No one wants to get stranded at an airport, least of all parents flying with young kids. Somehow, Robert Ludlum novels don't pass the time for the under 12 set like they do for grown-ups. And the iPad? Yes, for young ones, even the iPad gets old after a very short while (gasp!).
So if you're one of the thousands stranded at DFW airport, Chicago O'hare, or any airport in the Midwest - due to the Dallas weather and a blizzard bearing down on the Midwest today and part of tomorrow - here are 10 ways to keep the kids from making you walk out into a snowdrift and never come back.
Where to find one? Here's a list. If you're not at DFW, just Google your airport's name + family play area. Whatever you do, don't stand in line to ask about one. That'll send kids into those fits where their spines kind of collapse, and they don't speak so much as breathe out their complaints … "Ahm soh bohorhord." Stay. In. Motion.
You're stranded. No they didn't just call your flight. Yes, you'll be in the way of rushing travelers, but this is your sanity we're talking about. Get on the moving sidewalk, and don't look back.
Find the emptiest space with the biggest window and watch planes take off and land. Act as if each moment is an event! Then, after three minutes when they're bored, head down the escalator (and up and down and up and down, per tip number 2) and jump on board the airport train or shuttle bus. Ride, ride, ride. So much to see! And it takes a surprisingly long time. Also, people will give you looks of pity (which you need about now). Try to sit next to old people; they're good for a game of peek-a-boo. Don't complain about the cold - you were suffocating inside the terminal.
There, you burned 10 minutes and possibly prevented a cold. (Not likely, but I'm trying find all silver linings.)
This is exactly the time to set your High Fructose Corn Syrup issues aside. Buy candy, fries, ice-cream, whatever they want. Remember, studies show sugar doesn't make kids hyper, but it does make them shut up.
For more things to do when you're stranded at the airport, visit Babble.