Monday, September 10, 2012

De Plane! De Plane!

Observation Park at RDU airport is wonderful!! I had heard about it a couple times, but never thought to take the kids. It is really a park!

There are picnic tables with umbrellas, little runways for the kids to play on, a sandbox full of toys people have left behind and a little jungle gym in the middle. Then there's the observation deck, which allows you to watch the planes coming in with great visibility. The stairs are a little dicey for the little ones, but there is a ramp (which we notice after humping up the stairs - with a 3-year-old and a toddler). If all that activity wasn't enough, a plane would take off or land and all the kids would stop and stare at the planes. Some would scream AIRPLANE and others would just freeze until the plane passed by or stopped. It was hilarious!

My kids played for 2 hours at this place! That's just unheard of for my girls. It was so fun. Next time I'll pack a lunch, and we'll eat there.

The major drawback I saw was a rookie thing. It was a bit hard to find. After you pass the first terminal (and before you get to terminal 2) there is a park and ride turn off (on the right). I missed it the first time but noticed after it was too late that there was a sign for Observation Park. Then, as we left, I followed the airport exit signs and ended up on 540. So we had a bit of a detour. Also, there were landscaping flags all over the place. My kids would NOT leave them alone. In fact, we had to leave because they wouldn't stop (and they're a little sharp on the ends). I told them we had to leave if they wouldn't listen. But even that was after 2 hours of playing very well!

I would definitely go again, even though it ended up being a 35 minute drive. It's open every day 8 a.m.-6 p.m., too! LOVE IT.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport
Morrisville, NC 27560

HIGHLIGHTS: Free, new experience and a little different (I've never been to an airport park!), get to see the planes take off and land, sandbox.
LOW LIGHTS: If your kids are a little noise sensitive, this may not be the place for you. My kids love loud noises and airplanes, the stairs on the observation deck were pretty narrow (but there's a ramp) and it's a little difficult to find if you've never been there before.
COST: Free!

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