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

At a Glance

Invite your grandchild to join the ranks of Harriet the Spy, Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and Encyclopedia Brown as they transform into student sleuths and spy kids during a week of mysterious adventure. Together, you’ll investigate Washington D.C.’s cryptic history during visits to the city’s most notorious spy sites, as well as the International Spy Museum and the Cryptologic Museum at the NSA Headquarters. Meet former CIA agents, and learn about different spying devices and decoding tactics on this covert adventure!
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Program involves walking up to two full miles each day, taking Washington, D.C. public transportation, and getting on/off motor coach.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Enjoy a private, hands-on gadgets presentation from a former technical officer at the Central Intelligence Agency.
  • Learn about code making and breaking, both past and present, with a visit to the National Cryptologic Museum.
  • Decode D.C.’s history of espionage at Mount Vernon as you learn about the Culper Gang, America’s first Spy Ring, coordinated by George Washington himself.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Of Spies and Lies
by Sullivan, John
Any serious study of the Vietnam War would be less than complete without accounting for the CIA's role in that conflict-a role that increased dramatically after the Tet offensive in 1968. We know most of the details of military engagement in Vietnam, given its greater visibility, but until recently clandestine operations have remained shrouded in secrecy.
Cast No Shadow: The Life of the American Spy Who Changed the Course of World War II
by Lovell, Mary S.
A biography of one of the most successful spies in World War II tells how she used international, high-ranking trysts to pry top-secret information from the enemy and put it into the hands of Allied forces.
Spy Science: 40 Secret-Sleuthing, Code-Cracking, Spy-Catching Activities for Kids
by Jim Wiese
Discover how spies use science to keep--or uncover--top secrets.Learn how to go under cover, master Morse code, and even build devices to see and hear through walls! These and dozens of other fun-filled activities give you an inside look at the science behind spy gadgets and tricks of the trade. All the activities are completely safe and can be done with everyday stuff from around the house.
Capturing Jonathan Pollard
by Olive, Ronald J.
Jonathan Pollard, an intelligence analyst working in the U.S. Naval Investigative Service's Anti-Terrorist Alert Center, systematically stole highly sensitive secrets from almost every major intelligence agency in the United States. In just eighteen months he sold more than one million pages of classified material to Israel. No other spy in U.S. history has stolen so many secrets, so highly classified, in such a short period of time. Author Ronald Olive was in charge of counterintelligence in the Washington office of the Naval Investigative Service that investigated Pollard and garnered the confession that led to his arrest in 1985 and eventual life sentence. His book reveals details of Pollard's confession, his interaction with the author when suspicion was mounting, and countless other details never before made public. Olive points to mistaken assumptions and leadership failures that allowed Pollard to ransack America's defense intelligence long after he should have been caught.
Spy on History: Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring
by Enigma Alberti & Tony Cliff
Meet Mary Bowser, an African American spy who was able to infiltrate the Confederate leadership at the highest level. Enigma Alberti dramatizes Mary Bowser’s suspenseful story—how she pretended to be illiterate, how she masterfully evaded detection, how she used her photographic memory to “copy” critical documents. Using spycraft materials included in a sealed envelope inside the book, a canny reader will be able to discover and unravel clues embedded in the text and illustrations, and solve the book’s ultimate mystery: Where did Mary hide her secret diary?

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