Say “catch a flight” to many parents and they’ll break out in a cold sweat. Just thinking about navigating impossibly long security lines; schlepping luggage, car seats and kiddos from one concourse to the next; and desperately trying to entertain a crew of kids if the plane’s delayed, is enough to do it. But this year, families can rest easy before they fly out of Sea-Tac Airport. No matter what your vacation plans throw at you, Sea-Tac’s family-friendly vibe makes traveling with kids such a breeze you might even want to head to the airport early just to hang out. Read on to find out why.

Passengers at Sea Tac

photo: Don Wilson/Port of Seattle

1. At the security checkpoints, look for the line designated for families (Hint: the closest checkpoint may not have the shortest lines). If you’re traveling with kids five and under it definitely cuts the security wait down to do-able.

2. Head to the family restrooms: they’re big enough for mom, dad, baby, toddler, bags, and more, and are available at all the concourses as well as on both the ticketing and baggage claim levels of the Main Terminal.

photo: Port of Seattle

3. Two recently-added Mamava nursing suites (located in the A Concourse and near the Satellite Train System outside of Concourse D) mean a quiet, private space that’s actually comfy for nursing moms and babies (psst… dads can use these too to bottle feed their babes).

photo: Port of Seattle

4. Delayed flight? No problem. Head to the Children’s Play Area in the Central Terminal, on the way to Concourse A, to let the kidlets burn off pre-flight energy. The aviation-themed soft play space has a family restroom attached as well as a Mother’s Room for nursing in private.

photo: Lady Yum Facebook page

5.One of SeaTac’s sweetest new additions is Kirkland’s own Lady Yum. Families looking to satisfy their sweet tooth can find their favorite macaroon to do just that in the C Concourse, across from Anthony’s Homeport.

photo: Port of Seattle

6. When hunger strikes, the Central Terminal is the place to grab quick eats for your crew (think: Qdoba Mexican Grill, Pallion Pastaria and Cathy Casey’s Dish D’Lish). Then, watch the planes take off and land at the terminal’s expansive floor to ceiling windows that are 60 feet tall and over 350 feet long!

photo: Port of Seattle’s website

7. Go on an art hunt when the wiggles set in. Sea-Tac is home to over 100 pieces of art that are easy to find with a downloadable map, and learn about through the STQRY app.

8. Throw an in-terminal dance party with your tiny dancer during one of three live performances by Northwest artists that happen daily around the airport, between 9 a.m and 3 p.m.

photo: Port of Seattle website

9. Relive your youth, and introduce your sidekick to some killer, iconic PNW alt rockers before you head through security. Pearl Jam’s “PUSH ME, PULL ME” concert poster exhibit is back, and badder than ever. Find it just outside the B Gate exit area (before you pass through security).

10. Recharge your batteries (literally) before you take off at one of the 350 power charging stations installed throughout the terminals. These seat power strips and standing laptop stations are great news for your iPad or Nintendo DS, and even better news for your kiddo!

Rocking chairs

photo: Port of Seattle/Don Wilson

11. Over 30 rocking chairs are scattered throughout the facility, mostly in the Central Terminal, for the whole family to enjoy.

What’s your tip for surviving downtime at Sea-Tac Airport? Share it in the Comments below!

— Allison Sutcliffe & Pat Tanumihardja