Fun for Kids at DFW Airport
Getting stranded at DFW Airport may not necessarily be such a bad thing. There are plenty of activities to keep the children entertained.
Everyone can agree that travel can be stressful. Traveling with children can be harder, especially when layovers occur and extend for unknown periods of time, such as they did on Monday, July 27, when storms loomed over Dallas, Texas, sending lightning upon the runway, leaving travelers waiting for several hours.
As hard as it may have been for those stuck there, the wait was less painful than it would have been in Atlanta, Georgia, or Raleigh-Durham in North Carolina.
If everything is bigger in Texas, the Dallas airport is proof that bigger can be better. Among the areas where DFW stands above the rest are:
- Two great USOs
- Free video games at McDonald’s for toddlers and grade-schoolers
- Terminal seating situated for families
- Terminal B’s Junior Flyer’s Club
USOs in DFW Airport
The United Service Organization has proudly supported US troops since 1941. There are thousands of volunteers that give of themselves with no expectation of anything in return.
Raising the bar is the fact that DFW has two USOs where some airports have none. Terminal D’s modest USO station at gate 21 has everything a military family needs to alleviate themselves of having to spend high prices for snacks and meals. Instead, they can give a donation (or not) have sodas, water, coffee, fruit, Pop-tarts, Girl Scout cookies, soup, and more while picking up a newspaper or magazine at no cost.
Families looking for a bit more can go to Terminal B- which is just minutes from anywhere with the Sky Link train- where a larger USO is available at gate 15. Among the many more snacks and meals that include sandwiches, ice cream, and candy are approximately 30 reclining chairs with a family-friendly movie playing. If one is looking for quiet, there is a sleeping room, a baby room, and a room to store luggage. Additionally, bathrooms are stocked with complimentary toiletry items and a reading area is located upstairs with a small library.
If all of this wasn’t enough, the staff never fails to be friendly.
Free Video Games at McDonald’s
DFW has an array of dining, but for families, there are few things that can compare to a toddler being peacefully occupied during rough travel.
Among the four terminals at DFW, there are six McDonald’s restaurants. Like the USOs, they are not all the same. Terminal D has several toddler-friendly video games such as Mario Kart and a version of Mario’s Yoshi games where eggs are coordinated to score points and solve a puzzle. For grade-schoolers, there is a street soccer game as well a Harry Potter game. The best part is that they are free!
While much of this may not be as exciting for those without children, the healthy use of a child’s energy having fun will prevent its application upon screaming and crying, allowing everyone to better cope with bad weather during travel.
DFW’s Terminal Seating is Situated for Families
Unlike many terminal seating set-ups where long rows of chairs may or may not be situated toward a national news network, the seating at DFW is arranged in half-hexagons allowing for families and friends to more easily pass the time with comfortable socializing.
Few airports can match this set-up, and most pale in comparison.
DFW’s Junior Flyer’s Club Allows Kids to Safely go Wild
As mentioned before, the use of DFW’s Sky Link rail system allows travelers to move from one terminal to another, or within the same terminal, in a matter of just a minute or two.
Parents with children that need to expend some physical energy should venture over to Terminal B where they’ll find the Junior Flyer’s Club, a small playground with a padded floor, allowing children to run, jump, and play on a few hundred square feet of a 2-dimensional landscape where children can pretend they are flying, driving, or swimming.
While it still stands that direct flights and shorter travel to destinations are preferable, being the victim of a layover could be a great opportunity to have some fun in between connecting flights when traveling through Dallas, Texas. Hopefully, other airports will begin to follow suit.