We all vividly remember the mysterious world we discovered as kids, entering the hustle and bustle of an airport. Even as grown-ups, there’s still that thrill every time we get ready for take-off. Now little ones can experience this at MiniPolisz, the magical children’s city, where kids can not only be shop assistants, vets, cashiers, car mechanics or florists, but can try their hand at being an airport worker or a world traveller in a replica play area of Budapest Airport reproduced over 120 square metres.
Many might not know that there is a whole small town on Király utca, a magical children’s paradise in the middle of the city, where the world is turned upside-down for a while. Young children can be real adults and only the imagination limits what they can try. What is more, they can handle everyday tasks such as shopping, checking into a hotel room and, more recently, getting to know the exciting world of airports.
Budapest Airport has created a 120-square-metre play world at MiniPolisz, where children between the ages of five and ten can learn about what awaits them whenever they dive into the real hustle and bustle of an
airport. Many times, even as adults, we are keen to ensure we get to the
airport on time, we have our passport and we do not place inappropriate items in
our luggage, but if learning the airport rules becomes more routine, we can
raise young savvy travellers.
Budapest Airport also helps us with this, as it is extremely important for the airport operator to be present in what we do and to keep us informed about airport news, rules and processes.
The art of travel
“By playing at MiniPolisz, we teach children to be better prepared to travel by air, we show them how to travel the right way as children, and also for when they come to the airport later as passengers or even as employees,” says Katalin Valentínyi, chief corporate communications & government relations officer for Budapest Airport.
Playing at MiniPolisz, you can go through the three main
airport processes. At the first station, you can get an idea of the check-in
process. Children can print off their own boarding pass, then, once their bags have been checked in, they pass passenger security screening, where the
X-ray machine detects if there are any prohibited items in their hand luggage.
Children can also change roles, stand behind the check-in desk or become one of the security staff and screen passengers at the detector gates.
From here, you enter the departure lounge, where you can check the schedule of departing and arriving planes, while in the Heinemann Duty Free Budapest shop, small passengers can also spend time sitting on the other side of the cash till to try what it is like to work in the airport shop.
Eventually, it will be time for take-off, when you board the aircraft itself, put the bags in the overhead racks and fasten the seatbelts. After this, only the children’s imaginations limit the countries to which the aircraft can take them during the virtual flight experience.
An exciting journey into the unknown
“We wanted to provide the most realistic picture of airport processes. A trip is a great experience for children but when they arrive at an airport, they have to follow unknown rules. It is therefore important that they can experience it in a playful way, and they can talk to their parents to prepare for a new or lesser-known situation,” says Xénia Máté, owner of MiniPolisz.
On opening day, Budapest Airport, Heinemann Duty Free Budapest and MiniPolisz provided an unforgettable experience for kindergarten and school groups from the districts and communities in the catchment area of the airport, as well as for the residents of the Gyöngyvirág Orphanage in nearby District XVIII. They all really enjoyed the play-airport.
Some bought tickets to Prague right away, others tried out what it is like to be a flight attendant, and there was also a lot of bustle around the check-in counter. Kristóf Simon, the mayor of MiniPolisz, ran his baggage through security, to be on time for his flight, which was filled with enthusiastic passengers in minutes.
Thanks to the arrival of Budapest Airport and the Heinemann Duty Free shop, MiniPolisz has not only been expanded with airport adventures, but a playroom has also been set up for the youngest members of the family. While the older kids immerse themselves in the adult world of travel, those under three will not be bored either, so a visit is guaranteed to be an adventure for the whole family.