Tips for Families When Traveling Through DTW Airport

Traveling with kids can be hard. Use these tips for navigating DTW airport to ensure a smooth flight to your final destination.

No matter how well prepared you are when it comes to traveling as a family, things don’t always follow your ideal itinerary. Whether you’re nervous about your little traveler’s first flight or you’ve found yourself with extra time to kill due to a delayed flight or other turbulent travel scenarios, we’ve got it under control. Use these tips to find kid-friendly activities and restaurants and rest assured that, no matter what your final destination, it’s sure to be a smooth flight. 

Tips for families flying at DTW

  • There are several Family Restrooms located throughout the airport. 
  • There are nine nursing rooms in the airport. To ensure privacy, guests wishing to use the nursing room must call for a secure access code.
  • Terminal to terminal shuttles depart every 10 minutes from the Ground Transportation Centers.
  • Airports can be overstimulating for anyone. When going through the McNamara tunnel, a walkway that features changing LED lights and sounds, guests can pause the light display for five minutes by pressing one of the buttons located at the end of the tunnel. 

Things to do and see at DTW

  • Make a wish and toss a penny into the water feature located in the center of McNamara terminal. Inspired by a flight map, this beautiful fountain is nearly 40 feet wide! 
  • If flying out of Evans Terminal, swing by the PlayPort to get the wiggles out before your flight. 
  • There are four children’s play areas in the McNamara Terminal. Try playing mega chess or explore small climbers and play structures. 
  • Visit Creative KidStuff, a children’s store filled with toys, dolls, games and more, all designed to keep kids occupied during their travels. 
  • Take home a souvenir from The Mitten State from Michigan Treasures or Michigan Sports, two boutique stores offering local and regional gifts, apparel, snacks and more. 

Where to eat at DTW

  • Detroit Street Lunchbox is a grab ‘n’ go cafe with snacks, cold drinks and gourmet sandwiches and salads. 
  • Elevate your caffeine fix at Harvest & Grounds. In addition to coffee, this eatery has Michigan-sourced food and drink options so you can support local while you travel. 
  • There are plenty of kid-approved restaurants that are great whether you need something on-the-go or have time to find a seat before boarding. Try Chick-fil-A, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Potbelly, QDoba or Subway. 
  • Grab a sweet treat at Pinkberry, a fresh and frozen yogurt stand where kids can create their own fro-yo treat.

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Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts is the assistant editor on the Metro Parent team. She is always on the lookout for the coolest and trendiest new attractions, restaurants and events for metro Detroit families. Her newsletters, online family guides and exciting digital content keep families informed on all the latest happenings around town.

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