It used to be that a long airport layover with kids was something parents dreaded. These days, airports are actually catering to tiny travelers. Airports have finally begun to recognize that if traveling kids are happy, their parents might be, too. At San Jose International’s Kidport, kids can listen to actual air traffic controllers’ conversations with pilots.
At Philadelphia International’s Please Touch Aviation Station, young pilots-in-training control a propeller to learn the basics of aviation. McCarran International in Las Vegas offers an interactive control tower and a mock jet engine, while San Francisco boasts a color-changing plasma wall that responds to hand clapping. And then there’s Chicago O’Hare’s Kids on the Fly area, with its two-story control tower, an airplane cockpit, luggage slide, and a ticket counter to help young flyers understand the travel experience.