NEW YORK Stuck in an airport with kids? Your wait time might not be as dreadful as you fear.
Cheapflights.com has compiled the "Kids' Airport Diversion Guide," listing play areas and onsite aviation museums to keep your children occupied until boarding time. To find the complete list, go to www.Cheapflights.com and scroll down the righthand side to the section titled "2008 Kids' Airport Diversion Guide," then click on the link. Here are some highlights.
At Baltimore/Washington International, the main terminal has a children's play area in the Observation Gallery. Cheapflights calls it a "one-of-a-kind place" with "an array of airplane parts: a wing, tail, wheels, even part of a fuselage" and other play equipment.
Boston Logan International has a Kidport in Terminal C, the departure level of the main terminal, with "hands-on interactive exhibits" including an airplane-climbing sculpture and a baggage-claim slide.
Chicago O'Hare International has a "Kids on the Fly" exhibit organized by the Chicago Children's Museum, in Terminal 2, with an air traffic control tower, a fantasy helicopter and luggage station.
At Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International, you'll find a Kidsport at the top of the escalator in Concourse A, with miniature buildings to explore.
Cheapflights.com calls Dallas/Fort Worth International "one of the most innovatively kid-friendly airports around," with three "Junior Flyer Clubs" in Terminal B at Gate 12, Terminal C at Gate 14 and in International Terminal D at Gate D-30, where kids can play on their own runways, roadways, cars and planes.
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport has seven play areas in the McNamara Terminal in Concourses A, B and C. At Las Vegas McCarran, there's an aviation-themed play area on the second floor of the D Concourse, with a mini-control tower and tunnel, and an aviation museum on Level 2 above baggage claim.
At Miami International, Gate 35 on the D Concourse has a children's recreation area. At Minneapolis/St. Paul International, you'll find play areas in the Lindbergh and Humphrey terminals. At Milwaukee Mitchell International, you'll find the Mitchell Gallery of Flight, and at Nashville International, there is live music on three stages and a children's play area in the Concourse Connector. At Portland International Airport in Oregon (PDX), near the checkpoint for Concourses D and E, there is a multicolored jungle gym, and a play area post-security on C Concourse.
In Phoenix, there are play areas in Terminal 2's upper concourse, Terminal 3's concourses and Terminal 4's International Concourse, near Gates B15-28. Salt Lake City boasts play areas in concourses A, B and E. San Francisco's airport has a free aviation museum in the new International Airport, and an SFO Kids' Spot in Terminal 3, Boarding Area F, near Gate 87A. At Seattle/Tacoma airport, Alaska Airlines has opened a play area near the Central Terminal with aviation-themed equipment.