children's stores growing at airports across the country, the
summer season bodes well for families traveling by air. Parents
with extra time at the airport now have more choices than ever
before to distract, entertain, and even educate their kids.
Stores with a fun and educational approach to their merchandising,
such as Mindworks and National Geographic, are helping to fuel
this growth spurt.
just opened its sixth store in the 33-store retail gallery at
Philadelphia International Airport. A specialty toy and gift
store, Mindworks is designed as a playtime oasis for children
of all ages. The National Geographic store opened earlier this
year at LaGuardia Airport's Central Terminal Building and features
unique items from around the world, helping to create an exotic
retail environment that makes browsing an education in world
Stackhouse is president of Stellar Partners, a Florida-based
firm that developed Mindworks specifically for airports. The
increase of children's stores is the result of "a realization
of opportunities in the children's market," says Stackhouse.
"Just a few years ago, specialty children's stores were
missing from airport retail. Now our stores meet the need for
children's gifts and activities, and offer a playful, exciting
environment for all travelers."
McGinn, President of MarketPlace Development, a Newton, MA-based
airport retail developer and manager, added that "family-friendly
stores such as Mindworks, National Geographic, Discovery Channel
and InMotion Pictures appeal to both leisure and business travelers
making impulse buys." Discovery Channel has a popular location
at Philadelphia International Airport and will be joined shortly
by InMotion Pictures, already operating at LaGuardia and 26
addition to children's stores, airports are looking at other
ways to meet the needs of travelers with children, from fun
and innovative play areas to children's menus at the airport's
restaurants and food courts. Here are highlights of some of
the family-friendly stores, restaurants, and activities at LaGuardia
Airport and Philadelphia International Airport:
Bestsellers: Extensive selection of children's books.
Kids' Summer Coloring, from May 27th through August 31st.
Restaurant: Kids Eat
Free! This summer, families traveling with kids can take advantage
of the Kids Eat Free special with any paid adult entrée.
Kids choices include Macaroni Simoni - Figs' version of the
popular macaroni & cheese, pizza, spaghetti and more.
Pictures: Rentals of DVD players and popular kids'
movies such as Brother Bear, Good Boys and Dora the Explorer,
for use on the plane, in the car, at the hotel or during families'
Museum of Art Store: Popular
MetKids items such as puzzles, games, creativity kits, children's
jewelry, watches and books.
Geographic Store: Educational toys, unique jewelry
and watches, t-shirts, outerwear, National Geographic videos,
DVD's, books and maps.
Magic Shop: Magic-themed
products such as the Floating Effect trick, a magic coloring
book and the Ultimate Card Trick Deck.
AltiTUNES: A variety of children's CD's and DVD's such as current releases
"Now That's What I Call Music 15" and Disney's "Haunted
Express: Bins and bins
of candy, confections and snacks in a self-serve format.
Channel Store: Meade
telescopes, engaging videos, smart toys for curious kids and
unique decorative items from around the world
Mindworks: Games, toys, puzzles, activity sets, crafts, science kits and
apparel. Featuring toy demonstrations, unique play tables, and
plasma video displays to entertain children of all ages.
Touch Museum's Aviation Play Station: Special play area features interactive displays specifically
designed to introduce children to the exciting world of aviation.
Hands-on items include a jumbo jet that children can get inside,
a smaller plane where children can pretend to be a pilot, working
lights and a spinning propeller, as well as a ticket counter
and a control tower with a slide.
Friday's®: Kids' menu includes cheeseburgers,
grilled cheese sandwiches, and chicken fingers, all with fries
and choice of beverage, or macaroni & cheese with a choice
Youth Art Gallery: Located
between Terminals D & E and outside of the security checkpoints.
Summer exhibits features works by the Asian Arts Youth Initiative.