Spies, Disguise and ways to hide at IWM Manchester

We love museums and the Imperial War Museum features high up on our list of all time favourites. I used to think that a museum all about war would not be suitable for the girls but we have been going for years and they love it!
We were really lucky to head over to the Imperial War Museum on Saturday morning for a preview of the new events and activities.

We love pretending to be spies so the arts and crafts session to make our own binoculars.

The timetable for the new activities gives families something exciting to do this February half term. I really wish we were around on February 15th to meet Andy Cope and Spy Puppy which is must have for any Spy Dog fans.

Here is all of the information

Top Secret: Spies, Disguise and Ways to Hide

IWM North, part of Imperial War Museums, Saturday 15 to Sunday 23 February 2014

Free Entry – Donations welcome


Pssst. Sneak over to IWM North this February half term to learn some Top Secret spy skills, take on a laser maze and meet the human and canine duo behind the Spy Dog children’s book series.This week full of free family activities is inspired by real life stories of wartime bravery and espionage. 

Meet Spy Pup Star, the real life puppy who stars in the latest of the popular children’s Puffin Book Series Spy Dog and Spy Pups, along with author Andrew Cope. Hear about Spy Dog’s latest adventures and find out what it takes to be a clever canine undercover.  Free, but booking is essential via learningnorth@iwm.org.uk or 0161 8364000.

Check in at Spy HQ to create your own secret identity and receive your mission. Make your own Spy ID, invent a codename and complete your training to learn essential spy skills. 

Stealth is one of the best weapons for a spy who wants to move around unseen.  Can you keep a cool head and think on your feet to take on the Super Spy Laser Maze challenge? Test your patience and nerve to make your way across the course without crossing the beams. See if you can pass undetected to earn super spy status. In a time before mobile phones and wifi, sending information during wartime was a huge challenge, especially if messages contained important information that couldn’t fall into the wrong hands.  Keep things strictly Top Secret and learn how to make and break your own codes to send those special messages undetected in Open Studio: Code Breaking  sessions.  Learn how important animals like dogs and pigeons were in carrying messages on land and even overseas. Discover fascinating objects on display like a dog messenger collar and a coded pigeon message from the First World War. 

History comes to life in What A Performance live theatrical acts, inspired by the amazing bravery and cunning of women Special Operations Executives (SOE) during the Second World War.  Follow the dramatic story of an SOE agent parachuted into France undercover to report back on German military activity, inspired by the true story of Odette Hallows. 

Younger visitors can take part in daily interactive story telling sessions throughout half term and discover the tales of wartime animals on a mission to transport vital messages undetected.  Get hands on with a trench periscope used by soldiers during the First World War to take a peek at the enemy and find out how undercover agents during the Second World War used clever gadgets like matchbox cameras to gather intelligence on enemy activity.  Alternatively, don a concealing wig or fake moustache and practice the art of deception in our disguise dress up corner in the Learning Studio. 

Explore the Main exhibition Space and go under undercover in camoflage or crack a code at the family friendly Action Stations. 

Discover the famous story of Oliver Philpot, who escaped a German prisoner of war camp in 1943 by digging a secret underground tunnel.  He found his way to Sweden and then made it back to Britain, by making a compass from materials he had found in the camp. His amazing compass can be seen on display alongside a hand decorated tie he made to disguise himself once outside of the camp.

It will definitely be an action packed week and with all of the other fabulous features of the IWM North you will not be disappointed.