call me [bond, bauer, chuck]: a pick your own spy adventure
There’s a bomb somewhere in D.C., and unless you find the terrorist and disarm the explosive, the bomb will detonate.
Matt, Randall and I listened to our mission brief outside the International Spy Museum on handheld GPS units, our Handler careful to inform us that we must stay alert and always. be. careful. We sprinted across the street, following instructions uncovered from our first text from a spy contact within the city. We were Operation: CatBird, the longer of the two Spy Museum’s “Spy in the City” missions, clocking in at 1.5 hours and about same distance radius around the Museum.
We scanned for fingerprints, deciphered messages out of seemingly regular text and tested our memory and skills of observance. Okay, those were all the gimmicky (though often entertaining) bits. What was genuinely fun was learning about the city.
Both Spy in the City missions take you to buildings you’ve probably never noticed or about which you don’t know much. We explored the FBI building, learned where the first bank of D.C. is located and delved into the meaning of quotes on statues we’d never before seen. But let me stop before I give you too many hints…
Spy in the City is listed as $14.95/person, but you can do it cheaper. The website doesn’t tell you exactly if each player needs their own device or if you play as a team. If you ask, they’ll encourage you to “compete” individually, as you each receive a “spy score” at the end, based on data we could NOT understand (I won but figured out clues slower than Matt & Randall in several instances!). We gave up attempting to compete at the first clue; it’s much more fun if you embrace it together.
Protip: pay for one device, and have your team meet you outside the Museum. Alternatively, we thought it’d be fun to pair up and compete with friends that way. Make sure to also check Goldstar, as they’ve had discounted tickets before!
Would I do a Spy in the City Mission again? Probably not.
Am I glad I did it? Sure! We ramped up our own excitement, creating extensive cover stories and embraced using our imaginations.
We commented multiple times that it would be a great activity for a teen or pre-teen. I’m sure that’s probably what they intend….