Airport troubles...turned into airport fun
Hello fall….or maybe summer is here to stay! It has been a warm one but I am not complaining! Speaking of complaining, I thought I would give a positive spin to airport troubles. I know, nobody likes to get delayed at the airport. It can be a rough way to start or end a vacation that's for sure. Though, I do have some great memories from super long layover as a kid. We had several hours to kill in the St. Louis airport so my parents got a taxi and we went to the St Louis Arch. When I was in college with a study abroad group we missed our connection in Paris so we took a quick trip to tour the Cathedral of Notre Dame. These are moments I will never forget. Leaving the airport for a few hours can be rather tricky with security and luggage so it's not always an option. Just this month there have been all sorts of major delays when British Airway went on strike, San Francisco started major construction on a runway and hurricanes making their way up the east coast. Some days you just can’t prevent them, so what are you to do? Explore your airport, yup you read that right. Airports are becoming a destination themselves, some are even hosting BIRTHDAY parties. Most are just adding healthier food options, gym and spa facilities, upgraded lounges and family friendly facilities and play areas.
Adventures in the Airport
SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL// Let’s start off with San Francisco since they are currently experiencing some delays. If you have enough time a 30 minute train will take you right into the city. If you can’t get out to grab some local food,the airport is a culinary experience with local food, beer and wine. Inside this airport you can discover great aquariums, 11,000 square-foot aviation museum, and self-guided tours of the terminals for children that are more like an airport-wide treasure hunt. Believe it or not the Aviation Museum and library is open to the public and free. If that doesn’t keep the kids entertained there are different kids play areas and a scavenger hunt with prizes. In addition, you can take your stress to free yoga rooms, relaxation rooms and hydration stations located throughout the airport.
MUNICH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT// I have personally found Germany’s airport and airlines to be extremely family friendly along our travels. Munich offers an outdoor park which includes a mini-golf course, a climb-able toy airplane, and a trampoline that's perfect for burning off excess energy. And if you need something to keep the kids entertained on the next leg of the trip the toy store there has one of the best selections of any shop we have seen, in or out of an airport. Oh and did I add they have some fun places to grab a local beer and brat.
SINGAPORE CHANGI// This airport makes me want to travel to Singapore! The airport is a destination in itself. Some of the amenities include an indoor playground with a three-story slide, a butterfly garden, a Balinese-style swimming pool and a Koi pond where the kids can feed fish. If you have a few hours you can even take free tours of the city during your layover.
PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT//As a child I spent many years traveling through PDX and I always remembered it being clean and bright. Now they are catering to families with children. Arrive at the airport too early and you can venture to pre-security by Concourses D and E and find a multi-colored jungle gym, with padded surfaces, stairs that lead to a couple of slides and a "lookout" with a toy telescope and steering wheel so kids can spy aircraft out on the tarmac. Post-security on the C Concourse, there is a play area sports Lego table, bead maze, play cars and child-friendly channels on the TV. Before you board, stop by Creative Kidstuff in Concourse C for some travel-worthy games to keep them occupied during the long flight.
CHARLES DE GAULLE AIRPORT// In the boarding lounges of Terminals 2C, 2D and 2E you can find play areas that come equipped with ball pits, toboggans and mazes. For the older kids, there are pay-to-play areas that feature pinball machines, pool tables, video games and more. Arcades are located throughout Terminal 3. At the international boarding area at Terminal 3, the Gully play areas feature distorting mirrors, interactive world maps, mini-tunnels, hopscotch and TV rooms with bean bag chairs and comfy coaches so kids can relax while watching their favorite flicks.
This is just a short list of the many airports offering fun amenities inside the airports. Look at a map and see what there is to offer! Find good in any adventure!