Become a Spy at the International Spy Museum

Posted By Katie Baird on Dec 9, 2014


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Hey there!

The International Spy Museum is one of the best museums for families in Washington D.C. I knew my teenagers would love the Spy Museum, but I was worried about keeping my 3-year-old son happy.  I shouldn’t have been.  After enjoying the museum, as we left he yelled “That was awesome!  I love that place.”

The top floor of the museum features exhibits about the history of spying, interactive computer displays, and many cool spy gadgets such as a lipstick pistol and the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger.  The lower level is an entire exhibit dedicated to James Bond.

International Spy Museum

Photo courtesy of the International Spy Museum.

The International Spy Museum appealed to our entire family.  At the beginning, everyone selects a spy “cover” and memorizes the details of their new persona.  Exhibits throughout the museum question your cover and test your memory of details about where you were born, how old are, where you are traveling, etc.  My girls loved the interrogation by a Spy Museum employee.  They held their composure and didn’t blow their cover.

international spy museum

Interrogation at the International Spy Museum.

While my older girls were busy maintaining their cover, my younger kids loved playing with the spy gadgets.  We listened to bugged rooms and overheard conversations in other rooms, crawled through duct work like real spies, and watched the James Bond car come to life.

On the lower level, we loved the James Bond exhibit.  We loved cracking the code at the Spy vs. Spy exhibit and attempting to diffuse an atomic bomb.  The hands-on activities throughout the museum kept it interesting for kids of all ages.

international spy museum

Crack the Code: Spy vs. Spy

Tips for your Visit to the International Spy Museum.

When you visit the International Spy Museum, here are a few things you should know.

  • Consider Explorer Pass. You can save up to 35% on admissions if you plan to visit 3 or more included attractions.
  • Look for Groupon deals.  Occasionally you can get reduced admission with a Groupon purchase.  Make sure to check for blackout dates.
  • No strollers are allowed. Strollers may be left in the Coat Room and baby carriers are available to borrow at no charge.
  • Shop in the Spy Museum store.  If you like gift shops, this one is excellent and worth a few minutes to pick up souvenirs at the end.
  • Hungry?  Check out Shake Shack, my favorite burger and custard joint, located on the same block as the International Spy Museum. Pi Pizzeria is also very good.
  • Love spying?  Check out the interactive spy experiences available for an additional fee.  Spy in the city is a GPS-guided spy experience in Washington D.C. and Operation Spy is a one-hour spy experience inside the musuem.

International Spy MuseumGood to Know

Where: between 9th and 8th Streets at 800 F Street, NW, Washington D.C.

When:

  • Hours are generally 10:00-5:00, but they offer extended hours during peak seasons and holidays.  Check their website for accurate hours for the date you plan to visit.
  • Last admission is given one hour before the museum closes.

How Much:

  • $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

Amenities: gift shop, coat check and stroller parking, bike parking

Website: www.spymuseum.org

Disclosure: We received complimentary admission to The International Spy Museum so that we could review it for other families. All opinions are my own. 

international spy museum

How else can we help?

Need a place to stay? Allison has stayed at Kimpton Hotel Madera and Hotel Harrington, which are both within a short walk or Metro ride from most of these attractions. Read her review of Hotel Madera HERE. Check rates and read reviews atTripAdvisor or Booking.com.

Do you know about Explorer Pass? Save up to 40% on admission to the International Spy Museum and Mount Vernon, plus other attractions of your choice. Learn moreHERE.

Need new walking shoes? The best way to see the monuments and other top attractions in Washington D.C. is on foot. Find comfortable walking shoes for your family at The Walking Company or Amazon.com.

Save money on your Washington D.C. trip! Learn more about our FREE Travel Deals Email Club HERE.

Get more ideas for your Washington D.C. trip on our Washington D.C. page or ourWashington D.C. for Families Pinterest board!

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