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Nancy Parode

Airport Observation Parks - Plane Spotting Fun for the Young and Young at Heart

By December 31, 2012

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The first time I visited the airport observation park near my local airport, I was astonished to find the parking lot nearly filled on a weekday afternoon. People of all ages enjoy watching airplanes take off and land, and late afternoons on weekdays are some of the best times to watch the airplanes come and go.

I have to confess that my first few visits to our airport observation park mostly involved watching my toddler son pedal his tricycle around while my husband indulged in plane spotting. A few years later, our son could identify all the airplanes that landed at our local airport. When I began writing for About.com, he was old enough to photograph airplanes for me - from this same airport observation park.

Airports around the United States have opened observation parks in the years following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. As security requirements restrict airport access to ticketed travelers, airports have offered aviation buffs and the traveling public places to watch airplanes take off and land.

It turns out that young children truly enjoy watching aircraft takeoffs and landings. Airport observation parks offer grandparents an opportunity to teach grandchildren about aviation and science, share their aviation history stories and spend time together outdoors. If you or your grandchildren live near an airport, don't miss out on your opportunity to visit an airport observation park and teach them about airplanes and aviation history.

Photo © Alex Parode

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