How to pass the time with children at the airport?

What to do to pass the time with children at the airport?

Your vacation is coming up and you are worried about spending a few hours waiting on an airport bench with your minis? Métro is there to reduce anxiety. 

According to Sophie Reis, speaker, mother, frequent traveler and author of the Guide for Parent Travelers, the most important thing for everything to go well is to give yourself time. “Although it may seem counter-intuitive, I recommend that parents arrive at the airport in advance. First, because parents will be less stressed. Second, it gives us more time [to react to unforeseen situations],” explains the travel pro. But, what if everything goes well and the flight takes off in three hours?

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Enjoy the play areas 

Near the boarding gates at Montréal-Trudeau airport, there are a few areas where children can have fun for free. This concept is also found in other airports, but in Montreal, if you are traveling internationally, two play areas are available to you near gates 53 and 68. These include, among other things, game modules on rugs.

“The Transat play area is a good villain must,” underlines Sophie Reis. Otherwise, there are still different play stations that are there to entertain the children. The list of game space locations can be viewed here.

 What to do to pass the time with children at the airport?

Courtesy of Montréal-Trudeau International Airport

Visit airline lounges 

Although access to airline lounges is chargeable if you do not have specific credit cards, these spaces can be worth the cost, as they are more intimate and arranged to be seated comfortably. In addition, they include play areas and are equipped with Wi-Fi, mentions Sophie Reis. Food and drinks are also available there. She therefore suggests offering access to these lounges in the case of long connections.

Montréal-Trudeau Airport has four different lounges, a list of which can be found here.

How to spend time with kids at the airport?

Courtesy of Montréal-Trudeau International Airport

Vary your hobbies 

What the speaker recommends is to think about your activities in advance , to have a few options in mind. “What I suggest is to think about one game per half hour.” What to prioritize? “Games that don’t make noise and don’t have little bits.”

Among his hobby ideas is the observation game. “The airport is a generally new environment for a child. So making games of the genre: the first to find an airplane with such a color” allows the family to be entertained without dragging too much equipment.

But when this type of game has had its day and the excitement builds, it's time to “take advantage of the space to stretch your legs. But be careful, you must not exhaust [the little ones] too much, because later, on the plane, the child can be irritable if he is exhausted, ”explains Sophie Reis.

What about technology in all of this? “Electronic games are our weapon of last resort. If we take them out at the airport, it will be difficult to remove them from the hands of the children to take the road to the plane and in the plane, we lose this surprise.

Get a toy suitcase 

A must-have for Sophie's family? The Trunki suitcase, a practical and fun four-wheeled suitcase that allows the child to sit down and be dragged around, or to pull it themselves.

 What to do to pass the time with children at the airport?

Courtesy of Trunki

What to do to spend time with children at the airport?

Courtesy of Trunki

“You put all their toys inside the suitcase and it allows the kids to get on top of them and pull them around. The suitcase in itself becomes a game”, explains the traveling mother. This object, which is used only when traveling, therefore becomes special and exciting for the child.

Good to know! 

  • To save time, priority lines for families should not be overlooked. &nbsp ;
  • Breastfeeding rooms are located near the toilets. They include a chair, changing table and sometimes even a microwave to heat up baby's meal.
  • Upstream, you can download your airline's mobile app to learn about baggage restrictions, airport setup, and steps to avoid not have any surprises.
  • Consider bringing a lunch box if you don't want to wait in line. It will also be useful if some restaurants are closed for lack of employees. You can also bring an empty reusable water bottle that you can refill when you pass through security.

The Traveling Parents Guide is available here.

Sophie Reis's website,, also offers a wealth of advice.

A Facebook group is also active, to exchange with other traveling parents.

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