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https://www.spymuseum.org/visit/

Hubby and I took a few college kids to the new Spy Museum the other week.  Hubby also got to go for a special preview for museum people (he manages the media program of Mount Vernon).  It was VERY crowded the day we went as it was newly re-opened and Father's Day.  We took the water taxi to the wharf, which was a great way to go. From there you climb up a set of stairs, and walk over the bridge. 

The outside of the building was designed by Richard Rogers with Roger Stirk Harbour and Partners and is quite eye catching. In the lobby they have the REALLY cool colonial era "submarine".  They also have a James Bond car and other neat items.  Note that this is one of the few DC museums that charge for entrance (Adult $24.95, Adolescent $14.95 and kids under 6 free).  It also has timed tickets, so please note that, if you want a certain time you should order online in advance.

The museum is REALLY well done.  You start at the top and work your way down two large floors of exhibits.  I think it took us about 3.5 hours to go through it, but again it was crowded, and we had multiple people with us.  They have really incorporated digital exhibits really well to enhance the user experience.  While they have a lot of traditional displays, as well, and fun displays that move and make sounds that draw you in.  They have done a good job of making venues that when you walk in they begin telling you the story of the exhibit. Just like before you get a code word, cover and mission.  A lot of the digital exhibits are done such that you test "spy skills" and the more you do the better they are able to assess your skill, and help you on your mission.  I would try to do at least a couple, just because they are fun and then at the end you will have your strengths pointed out to you at your debrief.  Some are quick like the one that tests whether you can judge if someone will turn on you by pressing buttons, decision making matrixs, puzzles to see how much you can remember from one page to the next.  I think this is an excellent museum for kids that are just a little older, as there are lots of activities, but they might benefit from being able to read and do some of the digital tasks without a huge amount of help- as some are more time sensitive.  People had younger kids there too, they just needed a bit more help, and I think they didn't quite get it as much.  I don't have kids, but judging by the kids there and my nephews, I think probably age 8+ you are going to be able to get it more and do more. The gift shop is even larger than before, and does have cool things. Their website says 7+, so I guess my intuition was about right.

L'Enfant really doesn't have a lot, we took the college kids we were with back down to the Wharf for dinner, it really isn't a long walk, probably about 3-5 minutes.  And after that much time it is nice to get a drink and a snack.  They also have a very cool event space according to Hubby.

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Quick addition to the excellent review above.

I really enjoyed it compared to the old one. It's probably 4X as big, has lots of interactive parts and yes, they brought the climbable duct work with them and made it cooler. 

The best part for me though is I learned how to get to the Warf an easy way using the orange/silver/something else line. Get off at L'Enfant or even Smithsonian and just walk. So much easier than switching to green and faster than uber/driving and way cheaper then driving. I hate the Warf parking lot. It's poorly designed to get in and out of and expensive AF.

 

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3 hours ago, NolaCaine said:

The best part for me though is I learned how to get to the Warf an easy way using the orange/silver/something else line. Get off at L'Enfant or even Smithsonian and just walk. 

If you get off at L'Enfant and exit at the Maryland ave exit, you can get on the free Wharf shuttle. Runs every 10 minutes.

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