Airports, by nature, are super fun places for kids. My kids LOVE everything about the airport. In fact, I can’t count how many times we’ve returned from an amazing vacation and they’ve cited the “highlight of the trip” as some aspect of the airport.
However, no matter how deep the love runs- even good things have time limits. Too much airport time can lead to
disaster. Trust me. I recently spent 9 hours in one day in airports with my children. And while they were content for a while, I had to work at the entertainment!
Personally I don’t think it’s a good idea for kids to sit down a lot at the airport. Keep in mind, they’ll be boarding a flight and sitting for the duration. Likewise, I try to avoid using entertainment they can/will use on the plane. For example, we keep our electronics and coloring paraphernalia tucked in our carry-on until we board the flight.
So what do we do with kids at the airport? Here are 10 airport entertainment ideas:
- Walk: Walk, walk, walk. And walk some more.
- Ride the Tram: This is only possible at some airports where the terminals are all connected past security. Definitely check- kids love going for a ride!
- Watch/Count Planes: Don’t feel confined to your gate. Find a great spot with lots of plane action.
- Scavenger Hunt: Children will love searching the terminal for items on a list.
- Restaurant: If we have a long layover, we prefer to eat at a restaurant. Although this breaks my rule of not sitting down, it allows us to be waited on and passes the time quickly.
- Throw a Ball: We travel with a small, squishy ball that we can easily toss around in an open area.
- Play Games: I don’t recommend playing hide and seek; however, there are a variety of other kids’ games that work well in an airport. Simon Says and Charades are among our favorites.
- Children’s Area: Many airports have special areas for children to play.
- Find Art/Displays: Most airports have decorations of some sort. Additionally, the items typically have educational information.
- Treats: Though it might sound counterintuitive, I occasionally bribe my children with sugar. Towards the end of a long layover, I reward my children for good behavior.
What are some other things you do for airport entertainment?