Traveling with tots in tow can be a challenge—especially in an airports that services over 90 million passengers annually. From navigating security checkpoints with strollers to getting your tot boarded up and buckled, air travel with children is all about patience and preparation. While packing your patience is up to you, read on for some smart tips and tricks to make passing through the world’s busiest passenger airport in the world a pleasure.
Wear ‘em Out
Make sure tiny travelers blow off steam before boarding. There are play areas (think Little Tykes plastic play sets) near Gates A8 and A23. Rides on the “people mover” train and escalators can entertain longer than you would think. Just be sure to watch the time so you arrive at your gate in plenty of time.
Pack It In
Seasoned parents know the power of packing electronics while traveling. There are play-station re-charging units located throughout the concourses as well as outlets to charge iPads and the like.
See the Sights
The small set sees the airport as one big adventure. Allow plenty of time to explore areas like the airport atrium’s 33-foot long replica of a Yangchuanosaurus—a dinosaur that lived in China during the Jurassic period—courtesy of the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. While you are there, stop by Kidworks (near the main security checkpoint), where they sell crayons, coloring books, travel size board games and other sanity savers. Take a journey to see the extensive 20-piece exhibit of Zimbabwean stone sculptures in corridors between Concourse T to Concourse A. The fun, African-themed music and awesome moving sidewalk will keep them in step.
Fill ‘er Up
Keep tantrums at bay by keeping bellies full and blood sugar levels high. Let the littles indulge in fast food favorites from spots like Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Wendy’s, McDonald’s and Burger King located throughout the airport—or, sit down for a proper meal at fam-friendly TGIFriday’s (with locations in the main atrium, B center point, and at Gates E14 and T4). If your littles like to eat local hit Chick fil’A (Concourse A center point and Gate C21), the Varsity (Gate C21 and F mezzanine), Five Guys Burgers and Fries (Gates C40, D11), or the Atlanta Bread Company (Gate C30). Grab a bride bag of candy from Sweets Factory (Concourses B and C) or Candy Express (in the atrium). And don’t be afraid to reward good listeners with some ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s (Concourses A, B and C) or Edy’s (in main atrium).
Take Potty Breaks
You always make sure everyone uses the potty before boarding, but bringing your entire brood into the stall can cause mommy meltdowns. There are family restroom locations designed to assist families traveling with infants and toddlers at Gates T2, T8, T12, A8, A26, B8, B23, B29, C11, C23, D5, and D31 as well as the American Airlines baggage claim area.
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