A Guide to Playful Airport Playgrounds in the DMV


Have you visited our local, playful airport playgrounds? For moms, travel days can be both exciting and overwhelming, especially when accompanied by little ones. As you embark on your family adventures, airports can often become a source of stress. Many airports in the DMV (Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia) region have recognized the need to cater to families and offer delightful playgrounds for kids. I recently posted on social media about a local airport playgound we stopped at before a flight, and I was shocked at how many fellow moms were not aware of these awesome little treasures. In this guide, I’ll share all the airport playgrounds in the DMV, along with tips and directions to ensure smooth travel days with your children.

DMV Airport Playgrounds

1. Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)

Airport Playground Name: “FunWay”

Located in Concourse B, FunWay is an airport playground designed to entertain kids between the ages of 2 and 12. This brightly colored play area offers a variety of activities, including climbing structures, slides and interactive games. It’s a great spot for your little adventurers to burn off some energy before or after a flight.

Malcolm is unwinding at the Dulles playground after jetting back from Tokyo, Japan.
Malcolm is unwinding at the Dulles playground after jetting back from Tokyo, Japan.

2. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)

Airport Playground Name: “BWI Airplay Zone”

Situated in the D/E Connector, the BWI Airplay Zone is a fantastic space for toddlers and young children. The playroom features a soft-padded floor, age-appropriate toys and play structures to keep your kids entertained and happy. It’s the perfect spot to let them unwind and have fun while waiting for your flight.

BWI Playground
My three kids burn off some energy before a long travel day to the West Coast!

3. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)

Airport Playground Name: “Curiosity Runway”

DCA offers a lovely Curiosity Runway located just after the airport’s North Security Checkpoint between the C and D Gates. This play area sparks curiosity through science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). Your children can let their imagination take flight as they enjoy interactive game displays, a jetsetter slide and a cloud crawler that encourages motor skills. It’s an excellent place for creative minds to explore while you relax close by.

Tips for a Smooth Flight Journey

Now that you know where to find these kid-friendly oases, here are some valuable tips to ensure hassle & stress-free travel days with your little ones:

  1. Pack Smart: Bring along essential items like snacks, extra clothes, wet wipes, and a few small toys to keep your children comfortable during the journey.
  2. Plan Layovers Wisely: If possible, opt for flights with longer layovers to give your kids ample time to stretch their legs and play in the airport playgrounds. No layovers is great too!
  3. Pre-Book Airport Lounges: Many airports offer family-friendly lounges that provide a quieter and more relaxed environment for both parents and kids. Check in advance if you can access these lounges or if there are any dedicated family areas. Or sit near windows to see all the activity of airports.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Keep your children (and yourself!) hydrated throughout the journey, as flying can be dehydrating. Bring refillable water bottles to use after security checks.
  5. Entertainment on the Go: Load up tablets or smartphones with child-friendly apps, games, or movies to keep your kids entertained during the flight.
  6. Involve the Kids: Make the journey exciting for your children by involving them in the travel plans. Let them help pack their bags or choose some activities for the trip like small books, travel games, etc.
  7. Be Patient: Traveling with kids can be unpredictable, so patience is key. Keep calm and remember that the journey is part of the adventure.

Traveling with kids, babies, or toddlers doesn’t have to be daunting, especially when airports in the DMV area offer engaging airport playgrounds for your little ones. By knowing where to find these play areas and following some travel tips, you can turn your travel days into enjoyable experiences for the whole family. So, embrace your wanderlust and explore the world with your littles, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Happy travels!