Kids can be spies in nation’s capitol

Resources• The Newseum,• The National Archives,• International Spy Museum,• National Geographic,• Bureau of Engraving and Printing,

When I asked him if he wanted to go to Washington, D.C., his face brightened, his smile grew and he said “Can we go to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing?” Right then I knew this was not going to be a typical trip to D.C.

My 13-year-old son, Alek, and I were invited on this visit by The Washington D.C. Tourist Bureau. I, of course, thought we would be hitting the usual tourist spots. Alek had his own ideas.

We were excited to find a couple of great museums off the typical list-the National Geographic Museum and the International Spy Museum. In the spy museum we checked out a brand new exhibit called “Operation Spy.” You’re the spy and have one hour to get through the exhibit, find the clues, figure out who are the bad guys and-most importantly-don’t get caught.

In the National Geographic Museum, the exhibits change frequently. The current exhibit is called “Crittercam.” Scientists put cameras on the backs of animals, from worms to penguins to bears. Watching the video let’s you see the world through the animals’ eyes.

We also visited the new Newseum. One of the planned exhibits is an interactive newsroom where the kids can play reporter and even download a tape of themselves while on camera. Other exhibits include “Today’s Front Pages,” “World News,” “Early News,” “9/11 Gallery” and “Pulitzer Prize Photographs.” A piece of the Berlin wall and an East German guard tower are also in the museum.

We were in the rotunda in the National Archives Museum, looking at the Declaration of Independence, when Alek looked up at me. “I feel kind of choked up right now,” he said. I knew then our mother-son weekend together was a success. And yes, he loved the tour of the giant presses printing out billions of dollars.

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