It’s not always easy to travel with kids, and spending time inside a busy airport can certainly complicate matters. So if your summer travel plans are taking you through Los Angeles International Airport, here are some suggestions for keeping the kids safe, healthy, and entertained.
MomsLA is your source for Things to do in Los Angeles With Kids.
If you’re spending a bit of time at LAX, there are no shortage of restaurants to choose from, meaning even the pickiest of eaters will find something they like. Family-friendly options include Fresh Brothers Pizza and Sandwiches, Panda Express, Lemonade, Farmers Market at LAX, and The Counter Custom Built Burgers to name a few.
Whether you’re shopping for souvenirs to bring with you on your trip or hoping to find the perfect small item that will keep your child entertained and content while traveling, you’ll most likely find it at one of the retail shops at LAX. Kids will enjoy checking out Sanrio Store, Magic Johnson Sports Store, Mattel Experience, Book Soup, and Bead Factory among others.
Flight Path Learning Center and Museum
(in the LAX Imperial Terminal)
6661 W. Imperial Highway, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Depending on how much time you’ve got to spend at LAX, you might want to plan a little “field trip” to the Flight Path Learning Center and Museum. Your family will be treated to a models, photographs, uniforms, and artifacts depicting the history of air flight. The Flight Path Learning Center offers free admission and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm (except on major holidays).
LAX Beach – Children’s Play Area
inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal
This special beach-themed play area is designed for children ages 2-11. The 975-square-foot play area features a slide, an interactive light table, and sculpted foam pieces that resemble waves, beach toys, and dolphins allow children to get their bodies moving before buckling in and settling down for a plane ride.
Lower/Arrivals Level of the Central Terminal Area (between Terminals 1-2) and
Southeast End of the Central Terminal Area (near Terminals 7-8)
For kids who are animal lovers, take a walk to the small “pet parks” at LAX. For the pets, these areas provide a needed place for animals to take a little bathroom break. But for young children, the sight of dogs may provide them with the distraction they need as they wait to board their flight.
It’s almost like having a museum within an airport. If you’ve got the time, make sure to view See Change — 17 Artists Create Place at LAX Airport. Located within the Tom Bradley International Terminal, the art installation includes “twenty-eight site-specific media artworks and four hours of original programming.” The installation is open for viewing from 6:00 am to 2:00 am each day. And, in other areas of the airport, you’ll find temporary art exhibits and installations that are also open to the public.
And if your travels take you to other airports, try these suggestions for activities to keep your kids busy:
Scavenger Hunt. Keep your child’s age in mind when designing your scavenger hunt. Maybe you’d like your preschooler to practice his alphabet. Wander around together and see if you can find an item that starts with every letter of the alphabet. (You can also look for colors or shapes as well). For an added bonus, document your findings. Use a disposable camera, your smart phone, or an older model smart phone that still has a working camera to take photos of your discoveries.
Exercise. If you can find some open space, get the family moving. Challenge family members to 10 jumping jacks, 10 lunges, 10 push-ups, etc. Do an experiment and see who gets upstairs faster — the family member on the escalator or the family member taking the stairs.
People Watch. Watch people. Look at their body language, their gestures, and their facial expressions. Can you make up stories about them? What are they saying to each other? Where are they traveling? What will they do there? (You can even record your “stories” into your phones while you invent them).
Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Can each family member find 5 pieces of litter to pick up and throw away? Chairs that need to be pushed in? A book that has fallen off a display and needs to be put back?
Play With Your Food. Make a “Tic Tac Toe” game using pretzel sticks for the grids. Use cereal, raisins, or chocolate chips as the “x” and “o” pieces.