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‘Tis the season for a little holiday shopping, and if you’re stuck at the airport—or are just on layover—the terminals and concourses might be a great place to cross a few people off the list. From Sydney to Salt Lake City there are toy stores doing their thing at plenty of airports, but just remember to pick up those batteries.
In no particular order here are some toy stores at airports across the globe, and we can’t help but imagine that the perfect gift or goodie is there waiting for you. Let’s just hope it doesn’t cost a lot of frequent flyer miles to find it—good luck:
Looking for something to do—how about a visit to a new museum? Dubbed the “mini-Smithsonian”—at least by its founders—the Discovery Park of America sits in rural Tennessee, but apparently visitors have had no problem at all finding it.
Officials over at the museum kind of expected around 150,000 people tops to check things out in the first year. Well, the museum celebrated its first birthday over the weekend, and over 270,000 people have already visited.
Even if you’re not too familiar with the movies that Disney has been releasing into theatres there’s a pretty good chance you know about Frozen. That’s especially the case if you have turned on the radio at all this year, as that Let It Go tune has been pretty much everywhere.
Of course there’s plenty of money to be had in the marketing and promotion surround the movie, and now Disney is bringing its cash cow even further into the theme parks.
Labor Day Travel / Florida Travel / Disney Travel / Walt Disney World / Travel With Children / → All Tags
We hate to alarm you, but the summer is quickly coming to an end. Before you know it, the cooler weather will be trickling in, and those pumpkin-flavored lattes will be hitting the bar at your favorite coffee shop. That’s why it’s time to plan one last quick getaway, and Labor Day Weekend is the time to do it.
Time is clearly a factor, as we’re just days away from the long weekend; however, how about a trip down to Walt Disney World? Bringing the kids certainly is an option, but we won’t tell if you visit Mickey and friends without them. After all they’re probably starting school soon if they have not done so already.
The fall season kicks off as of September 1, so you can head over to the Magic Kingdom and celebrate Halloween like two months in advance. Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party runs through the end of October, and it’s basically an extra few hours—and some extra dollars—of fun at the park.
Special parades, even more fireworks, and everyone in costume—including the characters—can be yours starting at $62 per person per evening. Just note that the afterhours tickets are independent of regular admission, so it’s a slightly cheaper way to score some access to the park.
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Air travel is going to cost a little more to send the little ones all on their own, as American Airlines is making some changes to their unaccompanied minor policy.
Previously the fee covered minors between ages five and eleven, but now it looks like they’re going to charge you for tweens as well—up to age fourteen. This is on top of regular fares, so you’ll be looking at $150 extra—and that’s each way—to send the kiddos without supervision.
Theme Parks / Amusement Parks / Travel With Children / Legoland / New York State Travel / New York City Travel / → All Tags
File this one under "wait and see," but there’s some evidence that a new theme park could be coming to the greater New York City area. It’s not another Six Flags or even a roller coaster kingdom, but something more interactive and imaginative. That's rightthe Hudson Valley may welcome its very own Legoland.
The plan is to utilize the site of the former Letchworth Village in Thiells within the town of Haverstraw. Recently the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council met to chat about stuff like economic development—ha—and the plans for the theme park received a positive reception.
Those traveling with kiddos have a new airport option when it comes to finding fun stuff during a layover. As part of their renovation and revamp the folks over at Los Angeles International Airport have added a whole new spot for the kids to run wild.
The play area is just one aspect of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal. The new place is after security—perfect for connections—and roughly 1,000 square feet for little kids and big kids to burn off some energy before or after flights. The place is open for those between ages 2 and 8, and it’s created with a beach theme in mind. In fact they’re calling the place ‘LAX Beach.’
If you’re looking for something to do with the kiddos that’s a little more exciting that the checking out the Santa Claus
imposter helper at the local mall—we’ve got an idea. An exhibit, "Merry Grinchmas! The Art of Dr. Seuss," is now doing its thing at the Children’s Museum of Houston. It’s one way to get into the holiday spirit, and we’re thinking it might just get a smile out of both the little kids and the big kids.
Things run through January 23, as visitors are welcome to check out the life, times, and artwork of Theodor Geisel—aka Dr. Seuss. Original artifacts, drawings, paintings, and a few reproductions will all be on display to show off over 70 years of creativity and color. The museum promises to show off some rare images from times between the 1920s and 1990s, and they’re saying its stuff most have never even seen before.
Airline News / Scoot / Singapore Travel / LCCs / Traveling With Children / Travel With Children / → All Tags
Even in the middle of our Family Travel Week, it seems like some airlines are going the opposite direction of catering for the littlest flyers. Exiling children in the air started with Malaysia Airlines and then AirAsia, when both of the carries announced they will create a section of their long-haul aircraft specifically designed for travelers that choose not to be around children; in Malaysia's case, they've even banned children from flying in the first class cabins. Now, the newest child-free zone comes from Scoot.
Singapore's favorite canary yellow low-cost carrier is now reserving a portion of the economy cabin for those traveling without children. The ScootinSilence cabin has banned under-12s from sitting in rows 21 to 25 to make room for passengers coughing up $18 SGD (about $14 US) to have the privilege of sharing an armrest with someone closer their age.
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We can't ignore the fact that we see more and more children becoming frequent flyers nowadays. 2013 is the year for British Airways to cater to their smallest flyers with the addition of expanded kid-friendly products and services.
As much as we would rather not travel with children, it's inevitable and it makes sense for an major airline like BA to take the energy to ensure the youngest frequent flyers are taken care of and comfy both in the air and on the ground. Realistically, these young flyers will grow up and become full-fledged customers with their own spending power.
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"Should children be relegated to the back of the plane?" asks SFGate's The Mommy Files, to which we respond, "what, are we suddenly not allowed to strap the things to wings?" (we kid; obviously we don't advocate tying your baby below the far jet engine so that no one can hear its screaming temper tantrum, which probably wouldn't even be happening if you had raised it properly; how will the flight attendant bring the precious little crotch-snowflake its precious little orange juice if it isn't even inside the cabin?)
The issue is relevant again because AirAsia just announced that it's banning children from the first seven rows of long-haul flights, creating a Quiet Zone that travelers will be able to opt into by paying AirAsia's standard seat selection fee.
Politics Travel / Travel / Politics / Airline Industry / Bad Ideas / Travel With Children / Baby Travel / → All Tags
It is an iron-clad rule in the airline industry that whatever Congress touches, it breaks. The best example is the tarmac delay law, which went from being predictably disastrous to being actually disastrous, and which Congress - at the behest of the shrill busybodies from Flyers Rights - tried to expand and make into permanent law. But let's not forget the U.S. government's plan to fine foreign tourists in order to increase tourism, which was actually a plan to fine foreign tourists so Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada could use their money to promote "Vegas-style tourism."
And let's also not forget Congress's repeated forays into a wide array of airline policies that they don't quite understand but that they're more than happy to bluster about: baggage fee structures, safety regulations, opaque fees, etc.
And so we come to today's Congressional brainstorm. It's being doneof courseFor The Children.