Tens of thousands of families will travel through Chicago’s Midway Airport this holiday season. It’s the smaller and arguably the more manageable of the Windy City’s two big airports, but it’s easier to navigate when you’re in the know. Here’s our guide to make the most of your time in with kids at Midway Airport.
There is a small mother’s room in Concourse C. (Turn right after exiting security.) Inside you’ll find a comfy chair for feeding or pumping, a changing area, sink and hand sanitizer. A television shows nature images while soothing spa music plays.
The Yoga Room is next to the Mother’s Room and has the same television and zen tunes found in the Mother’s Room. There are yoga mats, sanitizer, mirrors on one wall, and a decent amount of room to move. It’s a great option for little yogis. More schools are yoga or meditation into the school day, but even if it’s new to your child or to you, doing some easy stretches like reaching to the ceiling and touching toes as well as taking some deep belly breaths can be a great way for passengers of all ages to find inner peace (or get out some of the wiggles). This lovely sanctuary from the bustle of the airport has been empty all but one time I’ve used it – it’s the best kept secret at Midway.
Both women’s and men’s restrooms have changing areas.
What to see
Midway does not have a specific children’s area, but the B3 bomber suspended over the entrance to Concourse A gets some “oohs” and “aahs.” Have kids compare it to the planes they see on the tarmac. There’s also a memorial to the Battle of Midway that can be good for older kids interested in history or the military and even those who aren’t may enjoy seeing the photos of World War II era pilots.
In the retail realm, Kids Works is a store with all kinds of toys and items for little ones located not far past security.
Pro tip: if you want to avoid them seeing the candy store that’s right by the start of Concourse B, point out the gates on your right and have smaller kids find the gate number, have older kids guess where each plane is headed.
Where to hang out
Midway Airport is in the middle of a renovation that promises more concession space and options. (The most progress has been made in Concourse A.) The food court area is bright and spacious, with lots of places to charge and seating options.
Kids love the pod-like seats. Many tables have a good view of planes. If you have time to kill, this is a good spot to park for a bit.
Where and what to eat
The good news: many restaurants have kids’ menus. The bad news: those menus are often tiny, with some offering just one option and many giving only two. Just look at it as a way to keep your likely already overstimulated child from getting overwhelmed, but check to make sure there’s something they like before waiting in line.
Concourse A has lots of new restaurants, including some avant garde options, such as Arami that offers sushi, and traditional Chicago favorites, like Billy Goat Tavern. The latter has one of the larger children’s menus we saw with four options, including chicken tenders. Those aren’t common, although Reilly’s Daughter offers boneless wings. Neapolitan Pizzeria offers a pizetta for kids. If you’re more of a burger connoisseur, check out True Burger. They don’t have seating but are all close to the food court seating. Reilly’s Daughter and Midway Pour House both have seating.
We prefer that food court to the one between Concourses A and B, just past security. It’s darker and doesn’t have a view. That said, it is home to De Colores, which has tacos and burritos, meaning Taco Tuesday (or any other day of the week) can definitely happen. In Concourse B, big and littles also has tacos, including poke tacos for adults and a kids menu with fish or beef tacos.
Speaking of Concourse B, there isn’t a nifty seating area at the moment like there is in Concourse A.
Most people just bring food to the gate and if you’re going that route, check out the mac-n-cheese on the kids menu at Pork Chop. Windy City Tap Room has seating and its kids menu consists of grilled cheese and chicken fingers. Glacier City Frozen yogurt can be a fun treat – it is towards the end of the concourse.
For breakfast, my favorite is The Market in Concourse B, which has both an assortment of muffins, breakfast sandwiches and fruit, as well as juices and milk. They also have peanut butter and jelly. There are also several Dunkin’ carts in both concourses.
Safe and happy travels this holiday season!
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