Stuck in the Airport with Kids: Top 10 U.S. Airports for Long Layovers

Stuck in the Airport with Kids: Top 10 U.S. Airports for Long Layovers

Family vacations are great chances to create memories that will last a lifetime, however painful travel ordeals can generate unpleasant memories that in no way fade. Neverending car rides and overlooked flights can ruin otherwise fun excursions. In my own vacations, I have always eliminated layovers in Denver co because I still recall playing on the shifting sidewalks until I used to be bored and moody during two extended layovers in Denver colorado International Airport. I’m sure dad wished we were everywhere but a large, busy terminal for those seemingly endless delays. Today, even a routine airline flight can involve prolonged delays at the international airport thanks to increased basic safety and reduced staff at check-in. So how do you maintain kids happy immediately?

While you can never guarantee a journey free of delays and also mishaps, you can even so plan the best way to handle those situations after they arise. To help make sure good travel thoughts and smooth getaways, we’ve put together a list of the best kid-friendly airports for long layovers. These air terminals provide more than just relocating sidewalks to keep the youngsters busy. Kid-friendly amenities contain everything from aviation-themed play regions and educational exhibits to private family rooms as well as rocking chairs with regard to mothers with toddlers.

We judged these international airports based on their kid-friendly conveniences, convenience as a stopping point, and nearness to great family trip spots. Next time all your family members takes to the heavens, plan for the unanticipated by connecting with these family-conscious hubs.

Chicago O’Hare

O'Hare Play AreaOne of the earth’s busiest airports is also one of the best kid-friendly terminals in the country. Good thing, too: Regardless of being voted the very best airport in the world by Business Traveler Magazine from 2004-2007, O’Hare also has earned notoriety since the second-worst airport in the country regarding delays.

If you do go mad this Midwestern travel citadel, do not worry: Numerous parenting web sites have ranked O’Hare because number one family-friendly airport, and also Travel Mamas explains exactly why: “There are diverse solutions to keep kids interested at O’Hare when the delay becomes much longer when compared with expected.” The airport boasts multiple participate in areas, including Kids about the Fly in Terminal Two. The 2,000 ft . playground installed through the Chicago Children’s Memorial features airport-themed climbing houses that the museum affirms allow kids to be able to, “play, pretend, and practice skills.” The airport also offers many kid-friendly, post-security dining selections, including Garett’s Popcorn (Airport terminal 1) and Pasta Grill (Terminal 3).

You can pass through Chicago on flights back and forth almost any major airport terminal in the U.S. O’Hare is a particularly good move point for travel arrangements connecting coastal modems like Boston in addition to Los Angeles with localised, mid-western destinations.

While O’Hare is a active international airport with well-known flights to and from Manchester, Toronto, and Frankfurt, we advise avoiding it if you travel abroad along with kids because the overseas terminal does not feature all the family-friendly amenities in the domestic terminals.

San Francisco

SFO AquariumWhile San fran is a common endpoint to a quest, it can also serve as a good connection to Asia-Pacific destinations similar to Hong Kong, Seoul, and Tokyo. Just before stepping onto a long trans-Pacific flight, there are few air terminals better suited to enjoyable kids than SFO.

The airport terminal includes nurseries with Terminals 1, Two, and 3;?Kids’ Spot?play places in three destinations, and three distinct aquariums in Terminal 1 before safety. Dedicated family counters also help people get through security in their own pace. Your convenient security counters can be helpful on extended layovers, as SFO’s area makes it relatively easy to emerge from the airport and check out San Francisco for an hour or so between flights.

A-List Mum Travel ranked SFO this?second best airport terminal for children?(after O’Hare). They talk about that the airport has great options for teenagers and parents in addition to the perform areas, including the Commission Aviation Library plus the 11,500 square foot Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum. The museum, “conjures upward a feeling of a bygone era when traveling was a sophisticated pastime for just the rarefied few.”

