Last week our family had a three hour layover in the Atlanta airport. We went in search of something substantial for dinner because I’ve decided we all are better travelers with real food in our stomachs. We just happened to find a country cooking restaurant and were thrilled to order macaroni and cheese, green beans, corn bread, okra, and iced tea. Even though we weren’t staying in Atlanta, it was nice to share this taste of the south with my kids.
For me, occupying children on layovers is one of the hardest challenges of traveling. After one flight, everyone is ready to be at the destination. We are all a little impatient about waiting around for yet another plane. I do think taking the time to sit down and enjoy a meal is a good use of the time. Walking the long hallways of terminals is a good time killer as well as a good way to stretch legs, too. Some airports have play areas but often they are crowded or on the other side of the airport from where we need to be.
We have a few strategies though to occupy the kids. Simple card games like UNO or crazy eights pass the time. Once my husband brought his laptop and played a movie for the kids during a particularly long layover. Finding an ice cream place is always a good treat too. Eating the ice cream takes a lot more time than gulping down a candy bar. We have spent quite some time taking a ride on the airport trains and on the moving sidewalks. Reading the airport signs for different destinations is fun too, if the kids are old enough to know a little geography. Layovers are a good time to pull out games like I Spy, or the Anytime, Anywhere Game.
A good layer for us is a good meal, some exercise, a game or two, and the hope that the flight is on time.
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