Choose Between Two Options
- $11 for one admission for a child, age 12 and under ($21.11 value, including all fees)
- $29 for admission for two adults, age 13 and over ($51.10 value, including all fees)
Exhibit is held within the Rivercenter Mall
Spy! The Exhibit
A poison-dart gun disguised as an umbrella. A listening device at the center of a hollowed-out tooth. A radio-controlled catfish for infiltrating enemy territory. These might seem like things you’d read about in a pulp spy novel, but the real-world stories behind these scarcely believable gadgets are revealed in Spy: The Secret World of Espionage. For the first time, the CIA has opened its vaults and unveiled the closely guarded history of some of its most inventive and deceptive whatchamacallits. Now, thanks to this family-friendly exhibit, the public can take a peak behind the agency's inner workings, as well as those of the KGB and Stasi. They can even get in on the action themselves during such interactive activities as navigating an actual laser field and crawling through duct work.
Though the exhibit emphasizes the high-tech devices that are part and parcel of international intrigue, it also features more familiar items that nevertheless played a crucial role in world history, such as the ice axe that killed Trotsky and a collapsible scooter that was instrumental to American agents in World War II. Describing the inventions and stories of the exhibit in 2012, Edward Rothstein of the New York Times wrote, “What happens along the way is that we gain an appreciation for the magic as well as the method; we end up glimpsing what these ordinary objects actually accomplished and what was at stake when they were used. . . . Even with its gadget-centered focus, we learn that this great bag of tricks was no mere game.”
- Size: more than 250 spy gear objects and artifacts from intelligence historian H. Keith Melton's personal collection
- Exhibit Highlights: an Enigma machine, a hollowed-out brick used to convey secret messages, and a pressure suit worn by U2 spy plane pilots
- From the Press: In an interview with Rivard Report, Melton said his collection is primarily about "covert communications, specifically [getting] secret information from a spy to his handler without detection."
- Interactive Activities: Create your own disguise, alter your voice, and work through a maze of laser beams at Spy School
- Don't Miss: the ice axe used to assassinate Leon Trotsky