SFO is very dedicated to keeping your loved ones happy and involved between flights they’ve put together?self-guided tours?on the airport terminals. Your tours will cause you and your kids for the various exhibits, engage in areas, and international airport features that make SFO special. They also include queries and challenges to be able to occupy the little types. There’s no better way to spend a long layover than taking the family on a treasure hunt.

Boston Logan

Logan KidportIf you are taking the kids out of the country, then Boston’s Logan International Airport is an excellent place to catch the flight. The home and international terminals are connected through walkways, so moves are quick and easy. The favourite international flights through Boston connect with Western european hubs London, Frankfurt, along with Paris, though you can also fly direct in order to Tokyo and China.

Families facing a layover inside Boston will find manchester international well-equipped to keep your kids amused. Two Kid Port play places, created with the Birkenstock boston Children’s Museum, are located in Terminals A and C. Like O’Hare, Logan’s indoors playgrounds feature airplane and tower molded climbing structures. These kinds of play spaces likewise incorporate seating for parents, with an area for watching TV. Atlanta-based blog site, My Busy Little ones, advises, “I would definitely propose waiting for the airline there with young children instead of the gate spot.”

Keeping the youngest airliner setters in mind, Logan also functions rocking chairs, household restrooms, and bedrooms for nursing parents who want some living space and privacy.

In accent major domestic along with international flights, Logan is a hub for travelling to regional vacation destinations like Cape Cod, Vermont, and Maine.



Read a little more about Phoenix airport below.


YangchuanosaurusAtlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport is the most frantic airport in the world, and also one of the coolest airports for kids to visit (it came in first intended for amenities and finally for families using a recent Travel Leaders Group poll cited on Gadling). Why? Dinosaurs. Along with its two participate in areas, the Atl airport features a thoroughly assembled skeleton connected with Yangchuanosaurus–a dinosaur that lived in China during the Jurassic period. This particular old now lives in this Hartsfield-Jackson Atrium, to the amazement of babies and parents passing through.

Hartsfield-Jackson also features a great Airport Art software that includes artworks in addition to rotating exhibits that will delight passengers of nearly every age. The Youth Free galleries on concourses D, At the, and T exhibit art projects simply by Georgia students.

Atlanta is a major hub for Delta, and the most popular home-based flights connect with many cities in California, New York City, and Dallas, along with international ‘hang-outs’ like Cancun, Barbados, and Nassau.

Keep in mind of which Hartfield-Jackson is an enormous air-port, and more than a few vacation goers have gotten lost in its concourses. While it can be one of the better airports for keeping the kids busy, it’s also wise to make sure your children never stray far, and remember to leave plenty of time for getting from play areas and exhibits in your gate before the flight leaves.

Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas Junior Flyer's ClubThe simple fact is that you don’t have to perform much planning to find yourself traveling through DFW. Texas’s primary airport is home to United states Airlines and internet connections to airports around the country. It’s a well-known stopping point for flights to La, Chicago, Atlanta, Littleton, and New York, plus it services many localised airports in the Southwest. It is also a entrance to Mexico.

Fortunately, it isn’t a bad place to get stuck with the kids. Dallas-Fort Really worth features five engage in areas called Junior Leaflet Clubs. These playgrounds characteristic interactive structures regarding climbing and make-believe, toys, and games for the kids. There’s also a seating area for parents to rest while the little ones tire themselves out there.

If you’re stuck inside DFW for an unusually period of time, then you can change it way up and take the little ones to the McDonald’s play area near checkpoint D33.


Nashville Live MusicThe music capital of the South puts their reputation on display with Nashville International Airport. Strike the airport at the perfect time and you’ll be lucky enough to capture live musical shows on one of the airport’s several stages. 80 in order to 100 bands conduct at the airport annually, and Thursday as well as Friday afternoons work best times to catch a show.

The airport also has an extensive public art program, including long lasting installations and twisting exhibits.

