Traveling with younger family members can be a struggle. It’s hard to convince little kids to stay still for hours on end, and that’s exactly what you’ll be doing at the airport and on the plane. Instead of making your kiddo sit still, give them something to do to get those wiggles out while you’re at the gate. ParkDIA wants to help you make your flight out of DIA easier, which is why we have some fun airport games you can try with little to no supplies needed.
Bring Your Own
This is a bit of an easy answer, but we wanted to give some quick suggestions before you pack up your family game night closet. First, board games are not great picks while traveling. You’ll have to clean up everything, and if you’re in a hurry to pack to change gates or board your plane, you’re likely to leave something behind. Card games are likely a better option since they can be picked up in one or two grabs.
Second, if you’re going to bring electronic games, either on your phone or on a handheld gaming device, be sure to remember a charger and to charge the device before you get on the plane. Some planes after USB ports. However, most don’t have outlets, and if your electronic device dies, that’s it until you can plug it in again.
Third, if you’re going to have games on your phone for your kids to play, make sure they’re compatible with airplane mode. You can test this while you wait at your gate simply by switching your phone to airplane mode and seeing if there are issues. Portable electronic gaming devices, like the Nintendo 3DS or Playstation Portable, tend to have longer battery lives and won’t require an internet connection to play, so you don’t have to worry about these working on the plane as long as they’re charged.
Time for an actual game suggestion, and it’s a classic. I Spy is easy to understand and easy to play, particularly while you’re waiting in lines. As long as your I Spy target isn’t moving, this game can help keep you and your family entertained will you wait for TSA or stand in the line at baggage check. This can also be a good tool for practicing airport vocabulary for new flyers, helping them memorize the signs they need to look for if they get lost or the people they need to look for if they need help. This is an easy, no-prep game to pull out if you need to have a game to help with the fidgets in nervous new flyers.
This game requires a little bit of work, either in advance or by picking up something to write on in the airport. However, it can be a great ongoing game, particularly for older family members. Everyone gets a card with common airport things on them, like neck pillows, roller bags, or service animals. Depending on the ages in your family, these things can be simple, or they can have specifics, like a color or size on top of the item that needs to be spotted. Whoever fills out five in a row first wins.
This game requires both prep and a lot of moving. It’s better to play if you have a long wait for your flight so you have time to still get back to your gate. Give everyone one list of items they need to find in the airport. Some of them can be simple, like backpacks or airline phones, and some of them can be less common, like phone chargers or shoe shine stations. Whatever you choose, everyone has to get a picture of the items in order to cross it off the list and keep hunting until they get on the plane or find everything on the list.
If you do play this game, don’t use plane tickets, passports, or other types of ID as items you should find. These have important information on them, and unless you use your own, it is illegal to try and get a picture of it.
For family members that like to tell stories, this is an easy no-prep game that requires a lot of imagination. Players pick a fellow traveler and make up a story about where they’re going and why. These can be anywhere from realistic to fantastical, or even woven together with other travelers’ stories, all depending on the creativity of your players.
Guess The City
Guess the city is a great easy game that only requires that you can read a flight board. This game is a variation of I Spy, and it can also help younger family members practice geography. Using the flight board as a list, pick a city or flight number. The other players have to guess which flight it is based on basic clues, like “This city starts with an H” or “This flight leaves after 12.” The complexity of the clues can be increased to match the age of the players, so for teens and adult players, their hints can be something about the city, like “This city is known for BBQ” or “This city is home to a famous history museum.”
If you want to worry less about traveling with little ones, then take the hassle out of Denver airport parking and leave your car with ParkDIA. Our 24-hour security monitored lot will give you the peace of mind to know your vehicle will be fine and waiting for you when you get back, and at rates cheaper than parking at DIA’s airport parking lots. Reserve your parking spot today and get back to enjoying your trip.