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International Spy Museum: A Hit with Kids

by Barbara Rogers

Aug 12, 2022

© Filindmitriy86 | Dreamstime.com

Multigenerational

There’s no such thing as a bored kid at International Spy Museum. Ask any kid about their family’s travels to Washington, D.C., and they’ll tell you it was the highlight of the trip.

 

The museum, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, was so popular that, in 2019, it was moved to a larger building to accommodate more exhibits and activities. Guides make a visit even more fun with stories about some of the devices used by spies over the years.

 

Kids, of course, love the quirkier ones, like the fake tiger poop that hid surveillance devices during the Vietnam War, or the drone disguised as a dragonfly.  Other cool stories include how agents hid money and messages inside dead rats placed in alleys, sprinkling the rats with hot sauce to keep cats from carrying them off.

 

Kids will hear the stories of real-life spies and see the tools and devices they used to spy on the United States. Videos detail how they were caught. There’s a lot of history in the stories these exhibits tell, too. A letter from George Washington discusses setting up a spy network during the Revolution, and there’s a tiny camera that was strapped to a pigeon to photograph enemy troop positions during World War I.

 

For fans of 007, there’s an entire section devoted to James Bond with actual props from the films. One of these is the Aston Martin DB5, first featured in Goldfinger. The car’s gimmicks — oil jets, radar screen in the dashboard, ejector seat and rotating license plate — inspired intelligence agencies to equip their own vehicles with some of them.

 

Kids – and adults, too – can try out their spy skills, complete with agent identities and assignments.

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