In a previous blog about traveling with children I detailed two very welcome sights at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport—designated play areas for restless tots. What parent wouldn’t break into a smile upon seeing specially designed play areas where kids could burn off some steam after being cooped up in an aircraft for hours?
While the creators of these play areas say they were crafted to help pint-size travelers understand the air-travel experience we parents know better, these places are like oases in the middle of a barren desert. A place where we can sit for a spell among others who share our fatigue without the fiery stares of childless travelers burning holes into the back of our heads.
Since I only detailed the play areas found at O’Hare and Minneapolis-St. Paul’s airports I thought it only right with the busy holiday travel season drawing ever so near to provide a list of other airports which offer kid-friendly areas as well:
Boston Logan International Kidport (terminals A and C) includes the popular airplane shaped slide as well as a mock baggage-claim slide along with a private area for nursing mothers.
Cleveland Hopkins International (concourses A, C, D) has a children’s play area complete with climbing mountains, playhouses and an interactive nutrition and health display (Concourse D).
Dallas/Fort Worth International just unveiled two Junior Flyer’s Clubs (terminals B and C) a few months ago. Their play area features mock runways, bridges, cars, planes and padded floors.
Fresno Yosemite’s only concourse has two small areas with modular play centers, which include plastic rocket ships and helicopters. It may be small, but it’s more than most airports twice its size offers travelers with children.
McCarran International Las Vegas (Concourse D, Level 2) has an interactive control tower and mock jet engine.
Philadelphia International has a play area called the “Please Touch Aviation Station” (adjacent to Gate D-10) where your young pilot-in-training can use hand controls that activate a spinning propeller in a mock airliner.
Salt Lake City International (concourses A, B, E) has a play area that doubles as an arts-and-crafts corner. It stocks easels and chalkboards, plastic foam cars and airplanes and a fairy tale playhouse.
San Francisco International (Terminal 3) boasts activities one would likely find in a children’s museum. It features a color-shooting plasma wall activated by clapping hands, climbing toys and other interactive objects.