When asked to name a way to spend a fun day, most kids don’t say, “Visiting a museum.” But a visit to the Spy Museum in Washington DC can quickly change their mind. Read about the fascinating exhibits – and the fun – you can find at the Spy Museum!

Family Travel - Spy Museum in Washington

Kids checking out cars at the Spy Museum in Washington D.C. | Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Family Trip to the Spy Museum in Washington DC

Did you know there was a Spy Museum in DC?  I discovered it while researching fun things to do in Washington DC with kids, and it really impressed me. This was definitely a place that my sons would enjoy during the trip, so we made it a priority to visit.

This is the only museum of its kind in the whole world.

On their website, I read about all of the different gadgets and exhibits that they had. It just kept getting me more and more excited. So as you may be able to imagine by now, we went for a visit.

“On any given day, there are more spies in Washington DC than in the entire world.” This was only one of the many incredible facts learned when visiting the Spy Museum.

The Museum features the largest collection of international espionage artifacts that have ever been on public display. Many of these have never been seen or even dreamt of by anyone in the general public. There is a lot to learn at the museum, but the most incredible part is that you learn about stories that have been truly practiced in the field. Most are way better than what you see in movies.

Family Travel - Spy Museum in Washington

Family having fun at the Spy Museum in Washington D.C. | Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

About the Visit

One of the many things that makes Washington DC stand out is the fact that it has some of the best museums in the US for free. So I get that most of you won’t see the point in going to one with an entrance fee, especially while traveling with the whole family. After all, saving money becomes a priority.

I also get that most kids dislike spending too much time in museums, regardless of where they are located.

But in this case, just telling them that there was a place where they could see and learn about true spies made them start screaming about how they couldn’t wait to visit.

So it was decided.

James Bond Wanna-bes

When we got there, we went straight to the interactive spy experiences. The first one was the Exquisitely Evil one. This is where you get to pretend you are James Bond and uncover all of the evil schemes devised by some of the most famous villains of the franchise.

My sons didn’t really know much about James Bond, but after this exhibit, they were die hardcore fans and wanted to see all of the movies.

There are five other interactive experiences but we didn’t have much time, so after a lot of deliberation, my sons narrowed it down to two activities. Their choices were the School for Spies and from Ballroom to Battlefield (all about the civil war and 19th-century gadgets). But in the end, we only had time for the School for Spies.

In the school, visitors test their skills of observation, analysis, surveillance, and disguise at interactive stations.

Family Travel - Spy Museum in Washington

Unique gadgets at the Spy Museum in Washington DC used by former spies. | Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Most of the interactive attractions are included in the entrance fee, but there are two that cost extra:
Operation Spy – This is basically a one-hour live action spy adventure with you as the protagonist.
Spy in the City – It consists of a GPS guided tour of the city. It’s your chance to explore the spy capital of the world on foot.

Final Thoughts About the Spy Museum in Washington

The museum was the highlight of the trip for us, for sure.

However, from watching my boys, I concluded that this is a museum that suits older kids better. My 13-year-old was loving it, reading everything and taking his time. On the other hand, my seven-year-old got bored pretty quickly.

Sadly after a few fun activities, I decided to leave early because my younger son was getting a little too bored.

Even knowing that, I would still recommend going. The experience is unique, educational and, yes, fun!

Museum Information

Website: www.spymuseum.org
Admission tickets
– $21.95 for Adults
– $15.95 for Seniors (ages 65+)
– $14.95 for Youth ages 7 to 11
– Children age 6 and under are free.
Note: Prices do not include tax.
Museum Hours
Open Every Day – 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

Family Trip to the Spy Museum in Washington DC

Family Trip to the Spy Museum in Washington DC | Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom