Kid Review of SPYSCAPE
by Waverly W., 10 years old and Yan A.R., 9 years old
The Mom here! Waverly – or should I call her “Secret Agent W.” – is obsessed with all things Spy and has been for years.  I didn’t even know there was a really cool Spy Museum right here in NYC until one day on the subway she started jabbing my arm and pointing at an ad for SPYSCAPE
and begged me to take her. I was intrigued, I mean, who isn’t fascinated by spies, espionage, and secret intelligence, or at least terrified by it all?  None of us knew exactly what to expect from our Spyscape experience – little did we know we would be completely immersed in every aspect of spying. This is way more than a place to look at cool authentic spy artifacts.  Here you can enter a cool looking building as your regular everyday self, but once inside, become the spy that you know you have inside of you! As they say at Spyscape, you will “unlock your inner spy” and become completely immersed in the hidden world of secrets, lies and spies.  I guarantee you – you have never seen or done anything like this before! Here is the kids’ take on it….

Waverly here! I was so excited to check out Spyscape that I kept watching the clock tick-ticking verrry slowly that day at school.  Like my mom said, I love anything to do with spies and I consider myself a Secret Agent! I didn’t really know what to expect but when we walked in and saw all the cool lighting and heard the suspenseful music, I knew it was going to be awesome. As they put the Spy Bracelet on, I began to be even more excited! They showed us to these cool stations that knew who we were and gave us challenges to complete when we waved our bracelets by a special sensor.  These challenges were going to help tell us our personality and if we were risk-takers or not. It also could tell our brain power! Before we started anything, though, we of course had to have a Briefing, and OMG that was soooo cool.

Getting Briefed

We walked into a big elevator and it whooshed us up what felt like hundreds of floors while we learned about how we are all being watched and how our phones keep track of literally everything! Luckily, there are ways to protect ourselves – visit Spyscape to find out how!

One of my favorite things we did there was the Encryption Table – it had a cipher test for speed and accuracy, like a code we had to crack but time was ticking (way faster than it did in school that day!).   It’s a big table so we all did it together but we each had separate stories that we worked on. I had to help a French Intelligence Officer escape…and I did it! Then I learned the story was based on a true story about VIrginia Hall, “The Limping Lady,” and I learned more about her at Spyscape, which was cool, because I am especially interested in girl spies, being one myself!

Cracking Codes

We learned a lot about the spy world, too, while we were having fun with all the activities.  Did you know there was a teenager who hacked the CIA? Also, there are hacking groups out there trying to change how things are done in our country, but they are anonymous…

Another really cool part of our time there was when we went into these little rooms and watched a video on how to lie and spot liars.  We learned some tips on how to tell when people are lying (here’s a hint – keep your hands off your face if you are not telling the truth!) and we even had to lie and then a camera showed us what we did to show that we were not telling the truth! I learned a lot and had fun in that booth and so will you when you analyze if “Anna Lies!” (Get it? Thanks, Mom!)

Yan here! I was excited like Waverly was and knew this was going to be awesome, but also a bit nervous because this was my first Kids’ News NYC assignment.  I knew that being a spy is a very cool job and I knew I’d see some gadgets but I didn’t know much more about what to expect. Waverly told me there would be lasers and I was super excited about that!  (Mom here, he was right, there were lots of amazing gadgets, like a razor that always points north, but looks just like a regular razor).

And check out this briefcase radio.  They have all kinds of cool spy gear – it’s a museum and so much more!

But my favorite part was dodging the lasers and pressing all the buttons! We all went into separate rooms and had so much fun that we all went in a few times! Each time we went, our score got higher, so we were improving our spy skills…
At Spyscape, I learned that being a spy is a very dangerous job. I think kids and parents should visit because it’s cool, awesome and inspiring!

Waverly here again! Another cool room they had was called the Surveillance Room. Walking into this room is like walking into a whole hidden world. We did the Surveillance Challenge while looking at huge screens filled with cameras in hundreds of places! We wore headphones and spoke into speakers – this was another one of my favorite parts, besides the lasers, which I could have stayed in all day!  This place is “One of a SPYnd!!” (Yes, I thought of that!!)

All our activities helped us learn about ourselves and when we went into our Debriefing, we got our results – I’m a Spycatcher! We even got an email that told us so much more.  There is literally nothing else like this in all of NYC so if you live here you have to check it out, and if you don’t live here, you still have to check it out!!  This should be on your list of things you must do when you are in New York City!! Go unlock YOUR inner spy at SPYSCAPE!  You may see me in there, because I’m going back for sure! And I will also go back to the awesome gift shop to get this hair clip that is way more than a hair clip – I’m saving my allowance!

I NEED this hairclip!!

Back to Mom! 
This place definitely is “One of a SPYnd” on many levels – authentic artifacts, activities at every step, multimedia presentations that will amaze you, it’s truly a whole other world in there! You will learn so much about past and present spies and espionage – and some of the things you may probably rather not know, but it’s good to stay informed. Here they not only inform you, but immerse you completely.  A completely innovative museum and a hidden “spytacular” world is waiting for you right on 8th Avenue.  Go check it out.


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