Airport children's play areas and other kids entertainment are available in many of the busiest US airports
If you are traveling with children, you likely would appreciate airport facilities to keep the kids entertained while you wait for your flight or during an airport layover. The good news is that many of the busiest US airports have children's play areas or other diversions to help keep the kids entertained and happy. We have compiled a list of the airport children's facilities and diversions available in the 10 busiest US airports to help you keep you kids happy and entertained during your next trip.*
Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) Children's Play AreasAn entertainment area for the children of military personnel is provided by the USO on the 3rd level of the Atrium.
The play areas for small children near Gates A8 and A23 have recently been removed and no airport operated play areas are currently available.
The Atlanta airport has number of art exhibits, some of which may interest children, such as the dinosaur skeleton in the Atrium, stone sculptures on the transportation mall pedestrian corridor between concourses A and T, and youth art exhibits on concourses T, D and E. See the eXpect delaYs Blog article about Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport art for more details.
For additional information visit Fun On The Fly which lists activities outside of the airport, the Family Fun area which also lists kid-friendly airport stores and restaurants as well as the locations of airport family restrooms, and the Hartsfield Kids web site.
There is mention on the web of 2 entertainment areas for children provided by airlines at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport:
--The first is Tran Land playland by AirTran Airways located on Concourse C gate #7 and/or across from the restrooms Gates #10-12. This is not open to the public and is only for unaccompanied minors flying on AirTran Airways.
--The second is Dusty Dens by Delta Airlines. I am in the process of confirming that these exist anymore. These areas are located on Concourse A at gate #32, Concourse B at gate #23, and Concourse T on the 3rd floor next to the Delta breakroom. Rumor has it that Dusty Dens , likeTran Land, are for traveling unaccompanied minors, but it may be worth checking these out for yourself.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) Children's Play Areas
There is no children's play area, but the kids may enjoy the rocking chairs in the Atrium, or listening to someone playing the Atrium grand piano. There are also art exhibits around the airport, some of which may interest children, such as a half scale replica of the original Wright Flyer displayed on Concourse E.
Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) Children's Play Areas
Chicago O'Hare International Airport has two children's play and entertainment areas which are both entertaining as well as educational.
--One is the Kids on the Fly interactive exhibit on Terminal 2 which was designed by the Chicago Children's Museum and has a number of interactive exhibits, such as a control tower, cargo plane and helicopter.
--The second is the Play It Safe exhibit on Terminal 5 which is provided by the Chicago Fire Department and the Chicago Children's Museum. It is designed to allow kids to learn about and practice the proper responses to emergencies, and to learn about fire and safety.
Family restroms are available on Terminals 2 and 3.
The City of Chicago has a Kid's Corner web page which includes airport and aviation information and history, as well as information about Chicago O'Hare International Airport children's play areas.
Dallas - Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW) Children's Play Areas
DFW has 3 children's play areas.
--A McDonalds play area is located in Terminal D near Gate D30.
--There are 2 Pepsi Junior Flyers Clubs, which are aviation themed play areas for kids. They are located in Terminal B at Gate B12 and in Terminal C at Gate C14 and have models of runways, airplanes and control towers, among other things.
Information about these DFW Children's play areas and other airport services can be found at the DFW Services web page.
Denver International Airport (DEN) Children's Play Areas
An airport children's play area is located on Concourse B.
Musicians and Dancers will provide live entertainment in a variety of locations during the holiday season, until December 31, 2008. The schedule is available on the Denver International Airport Arts Home Page. Art exhibits are also present throughout the airport, and details can be found on the Arts page as well.
Although this diversion only lasts a minute or two, when you are riding the train between terminals, have the kids look out the window at the thousands of little spinning propellers on the walls of the train tunnel.
Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) Children's Play Areas
This airport does not have a children's play area. Although a few postings on the web say that there is a play area at this airport provided by Southwest Airlines, my personal communication with customer service at this airport on October 13, 2008 confirms that no children's play area is present at this time. However, the development of a play area is currently under consideration. There is also a mention of game rooms on the second floor of the terminal on the airport's Terminals and Amenities page, but no further specifics are given.
Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) Children's Play Areas
A Kids Play Area is located in the D Gates area. The aviation-themed area features an interactive mini control tower and mock jet engine, as well as murals designed by students.
Although this area is outside of security, depending on how much time you have, you may consider visiting the Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum in the Esplanade area of Terminal 1 on level 2. Here you and the kids can learn about the history of aviation in Southern Nevada by viewing a short video presentation and looking at exhibits in over 30 display cases. Additional exhibits are located throughout the airport as well.
Art exhibits are also located throughout the airport.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Children's Play Areas
The LAX web site does not list any airport children's play areas and LAX community relations confirmed that there are none. There are occasional posts on the web about a Dusty's Den (Delta's play area), although details are not available on the LAX or Delta Airlines web sites so I assume these are a thing of the past, but it may be worth a look around the Delta gates if you are in the area.
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) Children's Play Areas
Philadelphia International Airport offers two educational airport children's play areas. The Aviation Play Station is located in Terminal D adjacent to Gate D-10 and Ready For Takeoff is located in Terminal A-East near Gate A-1. Both play areas features interactive displays specifically designed to introduce children to the exciting world of aviation. Hands-on items in Aviation Play Station include a jumbo-jet where children can get inside to be both passengers and crewmembers, and a smaller airplane featuring hand controls where children can activate a spinning propeller In Ready For Takeoff there is a control tower, jumbo jet and tug. For additional information, visit the PHL Kid's Corner web site.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) Children's Play Areas
There are a total of four airport children's play areas at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Members of the military, veterans and their families can use the Military and Veterans Hospitality Lounge in Terminal 2 before security on the second floor of the lobby, which includes a play area for children.
The three other airport children's play areas are located past security and are for anyone to use:
Terminal 2 in the Gates 1-13 concourse.
Terminal 3 in the South concourse.
Terminal 4 in the International concourse.
The Phoenix Airports also have an extensive art collection, with art distributed throughout the airport.
The Denver International Airport Web Site has detailed information for traveling with children, as well as information about children traveling alone.
Not one of the top 10 busiest airports, but worth noting:
Boston Logan Airport (BOS) has two airport children's play areas, called Kidport. They are located in Terminals A and C. The terminal A location is located at gate A18 and has a replica of the Logan airport control tower. The terminal C location has entertaining and educational hands on exhibits as well as two kid-friendly dining establishment.
We hope this information helps keep you and your children happy and entertained during your travels. Remember, if you eXpect delaYs, you can beat them!
*All information is as provided by the airport web sites and via
personnel communication with airport representative. Please let us know
if any of the information provided is incorrect.