It's the Summer of the Spy at the Museum of Nature & Science

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'Spy Adventure,' Sleepovers, Birthday Parties, Summer Camp and Bond Films will Leave you Shaken and Stirred - Special Deals for Dad, Military Families, Government Employees, and Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity Add to Fun

This may be the summer of the spy with entertainment companies, theme parks and authors luring the cloak-and-dagger set with new offerings. "Burn Notice" has a new season; Internet sensation "Fledgling Jason Steed" has found a publisher; and Disneyworld has launched the "Kim Possible" spy attraction.

But if a trip to Florida isn't in the family budget, you should stealthily take the family to the Museum of Nature & Science in Fair Park for an all-absorbing espionage experience and enter the undercover world of spy craft at The Science of Spying exhibit.

The interactive exhibit gives eager agents of all ages an opportunity to experience the latest spy gadgets and techniques and to go on a secret mission. Visitors will learn everything from how to create disguises, detect liars and crack safes, to how to find hidden clues and break codes.

Special offers for Father's Day, military families, civic and government employees and Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity provide opportunities for inexpensive family summer fun close to home.

Give Dad the gift of family time at the museum and receive a free child's ticket with the purchase of every adult ticket on Father's Day weekend (June 20-21, 2009). Military families and government and civic employees get a $3.00 discount per ticket with ID. Some of these deals require a coupon from: http://www.natureandscience.org/spying/planning.asp#special-discounts.

In celebration of National Home Ownership month, the Museum of Nature & Science and Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity are hosting a special day at the museum on June 27, 2009 with $4.00 off per ticket for Habitat families and volunteers. The coupon can be found at: http://dallas-habitat.org/files/HabitatFlyer.pdf. Plus many special activities are tailored for all spies in training, whether you are 6 or 60.

Discover These Undercover Events

Shaken, Not Stirred: Movies and Martinis with Bond…James Bond

Attention all 007 aficionados: enjoy the classic thrills with the silver screen's most sophisticated spy. Refreshments available will include movie snacks, non-alcoholic beverages and, of course, martinis…shaken, not stirred! Films start at 7:30 p.m.; lobby and bar opens at 6:30 p.m.

  • June 27 - From Russia with Love
  • July 25 - Live and Let Die
  • Aug. 22 - Casino Royale

Super-Sleuth Spying Sleepovers

Get ready for high-spying adventure - and a little shuteye - at this spy-themed sleepover! Scheduled for June 20, July 18, and August 15, and designed for youngsters ages 9 to 15, the sleepover is packed with kid-approved sleuthing fun and includes a late-night snack, light breakfast, and admission to MNS and The Science of Spying exhibition. Sample activities in which your spies in training may participate include:

  • Handwriting and Fingerprint Analysis: Discover what types of information handwriting styles can reveal and the importance of fingerprint pattern analysis.
  • Codes, Ciphers and Clues: Decode clues, learn to send "rubber band" codes, and read and write invisible messages.
  • Periscope Surveillance: Make a periscope to discreetly see around corners.

CSI: Dallas

This spine-tingling introduction to the real world of forensic science gives kids ages 13 to 17 hands-on-experience in crime scene investigation. Junior Investigators will learn how to conduct an investigation from start to finish by collecting fingerprints, searching for DNA evidence and interviewing witnesses. Then, they'll put all of these newly honed skills to the test to solve "The Case of the Missing Student!" Each session is 2 ½ days:

  • June 15-17
  • June 17-19
  • July 6-8
  • July 8-10
  • Aug. 3-5
  • Aug. 5-8

Murder Mystery Dinners: Murder at the Museum

Dig out your magnifying glass, sharpen up your deductive reasoning skills, and join in a one-of-a-kind evening of murder, mystery and mayhem as cold-blooded homicide and espionage darken the halls of the museum. It's an intoxicating combination of guest interaction with incognito actors, a cocktail reception and a three-course dinner - set against the mystifying, dimly-lit backdrop of gargantuan dinosaur fossils and wildlife dioramas. The experience is brought to MNS by Keith and Margo's Murder Mystery Texas and is rated PG-13. Dinners are scheduled on select Fridays at 7:30 pm: June 5, July 24, Aug. 28, Sept. 11, Oct. 23, and Dec. 4.

