Fun Things to Do in Airports Around the World

Your flight has been delayed or canceled and you’re stuck in the airport. Let’s suppose your iPad is out of juice and you didn’t pack a lunch. What to do? Depends on the airport but you might be surprised to learn how many things there are to do in big transportation hubs.

Listen: Rick Seaney and editor Anne McDermott are all agog at these hidden treasures.

Flight delayed? What to do next

Airport Activities – U.S. and Worldwide

Click the city name for the best priced flights so you can see these wonders for yourself.

  • Amsterdam: Schipol Airport has a casino but don’t mistake it for Las Vegas since doors close promptly at 7:30 p.m.
  • Atlanta: They have permanent and rotating art exhibits and one of the latter now includes a 31-foot long skeleton of a dinosaur called the Yangchuanosaurus. Be glad he’s not in the flesh as this late Jurassic fellow was definitely a predator.
  • Auckland: Thirsty? One of the airport spirit shops carries a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label King George V edition, on sale for $650.
  • Boston: Lots of fun play areas for little ones called Kidport, including one with a child-sized replica of Logan’s control tower.
  • Denver: No airport has a better collection of what can only be described as “apocalypse art” in the form of some very grim murals that have delighted local conspiracy buffs for years.
  • Dubai: Not one but two Zen Gardens proving perhaps that man does not live by designer boutiques alone.
  • Frankfurt: If you’d like to get married, this German airport will host the wedding and reception for about $2,000 plus the locale is exceptionally handy for the honeymoon flight.
  • Hamburg: Hungry? Try the eel soup. Or the labskaus which has been lovingly described as a festive pink glob of mashed potatoes mixed with corned beef and beets, topped with fried eggs. Try it with with the traditional trimmings: Herring and pickles.
  • London: Want new clothes but too tired to troll the racks yourself? Heathrow offers a personal shopper service.
  • Los Angeles: Forgot your picnic lunch? Visit Petrossian Champagne and Caviar Bar where you get a nice lunch complete with fancy fish eggs.
  • Seoul: Take your pick of a tree garden or a rock garden. Or stroll a traditional Korean cultural street right inside the airport.
  • Singapore: See a movie for free in one of the airport’s two theaters. Or see a cactus garden. Or a live butterfly habitat.
  • Vancouver: Not feeling so hot? They have a medical clinic on the premises, and if your suitcase is under the weather, there’s a handy bag repair shop, too.

More from Rick Seaney:

When Flights are Delayed: Extraordinary Airport Time-Killers


Published: December 17, 2013