Kids Birthday Parties ... at the Airport

In the post-9/11 era of tight security, Americans usually avoid going to the airport unless they absolutely have to, but in Europe, the halcyon days of aviation are still here:

Kids at Learta Sinani's 10th birthday party here ate cake, played games and faced a thorough security screening. It's all part of celebrations at one of Switzerland's hottest tourist spots: Zurich Airport.

When Ms. Sinani's mother first proposed taking friends to the airfield, "I wasn't so sure," recalled the birthday girl during her recent festivities, as friends climbed in a child-sized control tower. "Now I think it's really exciting." [...]

Hospitality is proving so successful that these airports are increasingly pitching themselves as party venues. Revelers are climbing onboard. Zurich's three weekly birthday slots for youngsters are booked into next year.

"You should reserve before your child is born," jokes Rahel Kindermann-Leuthard, manager of visitor services and events at Zurich Airport.

Guests still have to clear security, but the upside of that is you can use the X-ray machines to guess the party gifts!

Daniel Michaels of The Wall Street Journal's The A-Hed column explains: Link

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I really liked the Z├╝rich airport, the integration with the train and metro was superb, the staff was friendly, signs were excellent, artwork displays were superb. Though no kids were playing on that little plane at the wee morning hours I visited.
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