Play Area in SEATAC Airport

Ahhh, the layover, everyone’s favorite travel hiccup.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve spent some of my most miserable parenthood moments on the floor of airport terminals, trying in vain to corral unhappy and overtired kids. Over the course of nine years of travel with children, I’ve stumbled upon more than one nice airport play space (and ‘stumbled upon’ really is an apt description, since airports seem to find perverse joy in hiding these amenities from weary travelers), but never have I been so pleasantly surprised as at Seattle’s SEATAC Airport. Stuck one long, loooong winter’s night waiting for a delayed flight from Orlando back to Medford, I took the kids on yet another round past The Body Shop and Starbucks to find this lovely oasis:

Seatac playspace, photo courtesy of Delicious Baby

Seatac playspace, photo courtesy of Delicious Baby

The entire room is soft-sided and spongy, from the floor to the walls, and kids can roll, climb, jump, and flop at whim. If only massage chairs had been installed among the bench seats, it would be airport nirvana.

Located here just behind security in the Central Terminal, it’s 1400 square feet of fun with an attached family restroom and private nursing room with rocking chairs. As a side note that’s only applicable during the holiday season, when we were there on December 20, Santa and his elves had taken up residency in the atrium of Central Terminal, and true to form, he came bearing gifts: the packets of coloring books, stickers, and markers he handed out lasted our kids until our flight was finally boarding.

Last Visited: December 2007

Food Services: Qdoba and Wendy’s are both nearby.


For more SEATAC airport tips, see Flying with Babies, Toddlers, and Kids at Delicious Baby.