy $30
- Double Agent — Choose any two of the above offerings $28
- Triple Threat — Choose any three of the above offerings $40
- Spy City Tours — Saturdays, Only $59
Hours — Summer hours, daily 9 a.m. -7 p.m. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. the rest of the year.
As you plan your visit to D.C. with kids, you will want to find a hotel near the International Spy Museum. For a hotel with everything, you will love the Grand Hyatt…42″ flat screen TVs, ipod docks, Starbucks, and it is in walking distance to White House, Spy Museum, etc. The Marriott Washington Metro Center has an indoor pool and a jacuzzi.
I would like to thank the Spy_Museum for allowing my daughter and I to experience the Permament Exhibit — we loved it! (I paid for admission to Operation Spy and for lunch at the Spy City Cafe.)
–Jill Berry of Musings from Me