10 Ways to Pass Time with Kids at the Detroit Airport

I’ve spent the last six hours in the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. I’m on my way to Sault Ste Marie for a long weekend of snowshoeing, dog sledding and snowmobiling courtesy of Pure Michigan. I missed my connecting flight this morning due to a flight delay (freezing fog in Detroit), and it will be another two hours before the next flight departs.

Fortunately, I’m on my own. Just me and my luggage. So, I started to explore the airport and think about what I would do if my little ones were spending these eight hours with me. Here are 10 activities to keep busy in Detroit Metropolitan Airport, and many of these ideas can apply to other airports:


1. Sit at a Gate and “Find” Passengers: As passengers go by on the moving walkway, ask your kids to find a woman wearing a pink shirt or count ten green suitcases, for example. See which of your children can make the finds first.

express tram

2. Take the Red Express Tram:  Inside Concourse A, there’s a red Express Tram one floor up that Delta operates and goes from one end of the concourse to the other. If you’re traveling as a family and your spouse can stay with the luggage, ride the train a few times.

hello kitty

3. Visit the Hello Kitty Store: Across from Gate A29, look for Sanio Surprises. They’ve got loads of Hello Kitty merchandise like lunchboxes, stuffed animals, sweatshirts and water bottles. Lots of blinged out Hello Kitty accessories, too.


4. Watch Sushi Rolls Being Made: Stop by Sora Japanese Cuisine & Sushi Bar adjacent to Gate A35 to watch the chefs make sushi rolls. It’s a great opportunity to learn about and even taste a new cuisine.


5. Get a McFlurry: Yum, I love the McFlurry. I got one around 3 pm as a nice pick-me-up snack. It cost about $3.50, which was at least 50% more than I’d pay at home, but then it also cost me nearly $8 for a Filet-O-Fish and a bottle of water at lunchtime, too.


6. Get a Mommy & Me Manicure: Head to (be relax) Spa, just down from Gate A45, for mommy and me manis and pedis. You can even get facials and massages too if you like. As a bonus, there’s a wine bar right next door.


7. Watch the Sunset: The ceilings are high and so are the windows, so enjoy the view, and if you can, enjoy the sunset. If you’re there at the wrong time of day, simply stop and watch planes take off.

body shop

8. Give Your Child a Makeover: Stop in The Body Shop and try out some lipsticks, lip glosses and other tester make-ups. It smells so good in there that I didn’t want to leave when I stopped in.

dancing fountain

9. Enjoy the Dancing Fountains: In the middle of Concourse A, there’s a big circular water feature with sprays of water that jump and dance across the fountain. Kids can splash and watch as the sprays dance and dance for hours.


10. Check Out Novelty Souvenirs: Sure, you can find plenty of Michigan merchandise here, but you can also find t-shirts at ZOZO that read “Keep Calm and Eat Bacon.” Nice. Stop in to check out lots of other t-shirts and souvenirs with funny sayings.

Well, it’s about time for me to find dinner before my flight. How do you like to spend time in the airport with your kids when you’ve got a good chunk of time before your flight departs? Let me know in the comments section below.