Discovery Camp Spy Week

Calling aspiring sleuths: Our spy school takes spy games to the next level! Students will learn tricks of the trade, make and sample spy gear, visit The Science of Spying exhibit and earn an official spy certificate. Discovery Camp Spy Week runs July 27 - 31 for ages 5 to 12. Register today as only a few slots remain.

Museum Mystery Children's Birthday Parties

Set the stage for birthday excitement with our "Museum Mystery" theme: A priceless relic has been stolen from the Museum of Nature & Science. Armed with elite scientific detective techniques, only you and your guests can save the day! Don't worry: Once the mystery is solved, there'll be just enough time for cake and presents. Party package includes 15 children and 15 adults, with an option for a maximum of 24 children and is recommended for ages 8 to 10.

Free Spy Adventure

Join in a free, sprawling Spy Adventure comprised of virtual and real-world espionage activities. Follow the story of three intrepid local youngsters as they learn about plans to steal and sell corporate secrets. The on-going stories can be found in the neighborsgo sections of The Dallas Morning News, both on-line and in print and the children's adventures will be updated on Facebook ("Emma SpyKid") and Twitter (@EmmaSpyKid).

Next, a spy-themed Clue Hunt will take those who choose to accept the mission on a real-world spy search. From June 1- August 30, Phase 2 clues can be found at DART's downtown retail store, at NorthPark Center and all the branches of the Dallas Public Library. Virtual clues are found on the following websites: dallaslibrary.org, dart.org, neighborsgo.com, northparkcenter.com, northtexaskids.com and dallashabitat.org.

Participants who crack codes, uncover clues and demonstrate superior spy skills can receive discounts to The Science of Spying and other great offers plus register for a chance to win prizes in monthly drawings scheduled to be held in June, July and August. For information about how to participate, clues and locations and general terms and conditions go to http://www.natureandscience.org/spying/spy_adventure.asp

Free Spy-themed Story Readings

Young secret agents from ages 2 to 6 can listen in to exciting secret agent exploits when a Dallas Public Library librarian reads a spy-themed story and leads activities for free in the MNS Science Building lobby at 1318 South Second Avenue in Fair Park.

  • June 24 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • July 22 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • August 19 10:30-11:30 a.m.

The Science of Spying opened to the public at noon on May 23. It is located in the MNS Science Building, 1318 S. 2nd Ave. and open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. on Sundays, through Jan. 4, 2010 (except noted holidays). MNS members get free admission; Non-members require a special ticket - adults $13.75, children 3 to 11 $9.75, youth 12 to 18 $12, seniors 62 and over, and students 18 and over with an ID $12.50. Tickets to The Science of
Spying also include admission to all three of the museum's buildings and galleries. IMAX® and Planetarium show tickets are additional. For information call 214-428-5555 or visit http://www.natureandscience.org. Media will find pictures and information at: http://www.tinyurl.com/scienceofspying.    

About The Science of Spying

The Science of Spying draws on the expertise of real-life spies to make a fun and realistic experience. For example, Harry Ferguson, former MI6 agent and presenter of the BBC2 TV program "SPY," was an advisor on the exhibition. The Science of Spying is the second exhibition from The Science of…' a company born from the partnership of Fleming Media and the world-renowned Science Museum' London. Under the name The Science of..., a series of exhibitions has been designed to showcase the latest learning from the world of science through immersive and interactive experiences, which will tour the world. More information can be found at: http://www.scienceofspying.com.

About the Museum of Nature & Science

The Museum of Nature & Science, formerly the Dallas Museum of Natural History, The Science Place and the Dallas Children's Museum, is a non-profit educational organization located in Dallas' Fair Park. In support of its mission to inspire minds through nature and science, MNS delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor experiences through its education, exhibition and research and collections programming for students, teachers, families and life-long learners. The MNS campus includes the TI Founders IMAX® Theater and a cutting-edge digital planetarium. The museum is supported in part by funds from the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the Texas Commission on the Arts and EDS. To learn more visit http://www.natureandscience.org.

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Cynthia Stine
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