The Minneapolis-Saint Paul (MSP) airport for families is incredibly child-friendly. Whether you need to spend a layover at MSP International or arrive early to board a flight, you have plenty of kid-friendly options to enjoy. The Minneapolis Saint Paul Minnesota airport is ideal for families, children, and people on the autism spectrum. Let’s check out the best things to do at Minneapolis Airport for families.
Charging Stations for the Family’s Electronics
If you have to spend a lot of time at the MSP airport, don’t forget your children’s tablets. Luckily, the seats have charging blocks or electric sockets between nearly every gate. While I wish screen time wasn’t necessary, the ability to charge my children’s devices helped me love Minneapolis Saint Paul (MSP) airport for families.
MSP Play Area for Children
MSP airport features a flight-themed play area with an ‘air traffic control’ tube slide, a Snoopy statue, and a plane with a playground inside. The Minneapolis airport playground provides plenty of space for kids to burn off their energy before being cooped up on a plane.
Fun fact: Did you know Snoopy’s inventor was a Minnesota native?
Where are the play areas in Minneapolis Saint Paul (MSP) airport?
There are two different MSP airport play areas:
- The flight-themed playground is located in Terminal 1 by gate C12 and includes an infant supply vending machine.
- MSP airport has a comparable play area for families flying out of terminal 2.
The MSP Airport Observation Tower
An observation tower in the F concourse in Terminal 1 offers a view of planes taking off and landing. There is a flight of stairs to reach it. Therefore, it is not accessible for those with disabilities. However, if you can get up to it, there is a sitting area for your children to view the runways.
Art Displays in Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport
If you’re into the fine arts, the MSP airport displays rival an art museum. Between photographs, sculptures, and paintings, your children (and parents) can spend plenty of time soaking up the art scene here.
Family Center and Companion Care Restrooms
If you’re near concourse E in Terminal 1, the family center provides comfortable family seating, a child-friendly restroom, a rocking chair, and a baby crib. However, if you are not near concourse E, plenty of companion care bathrooms are in the airport. The spacious, private toilets have diaper-changing tables for added convenience. Plus, you won’t have to worry about your child trying to peek under nearby stalls.
Disclosure: I may make a small amount of money from any purchase you make from an affiliate. However, I will only give my honest reviews and recommendations.
Airport Restaurants for Children
Finding airport restaurants that don’t strictly cater to business travelers can be difficult. Luckily, MSP airport has several restaurants for kids. If you’re seeking an eatery where your children have familiar options and a louder volume won’t feel out of place, there are many places. What are the family-friendly restaurants at MSP airport?
Terminal 1 Food Locations
Chili’s- MSP Mall
McDonald’s- Concourse D
Panda Express- Concourse F
Qdoba- Concourse E
Smashburger- Concourse C
Wendy’s- Concourse F
Terminal 2 Restaurants
MSP Market- Concourse H
Subway- Concourse H
MSP Breastfeeding or Pumping Rooms
If you’re comfortable breastfeeding in public, you legally can and should safely nurse at the MSP airport gates, restaurants, or airplane lounges. The state of Minnesota allows breastfeeding wherever parents and babies can legally be.
However, there are benefits to the lactation rooms at MSP. If traveling through MSP airport with a baby, you may prefer space to breastfeed and bond quietly or pump privately. The MSP pumping and nursing rooms, called lactation centers, are locked and have a sink, outlets, and comfortable seating.
Lactation Room MSP Airport Terminal 1
There are many lactation rooms near the MSP airport gates in Terminal 1.
- North Mall on the Mezzanine Level
- C concourse near Gate C13 (on the main level under the stairs) with a breastfeeding room
- E concourse near Gate E1 and a breastfeeding room at the entrance to E by the bathrooms
- F concourse at Gate F2 with a breastfeeding room near Gate F4
- G concourse between gates G4 and G9
MSP Nursing Room in Airport Terminal 2
Terminal 2 has a location center and nursing room in concourse H between Gates H10 and H11.
If the breastfeeding room is locked, the volunteers at the information desk nearby can let you into the first and third lactation rooms.
Support for Children with Autism or Other Special Needs
The Navigating MSP Program is a partnership between the Metropolitan Airports Commission and the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM). You can register for the monthly in-person events to help your child or family member become familiar with the process of security, moving through the concourses, and boarding a plane.
- Participate in TSA security screening procedures
- Become familiar with the terminal
- Board a plane and prepare for takeoff
- Meet a pilot
- View helpful resources
MSP Airport Transfer to Hotels
Traveling with children is always challenging when looking for airport transportation. Parents are responsible for bringing a car seat for personal vehicles or ride shares. While Minnesota law does not require a car for hire to have a car seat, we don’t travel without car seats.
There are many options to get from the airport to your hotel, such as:
Frequently Asked Questions about Minneapolis Saint Paul (MSP) Airport for Families
There are some common questions when flying out of Minneapolis Saint Paul (MSP) Airport for Families. This article contains all the information about visiting the airport in the twin cities: Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Can you purchase diapers, wipes, or baby supplies at MSP airport?
Yes. A baby supply vending machine is located in Terminal 1 in the children’s play area near gate C12.
Does the Minneapolis Saint Paul airport have breastfeeding, breast pumping, or nursing rooms?
Yes, the breast pumping rooms are secure and clean, with a sink to clean equipment and wash hands. The lactation centers have accessible electrical outlets, soft lighting, and comfortable seating. The nursing rooms are private with comfortable seating.
Where can my kids nap at the Minneapolis Saint Paul International Airport?
Children can nap on benches without armrests (or strollers) at two quiet seating areas in Terminal 1 on the Mezzanine level overlooking the Airport Mall. Go up the elevator at Concourses E or F to get to the sleeping spaces.
Honorable mentions for napping in Terminal 1 at MSP include Concourse D, Concourse E, Gates A13 & A14, and behind the baggage claim escalators. The airport can be very loud, but Terminal 1 is busier and noisier than Terminal 2.
Does the Minneapolis-Saint Paul airport have lockers to store luggage?
The MSP airport lockers use your fingerprints to ensure your baggage is safe. Once you’re beyond the TSA security screen, Terminal 1 has lockers:
- Near MSP airport gates C2 and C13
- The F concourse
What are airlines family-friendly or supportive for autistic children?
I wrote an article about our experience flying on Frontier Airlines. While they are problematic at times, they do have a program where kids can fly free.
This article covered the best things for families to do at Minneapolis airport. What’s your favorite airport for children? Sound off in the comments.
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We covered our experience at San Francisco International (SFO) airport if you are looking for other child-friendly airports.