When was the last time you enjoyed a pre-flight coffee at the airport as the kids played in a safe, enclosed area and got some wiggles out before a flight? Never? Same. At San Jose Mineta International airport, that is now a reality. Zoom Zone, an interactive, educational play space created by the Children’s Discovery Museum in collaboration with the airport and sponsored by Zoom, is now open and ready to welcome young travelers. Read on for all the details and make sure to include time to check it out before your next flight!
Located in Terminal B between gates 24 and 25, Zoom Zone is conveniently located across from Peet’s Coffee and next to Chick-fil-A. At 600 sq feet, it has just enough room for kids to discover all about flight and aviation through its five exhibits.
We went on opening day and got to play with kids spanning the age spectrum but the one exhibit that kids kept returning to was the Pin Screen. This signature experience at the Discovery Museum has been replicated here at Zoom Zone with its soft pins that can be pushed on both sides of the board, generating a 3D impression.
In the center of the room is the Bird Climber, a slide structure that encourages kids to climb and slide or crawl under its feathers and wings. Tucked in the corner of Zoom Zone and demonstrating the mechanism of wings and flight is the impressive Kinetic Butterfly. The gorgeous wings flap when manipulated by turning gears and kids loved getting the view of the wings in action from below!
A Plane Kiosk with its knobs, levers and steering wheel lets little ones imagine flying a plane—there’s even a bench for passengers so fasten your (imaginary) seat belt! The Alphabet Airplane exhibit has the entire alphabet on display while mimicking airplane window shades. Each letter corresponds to a city (L for London, T for Tokyo) that San Jose Airport flies to with a lovely city graphic underneath the shade. This gives little hands plenty of opportunities to get out the need to open/shut window shades and hopefully, along with letting out steam in the Zoom Zone, makes for a smooth flight!
—story and photos by Christine Lai