What happens in a museum after dark? When the last visitors leave, the doors close and the lights dim? You can find out thanks to a new experience from Washington, D.C.'s International Spy Museum that lets you live out the ultimate childhood fantasy with a 'secret operation sleepover' or after-hours tour.

A young girl in a sleep mask at a museum sleepover
Guests will enjoy private access to the museum's galleries ©Taylor Mickal Photography / International Spy Museum

The International Spy Museum is allowing guests to experience its exhibits outside of regular admission hours with family-friendly experiences that include an after-hours private tour or a full overnight sleepover in the museum from 7.30pm to 9am. Both experiences come with a dinner, free spy kits for each member to help with their espionage training, a tour guide, behind-the-scenes access to the museum's galleries, and access to the the rooftop terrace with views of the Capitol and Washington Monument. With the sleepover option, breakfast is included... provided the secret spy training mission is accomplished.

Rooftop views in Washington, DC overlooking the Washington Monument
The rooftop terrace has some of the most impressive views in Washington, DC ©Love Life Images / International Spy Museum

Following a $162 million makeover, the International Spy Museum reopened last May in a much larger location at L'Enfant Plaza. It houses some really unique exhibitions that decode all sorts of espionage tricks. Many of them are interactive so budding 007s can experience what it would like to embark on top-secret missions. What's more, the museum boasts a trove of items that it claims is the "foremost collection of spy artifacts in the world," as well as first-person accounts from top intelligence officers and experts.

Exterior shot of the International Spy Museum
The International Spy Museum ©Dominique Muñoz / International Spy Museum

For the after-hours tours, group size is limited to 20 people maximum from the same family or group of friends to keep in line with covid-related guidelines. For more information, see here.

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