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Where We Played: Detroit Metro, McNamara Terminal

The "play area" (I use the term loosely) for the McNamara terminal at Detroit Metro Airport is located at gate A18, up against the wall that separates the gate from the Delta help center. Don't blink or you will miss it: we walked right past it the first time.

The play area consists of 2 plastic play houses and 1 plastic play ship.


Inside each play house are three grubby plastic chairs. There is nothing at all inside the play ship. There are no games or toys.


The play area held my daughter's interest for a combined total of about 5 minutes. She spent most of the time in the play ship. When my daughter ventured into one of the houses, she emerged with a broken spoon.


I guess the play area not only looks dirty, but actually is dirty.

This play area is a real disappointment. Our flight was only 2 gates away, and I barely thought the play area was worth a visit. For families leaving from the other end of the terminal or another terminal, the play area is not worth the walk. It's pretty sad: I had expected much better considering all the nice touches in this terminal, like family restrooms with diaper vending machines. I guess nobody thought to add some nice touches just for the kids. Maybe they thought that watching the express tram that moves across the terminal would be enough to keep them entertained: I know my daughter spent more time watching the tram from the seats near the play area than she spent actually playing.

Floor: carpet
Parent seating: the seats provided for gate A18
Best for: I honestly don't know what to answer for this one because there really isn't much to do. Kids will need to be old enough to engage in dramatic play to know that they can play house, but also be satisfied with the lack of toys. At the same time, they need to be small enough to fit in the houses, especially when a majority of the space inside is taken up by chairs.

Detroit-area families--and the chidlren who visit them--deserve better than this, and they should demand it.

Posted by amikulski 19:50 Archived in USA Tagged children airport playground

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