For kids with the level of energy that can’t be shed enjoying art in addition to music, the airport likewise features three engage in areas – one in every terminal. Airport manual, TravelNerd ranked Nashville the actual sixth most kid-friendly international airport thanks to its 3 play areas, leisure, and Redbox DVD junk food machines.

Nashville is a localised hub serving 1949 markets. It’s a fantastic connection point regarding travelers headed to be able to Memphis, Indianapolis, and Raleigh/Durham. Typically the most popular flights to and from the music activity City connect to Metro atlanta, Dallas, Denver, and also Chicago.

Minneapolis St. Paul

Minneapolis Play AreaStuck with Minneapolis St. Henry between flights? This hub, which links major US locations with Canadian air terminals and other international spots, is subject to weather-related waiting times that may be impossible in order to avoid – especially if you’re operating winter. The good news is that it is great place to spend a couple of hours between flights considering that the airport is conveniently located near Nearby mall of America and other local attractions.

Light Rail Transportation connects MSP to town center Minneapolis and Nearby mall of America. The drive takes about A dozen minutes each means and children under all 5 ride free as soon as accompanied by a ticketed adult. Your train also provides convenient access to Mall of the usa, which could be ought to have a vacation itself. This contemporary American icon can be home not only to searching, but also to concert halls, an Aquarium, and experiential retailers from American Woman and Lego. Not to mention Nickelodeon Whole world: this kid-centric indoor theme park comes complete with character types and rides for everyone.

For layovers too short to exit the airport, there are two enjoy areas located in the terminals that have flight themes. There are also spaces for nursing mums and a family center where parents and children can relax together and benefit from amenities such as a household bathroom, rocking chair, and cribs.

Las Vegas

McCarran AirportIn basic, Las Vegas is not a popular destination for families together with young (read: underage) young children. There certainly are some things for families to do in Nevada’s Mecca of extravagance, but the expected adults-only content may be an excessive amount of for some families. Manchester international, on the other hand, is a fashionable place that’s at ease for multiple many years. Adults can even have a taste of the tamer area of Vegas steps while waiting for the flight – the airport can be fully loaded with above 1200 slot machines.

McCarran airport terminal is a stop on the way between Southwestern destinations and major urban centers like Los Angeles, Metro atlanta, and Seattle. For travelers with children, it’s not a bad destination for a pass an hour or two involving flights.

For the kids, McCarran includes a huge unsupervised childrens’ play area throughout Terminal D. The spot has play components and an interactive control tower. The airport can be home to some great vintage planes, which will garner the attention of babies interested in aviation. The particular Las Vegas airport has also appeared in many The show biz industry movies, so you can entertain the family by locating spots where famous scenes from Up in the Air, Ocean’s 13, and Rush Hour ended up filmed.


Children's play area in Sea-TacSeattle-Tacoma offers a number of family-friendly amenities by car seat and stroller rentals to a non-public room for nursing mothers, complete with flexible lighting and lulling chairs. The Mother’s area is situated in the Little ones Play Area, thus parents can easily care for multiple kids. (Additionally it is located across through the Seattle Tap Bedroom, so parents may take care of themselves too.)

Cascadia Kids, a family journey website in the North american, highlights the airport’ersus rocking chairs as a major attraction for fogeys and children alike. Lora Shinn publishes articles, “Near the gorgeous, floor-to-ceiling central fatal window, Sea-Tac offers wood rocking chairs, so you’re able to rock a toddler and watch the aircraft… Or even let the kids stone while you eat lunch break (it’s essentially the dining-room for the food courtroom).”

For more information on these airports’ family-friendly facilities, check out these means:

  • Atlanta – Hartsfield-Jackson
  • Boston – Logan International Airport
  • Chicago – O’Hare
  • Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Las Vegas – McCarran Worldwide Airport
  • Minneapolis St. Paul
  • Nashville International Airport
  • Phoenix Heavens Harbor
  • San Francisco
  • Sea-Tac

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