10 Surprisingly Cool Experiences to be Found at Canadian Airports

Airports are rarely the most exciting of places to be stuck in, which I always feel is a missed opportunity. There you are, a captive audience, and they could be providing some kind of entertainment beyond so-so food, dubious looking massages carried out in front of hundreds of people, and the occasional piece of public art. Some airports however do have some pretty cool spaces to hang out in, if you know where to look. Here are six awesome experiences to check out at Canadian Airports.

Enjoy a stylish afternoon tea at YVR. At the Fairmont Vancouver Airport, which is located inside the terminal, you can enjoy a proper afternoon tea that includes teeny-tiny sandwiches with the crusts cut off, beautiful little cakes and pastries, scones with jam and cream, and of course tea. This is a beautiful way to spend an afternoon, and although bookings are required you may be able to find a spot last minute should you find yourself stranded unexpectedly at YVR.

Learn about space exploration at YYC. The rather awesome SpacePort exhibit at Calgary International Airport is an interactive museum space that showcases artifacts on loan from NASA and the Canadian Space Agency. There are opportunities to touch an actual moon rock, and take part in a simulated space flight.

Visit the lobster pound at YHZ, take a few home with you. Just around the corner from the security line-up at Halifax International Airport is a seafood store with a lobster pound where you can select which tasty freshly caught live lobster you like the look of, and have it boxed up on ice all ready to go as hand luggage. (They also sell cooked lobster and other seafood products you can throw in your bag and take on the plane with you.)

Pet a puppy at YEG. This year Edmonton International Airport has been trialling pet therapy at the airport in conjunction with the Pet Therapy Society of Northern Alberta, so you can get a soothing fur smoothing in before you transfer flights. There are even collector cards of the dogs you can download and keep.

Have a real spa treatment at YUL. There are lots of airport spas of varying quality, but the three BALNEA Spa Voyage locations in Montreal International Airport are an offshoot of super deluxe BALNEA Thermal Spa in Bromont-sur-le-lac. Bonus: Massage therapists are registered and can offer receipts so that you can claim it against your extended medical expenses.

Take a behind the scenes tour at YYZ. If you know in advance that you’ll have a long layover at Toronto’s Lester B Pearson International Airport then you can book a (free) ticket for a fascinating behind the scenes Airside tour. Depending on the day, you’ll see different areas of the airport that most people don’t get to see, as well as learn about the history and a bunch of neat facts.

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