Calling all sleuths: International Spy Museum opens its doors in DC

Amateur sleuths visit International Spy Museum in D.C. (WTOP/Keara Dowd)

On a day that resembled a London scene in a James Bond movie, hundreds came out to L’Enfant Plaza for the opening day of the new International Spy Museum.

The line to get into D.C.’s rebooted spy museum reached down the block at times, as music played outside and volunteers handed out free food. The crowds and pricing did cause some people to leave, but those that stayed enjoyed the new space.

“It was fabulous.” said Deb Whittmayer of Arlington. “The ability to do the interactions as an adult, they were challenging yet fun.”

“One of the folks that was with me, we even got some screams out of her at some of the stations, so it was a great day.”

New International Spy Museum
Opening day at the new International Spy Museum at L’Enfant Plaza. (WTOP/Keara Dowd) (WTOP/Keara Dowd)
Kids in face paint at the spy museum in D.C.
Mason and Olivia visited the spy museum and enjoyed getting their faces painted. (WTOP/Keara Dowd) (WTOP/Keara Dowd)
One of the International Spy Museum’s many artifacts, an unmanned drone hanging from the lobby. (WTOP/Keara Dowd) (WTOP/Keara Dowd)
James Bond's legendary Aston Martin  DB5 on display at the International Spy Museum. (WTOP/Keara Dowd)
James Bond’s legendary Aston Martin DB5 on display at the International Spy Museum. (WTOP/Keara Dowd) (WTOP/Keara Dowd)
Blow-up tank International Spy Museum
A blow-up tank, just like ones used to dupe the German army in World War II, greets visitors outside the International Spy Museum. (WTOP/Keara Dowd) (WTOP/Keara Dowd)
The line to get inside the spy museum in D.C.
The line to get inside the spy museum in D.C. (WTOP/Keara Dowd) (WTOP/Keara Dowd)
"Spy stuff is cooler than regular stuff," says a sign at the new spy museum in D.C.
“Spy stuff is cooler than regular stuff,” says a sign at the new spy museum in D.C. (WTOP/Keara Dowd) (WTOP/Keara Dowd)
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New International Spy Museum
Kids in face paint at the spy museum in D.C.
James Bond's legendary Aston Martin  DB5 on display at the International Spy Museum. (WTOP/Keara Dowd)
Blow-up tank International Spy Museum
The line to get inside the spy museum in D.C.
"Spy stuff is cooler than regular stuff," says a sign at the new spy museum in D.C.
Visitors still get a cover identity when they walk in, and a series of tests and interactive games along the way challenge their spying abilities. Along with some items from the old place, the new museum features a number of new artifacts and state-of-the-art technology to tell the stories of real-life spies around the world.

Hudson from Philadelphia made the trip down with her family as a present for her 10th birthday.

“Me and my little sister Juliette play spies around the house,” said Hudson. “We spy on our parents.”

Hudson (aka Reagan Robinson, per her Spy Museum identity) also liked all the gadgets on display, like weapons disguised as everyday objects.

“The umbrella is a gun,” she said. “It looks like a regular umbrella, but it’s a gun.”

The museum is open seven days a week. For tickets and other information visit the museum’s official website.

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