Q: We’re planning a family trip with my two sons and our five grandkids, who age from 3 to 14 to Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, we’ve got a long layover in Chicago O’Hare. Is there anything for the kids to do while we wait?
-Laverne, Palm Springs, Calif.
A: Don’t dread the layover: Chicago O’Hare has plenty of activities for people of all ages. Two of their terminals feature climbing structures for children. Terminal 2 features an airport theme to help kids understand how airports work. Terminal 5 pays homage to the Great Chicago Fire with a fire safety motif, teaching kids the importance of fire safety and what to do in case of an emergency.
For kids who are too old for playground structures, there are also interesting permanent exhibits that may pique their interest. Terminal 2 is home to a restored World War II fighter plane, and there is a four-story model of a Brachiosaurus on loan from Chicago’s Field Museum in Terminal 1. The Field Museum and the Chicago History Museum also have stores in O’Hare that sell items directly related to their current displays, and the stores themselves are interesting enough to keep kids and adults occupied.
Finally, if you are looking for an activity for the whole family to do together, why not stop by Hilton Chicago O’Hare’s Health Club? Featuring a steam room, gym access and a swimming pool, the Health Club is accessible from the airport via an underground walkway and only costs $11 a day. They’ll even provide the towels and lockers so you’ll have a place to store your stuff, and you won’t have to deal with wet clothes when you board the plane.