A person walking in the rain

Keep the Kids Occupied at the Airport This Summer (Without Spending a Fortune)

April 25, 2019

This is a featured article

If you’re a family that loves to travel, there’s no doubt you’ll be spending lots of time at the airport with your kids this summer. The normal 2-hour waiting window isn’t so bad but it’s best to arrive prepared in case your flight is delayed – particularly when travelling with young children!

Airports are exciting places for our kids and there are tons of activities they’ll be able to get stuck in to, in order to pass the time. From planespotting to eating, here are our top airport activities for kids.

Top airport activities for kids

A person walking in the rain

Track down the kids play area

If you’ve never travelled to the airport with your kids before, you might not have even noticed the children’s play area! Most large airports in the UK have one and, to many parents’ delight, they’re designed to safely keep the kids entertained in the airport – for free! Some airports even have arcades for older children, but you’ll have to pay to play any arcade games.

In large airports like London Heathrow and Manchester, you’ll find designated family lounge areas, TV zones and even art desks for children who are into colouring and painting – this is a great way to pass the time without spending a fortune!

Bring along some toys

Kids can carry their own hand luggage on most flights, and the chance is they’re going to be travelling a lot lighter than their parents! Fill up any empty hand luggage space with some of their favourite toys and games to keep them occupied.

Better yet, you could treat them to some new toys for their travels! If you’re looking for affordable toys that are still entertaining, try out the Kids Toy Generator by Toys for a Pound. The generator will help you pick out some cheap toys by answering just a few questions about your child’s gender, interests and personality.

A person sitting on a table
Little girls with their young mother at the large window at the airport

Watch the planes

Children love the excitement of planespotting and are often intrigued by aeroplanes! Find a good window spot and let them watch the planes land and take off. If you have older children, you can even make a game out of it! ‘Guess where they’re going’ is one of our favourites!

Grab some food

If you’re at the airport around meal time, you could take the kids to get some food. After all, we all know our kids are at their quietest when they’re eating! It’s likely your airport will have many family-friendly dining options, but you can also take your own food to the airport to avoid any hiked up restaurant prices.

Top tip: Packing your own (mini) picnic is a great choice for parents of fussy eaters or those on a budget.

Take a walk around

Long plane journeys can be tiring for adults, so it’s no surprise kids can get restless during a flight. Taking a walk beforehand can help your little ones expel some energy, whatever the length of your flight!

Top tip: some kids love riding the escalators, so taking them up and down a few times will certainly keep them occupied and will also tire them out just in time for the flight!

How do you keep your kids occupied at the airport?
Let us know in the comments below!

  • Stacey April 25, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    I didn’t know Manchester airport has a designated family area! We’ve not flown from there with them yet. Good to know! Thanks!

  • Laura Schwormstedt April 26, 2019 at 3:20 am

    These are all ace tips and yes to bringing some toys along and we always go for a walk and explore the airport – this tends to make the time go quicker

    Laura x

  • Laura - Dear Bear and Beany April 26, 2019 at 10:57 am

    Great advice! We’re travelling from Gatwick this summer, I need to check to see if they have a children’s play area.

  • MELANIE EDJOURIAN April 26, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    These are all great suggestions. We often take food and toys to keep everyone fed and entertained. I forgot to check for a children’s play area last time. Those can be good!

  • fashionandstylepolice April 26, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Having a walk around always entertains my kids. They love watching the planes too!

  • Kira April 28, 2019 at 11:41 am

    Some really great tips here . I didn’t even know there was a play area in airports!!

  • Kara April 28, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    I love that a lot of airports have soft play now, but mine are happy with a good book or some colouring in now too

  • Melanie williams April 28, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    These are really smart and sensible tips. The last thing you want is to be spending a small fortune xx

  • Stephanie April 29, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Oh cool that there are play areas in the airports, I never knew that and will be seeking them out next time!!

  • Clare Nicholas May 3, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    I didn’t know airports had play areas lol. I’ve not taken mine abroad yet

  • Jess Howliston May 22, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Great tips, we always try to track down a kids play area wherever we go and know there will be some waiting lol! The bringing toys is a good tip too, we always give the kids a small backpack each when we go away and they fill it with their favourite books/toys to bring along. m

  • Award-winning family lifestyle and top 10 UK parenting/mum blog. Join Boo Roo and Tigger Too sharing family life, home decor, travel and everything in between. Read More

    Subscribe & Follow

    Vuelio Top 10 UK Mummy Blog (#9) 2021

    Vuelio Top 20 UK Parenting Blog (#7) 2020


    • Vuelio Top 20 Blog 2020 Badge
      Top 20 UK Parenting Blog 2020