Washington D.C.

Spy Kids: Sleuths & Secrets With Your Grandchild

Decode D.C.’s history of espionage with your spy kid grandchild, as you visit the city’s most notorious spy sites and learn about investigative gadgets from former CIA agents.
Rating (5)
Program No. 23214RJ
6 days
Starts at
1,499 / ADULT
849 / CHILD
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
Check-in, Program Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Washington, DC
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation, 5:15 p.m.: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. This is a Road Scholar Intergenerational program. Grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Children are never to be left unsupervised.

Dinner: At the hotel, we will enjoy a welcome dinner, plus iced tea, water, coffee, and soft drinks; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure to prepare for the week ahead.

International Spy Museum
Washington, DC
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall

Activity note: Walking 2 miles to/from museums & metro stops, use of public transportation.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we will enjoy a meal with coffee, tea, water included.

Morning: We will start this morning with a walk over to the brand new International Spy Museum for a self-led visit. The museum just reopened it's doors in May of 2019, and is “…the only public museum in the U.S. dedicated solely to espionage and the only one in the world that provides a global perspective on the ‘invisible’ profession...” Its large and extensive collection includes amazing artifacts of international espionage, many never displayed publicly before. Many of these objects are being seen by the public for the first time. The museum seeks to present the history of espionage throughout history, apolitically, with accurate, unbiased information. Following this, we will have a workshop hosted by Spy Museum staff. Let’s take a crack at being spies and see if we have what it takes. In this hands-on activity we will play the role of a U.S. intelligence officer on a mission to learn about collecting information from foreign adversaries.

Lunch: Boxed lunches at the museum

Afternoon: Returning to the Spy Museum, let’s take a crack at being spies and see if we have what it takes. In this hands-on activity, led by museum staff, we will play the role of a U.S. intelligence officer on a mission to learn about collecting information from foreign adversaries. Following our workshop, we will visit the FBI headquarters by motorcoach for an independent exploration of their exhibit, detailing the agents’ experience. We’ll see artifacts from some of the most well-known cases in history.

Dinner: At the hotel, we will enjoy a meal with coffee, tea, water included.

Evening: At the hotel, we will enjoy a movie night together, watching some of our favorite fictional spies.

Mount Vernon, Spying & The Revolutionary War
Washington, DC
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach.

Breakfast: Hotel meal.

Morning: We will board the motorcoach and head out to Virginia to visit George Washington’s former estate at Mount Vernon, a National Historic Landmark. On our way to Virginia, we will watch a film about General Washington's group of Spies in the Revolutionary War, The Culper Spy Ring. Once arriving at Mount Vernon, we will start with a visit of the mansion, led by a knowledgeable expert, where we will learn the history of George and Martha Washington’s beloved home and how Washington personally supervised the design and expansion of this impressive mansion.

Lunch: At Mount Vernon, we will order lunch from the full menu using a voucher, with coffee, tea, water included.

Afternoon: We will explore Mount Vernon on our own before heading back into Washington, D.C. Mount Vernon includes four different gardens, the tombs of George and Martha, and a working farm and recreations of his distillery and gristmill.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will sit for dinner. Coffee, tea, water included.

Evening: At the hotel, we will experience a performance from a historical interpreter who will tell us more about the Revolutionary War.

Gadgets Lecture, The City of Spies by Motorcoach, Free Time
Washington, DC
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles during visits to national monuments/memorials.

Breakfast: Hotel meal.

Morning: We will have a presentation from a former technical officer at the CIA, similar to the role of a real-life “Q” from Ian Fleming’s Bond series. They will host a demonstration about spy devices and how a spy uses them. Following our lecture, we will board the motorcoach to head out on an expert-led exploration of Washington, D.C., home to dozens of the most well-known monuments and memorials in the country, like the Lincoln Memorial and the World War II Memorial. We will also learn more about this city of spies.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a meal. Coffee, tea, water included.

Afternoon: The rest of the day is on your own to explore Washington, D.C. with your grandchild. Our Group Leader will be available to offer suggestions on local activities and restaurants.

Dinner: On your own to try what you like.

Evening: At leisure.

Code Making & Breaking
Washington, DC
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall

Activity note: Participants will need to get on and off the motor coach. Expect to stand for up to 1 hour at a time. The drive time to the National Cryptologic Museum is approximately 45 minutes and we may encounter city traffic

Breakfast: Hotel meal.

Morning: We will start with a field trip by motorcoach to the National Cryptologic Museum, adjacent to the National Security Agency headquarters at Fort Meade in Maryland. The museum is the NSA’s principal public portal. Its thousands of artifacts preserve and illuminate the history of cryptology. As we go through the halls with a volunteer museum docent, we will learn how codes are “broken” and explore the museum's collection of Enigma machines.

Lunch: At the Cryptologic Museum, we will enjoy boxed lunches consisting of a choice of sandwich, sides, and water.

Afternoon: We will return to D.C. where our Group Leader will host a fun activity before we can take part in a graduation ceremony—grandparents and grandchildren are no longer junior detectives, but the next international spy!

Dinner: We will enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel, sharing experiences of the week with our fellow Road Scholars.

Evening: At leisure.

Program Concludes
Washington, DC

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel meal. This concludes out program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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