Airports can be exciting places for children, but when there’s a flight delay, it can be challenging trying to keep your little one occupied while you wait for your new departure time. What happens when the iPad runs out of batteries and your child starts to throw a tantrum in the middle of the terminal? Airport delays are all too common, so it’s important to have a backup plan or two to keep your child entertained during your downtime. Luckily, we’ve compiled the top seven ways to amuse your kids at the airport.
Take Your Child To A Play Area
Most airports offer a kid-friendly play area for children to climb, jump, play, and explore. For example, the Denver International Airport (DIA) offers a small, unsupervised play area on the mezzanine level of Concourse B that you can enjoy. The coolest attraction for kids at DIA is the underground train. This free train runs every few minutes, and it’s a great way to kill time while you wait for your flight.
All kids love scavenger hunts, and the airport is the perfect place to explore with your little one. All you have to do is create a list of items that need to be found in the airport before taking your child on a fun adventure. Add items to the list like luggage carts, airplanes, passports, ice cream, baseball hats, and utensils, and ask your little one to lead the way when it comes to finding these items. This can be an extremely fun and entertaining game for both the child and the parent!
Take An Artwalk
Did you know that most airports have rotating art exhibits? That’s right! If you didn’t have time to check out the local art museum, you can get your fill by walking around different areas of the airport. If you’re not sure where to go, ask an airport employee and they will be able to point you in the right direction.
At DIA, the skywalk between the Jeppesen Terminal and Concourse A is the only way to get to a concourse without using the underground train that we mentioned. This unique skywalk is the perfect place to view museum-quality displays that rotate through stories of Colorado aviation. Some previous airport displays included uniforms from Pan-Am airlines as well as the history of the Denver airport.
Go On A Shopping Trip
Keep your child happy and entertained by going on a mini-airport shopping trip. The Denver International Airport is full of stores that you can visit to find the perfect souvenir. If your layover is in Concourse A, consider grabbing a sweet treat or two from See’s Candy, or pick up a new children’s book from Spirit of the Red Horse. If you forgot to bring your sunglasses, you can cruise by Sunglass Express to pick up a new pair of shades as well. Concourse B offers a few more shopping options like Brookstone, BlueWire, and InMotion Entertainment. A few other stores worth checking out include:
- The Tattered Cover – As one of Denver’s most well-known independent bookstores, you can find mini-versions of this store in every concourse at DIA. Whether you’re looking for a new book to read or a unique souvenir, you’ll find it here!
- Climax Jerky – Does your child love beef jerky? If so, make a point to stop my Climax Jerky, which has kiosks in every terminal at DIA. They sell mostly organic jerky direct from the Colorado mountains, and they also offer quirky shirts that make excellent souvenirs.
Pack A “Busy Bag”
No family trip to the airport would be complete without a “busy bag.” It’s always a good idea to pack a few of your child’s favorite toys, just in case they start throwing a fit in the long security line. If your child is old enough to play card games, consider packing some cards to play “Go Fish” while you wait for your flight. You may also want to pack some crayons and coloring books to keep your little one busy while you sit at the terminal.
Grab A Snack
There are plenty of dining options to choose from at the Denver International Airport that both you and your child will love. The Jeppesen Terminal has an array of pre-security options to choose from, so if you make it to the airport and learn that your flight has been delayed, you don’t have to rush through security to get a good meal. From the Boulder Beer Tap House to chains like Einstein Bagels, Taco Bell, and Jamba Juice, DIA has a surprising amount of food chains and restaurants available.
Need an afternoon pick-me-up? Concourse B has a Caribou Coffee and Starbucks to help you stay awake during your layover. You’ll also find Aviator’s Sports Bar & Bar-B-Que, Cantina Grill, as well as Wolfgang Puck.
In Concourse C, you’ll find some more fun dining options including Auntie Anne’s, Vino Volo, Villa Pizza, and Root Down. To learn more about the variety of dining options at DIA, check out their list of restaurants and eateries online.
Bust Out The Apps
Let’s be honest: sometimes a iPad or smartphone is all it takes to keep your little one occupied. Even if you’re not a fan of screen time, a moderate amount can be a wonderful way to distract your toddler or young child. There are several educational and developmental apps that can keep your little one busy while also learning new things. Some popular apps for children include:
- Endless Reader – From the same team who came up with Endless Alphabet and Endless Numbers, Endless Reader aims to develop literacy in children at a young age. Appropriate for children ages five and under, this app introduces your child to “sight words,” which are the most commonly used words in children’s books. The app is available for download on the iPhone and iPad.
- Duolingo – Want to teach your little one a new language, but don’t know where to start? Duolingo is one of the best learning apps for kids on the market when it comes to learning a brand new language. Choose between Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch, Irish, and English. The app is completely free to download and use, and it’s a great way to teach your child something new!
- Toca Nature – This is a wonderful app to help your child understand and appreciate the beauty and magic of nature. In this app, your child can grow trees, build rivers and mountains, and they can see how animals interact with their land.
- Faces imake – This app was voted the Parents Choice Gold Award in 2013, and it helps to encourage your child’s creativity and artistry. This app allows you to create collages using pictures of everyday objects, helping to develop your child’s right brain capabilities.
There are many ways to entertain your child at DIA while you wait for your flight. If you’re traveling to DIA and you’re looking for affordable near-airport parking, be sure to download the ParkDIA app to reserve your parking space. With 7,500 parking spaces available, there is always one waiting for you when you need it! Reserve your parking space at DIA online today!