While I like a good Hollywood thriller full of international intrigue as much as the next guy, this isn’t about catching the latest summer blockbuster at your local cineplex. That’s because, as a general rule, I think it’s usually more fun to have your own extraordinary experiences than it is to sit back and watch someone else having them.
Which is why I was psyched to find these three different ways we can all leave our everyday lives behind and live out our own secret-agent fantasies this summer:
I was crazy about both The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Get Smart when I was growing up, especially all the way-cool gadgets (some of which are apparently not so secret anymore). Now kids ages 5-12 can have their own clandestine adventures at the week-long Discovery Camp: Spy Week program (July 27-31) put on by the Museum of Nature & Science in Dallas, TX. Psssst! Hey grown-ups! While you’re there, be sure to check out the museum’s cool Science of Spying exhibit.
If you’re the type who eats danger for breakfast like our friend Rhino from the movie Bolt (pictured above), you’re gonna love the program put together by the folks at Covert Ops. After being transported to a secret training base outside Tucson, AZ, you’ll suit up in your desert camo fatigues and meet your Special Forces-trained instructors who will give you your chance to try your hand at everything from evasive driving techniques to hostage rescue as part of an urgent hush-hush paramilitary mission.
For the truly secret agent-smitten, the International Spy Museum in Washington DC gives you the chance to go beyond the Hollywood hype as you explore exhibits and artifacts that trace the history of spy-craft from its earliest beginnings through modern times. Be sure to check the website for info on some of their really interesting special programs, including the new Operation Spy that gives you the chance to step into the role of an intelligence officer on an international mission to locate a missing nuclear device before it falls into the wrong hands.