Posted on 12 June 2020
An international airport such as London Heathrow, is always a busy place with passengers arriving and departing from the bustling city of London. With many passengers queuing at various counters such as Immigration, the customs office and the long lines waiting to collect their bags at the luggage claim, it creates an intense hustle and bustle making it quite challenging to manoeuvre the airport with a family in tow.
As is standard practise across many airports, passengers are requested to arrive at the airport at least three hours in advance of their flight, if they haven't checked-in online. Another reason for a long wait at an airport terminal can be a long lull between connecting flights. Such long wait interludes can be quite taxing for passengers traveling with children.
Keeping these challenges in mind, airports have devised several kid-friendly facilities to assist families during their time within their terminals. Heathrow Airport, being one of the busiest airports in the world handling over 80 million passengers annually offers many family-friendly facilities to accommodate the needs of a travelling family. It always behoves travellers, to research the facilities offered by the airport terminal that they plan to pass through during their travels. For longer connections it is better to book a room at a hotel nearby like the Atrium Heathrow hotel where the kids can relax and rest. Each room is equipped with a smart TV that has a wide range of channels so kids can be entertained, not to mention easy access to a pool, a sauna and steam room absolutely perfect for unwinding before a flight.
The London Heathrow terminals offer many family-friendly lounges where parents can relax with their kids before a flight. There is a small entry fee for use of this facility whereas Infants (0-1 years) get in for free! Don't forget the executive lounges offered to first and business class passengers where they can relax in luxury and are offered many free facilities such as free snacks, tea/coffee, Wi-Fi and refreshing bathing facilities. At the terminal 3 departure area, there is family lounge that includes a play area for children of ages 0-9 (separate area for the toddlers of course), a children's quiet room, a Game Zone for kids 10-15 years, a vending machine, and a discreet area for nursing mothers.
Children's Dining Areas:
There is nothing crankier than a hungry child! Hence, all the terminals of Heathrow airport offer several options of children's menus along with light refreshments across a wide selection of restaurants. Such restaurants also provide complementary use of high chairs and other child friendly seating arrangements. Terminal 1 is home to Giraffe, a lively establishment, complete with graffitied walls and offers a comprehensive, international menu as well as a selection of kid's choices. There is also, Garfunkel's, known as the child friendly chain eatery, which provides a full kid's menu along with a wonderful activity pack to keep them occupied.
If you have already checked-in online, you can also pop by Atrium Heathrow hotel which is only 5 minutes away from Heathrow airport and enjoy breakfast at the Orange tree restaurant for only £10. The restaurant offers a wonderful international menu for lunch & dinner with kid's meals for only £6.
Play Areas for Kids:
In order to keep the children entertained as they wait with their families to board a plane, the airport provides kids play areas such as the one located by Gates 35-56 in the international departures near café Nero in terminal 1. These pay areas are suitable for 2 – 6 years old and are unsupervised. In terminals 2, 4 and 5, Stay & Play are provided pre-flight fun for the kids. They offer slides, soft play areas and separate baby as well as junior zones. Suitable for accompanied children aged up to nine years old.