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What Happens When A Small-Town Family Visits The "World's Largest"... Whatever!

International Spy Museum: World’s Largest Collection of Espionage Artifacts

International Spy Museum

BEST GIFT SHOP EVER! Okay, now that I have that out of the way, let me tell you about one of new favorite museums.

Where we went, and who was coerced into going:

While in DC over spring break, we visited the International Spy Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of espionage artifacts. We also visited the Air and Space Museum, so we continued in the vein of geeky, techy adventures.

WHY did you go there, exactly?

Both kids have watched all four movies in the The Spy Kids series multiple times, and wish they were Carmen and Juni Cortez. (Which would make me Carla Gugino in a black leather get-up. I could live with that.) Naturally, The Girl wants to be a spy when she grows up. Considering her skill at lying with the face of an angel, I would say she has a good shot.

Okay, what was so cool about it?

If you are even slightly intrigued by spies, their gadgets, and their undercover adventures, you will love this place. When you arrive, you choose your “cover,” adopting a name and back story. The Boy took this task seriously, writing down all the details of Yuan Zheng, the 39-year old dentist he had become.

Spy Museum

School for Spies Gallery. Photo courtesy the International Spy Museum

Most of the museum experience is passive – looking at the collection of espionage artifacts behind glass. But I found the displays of disguises, weapons, invisible ink, and buttonhole cameras really intriguing. You can also watch videos describing different facets of espionage, like surveillance and picking locks.

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