AUSTRALIA. Melbourne Airport has partnered with Innovative Retail to open a children’s playground as part of the upgraded International Terminal (T2) retail and dining precinct.

The Moodie Davitt Report is on location in Melbourne and featured a special report on the unveiling of T2’s new luxury zone yesterday.

The play area, just the second in an Australian airport, is located at Gate 11 and is designed for children aged two to ten years old. It features a 3m tall rope climbing structure – the first in an airport in Australia – to help children develop hand-eye coordination. Playtime Softplay connected cubes encourage children to create their own fun through non-prescriptive play.

Time for play: The new zone offers an outlet for children to have fun in the revamped International Terminal

Melbourne Airport Chief of Retail Andrew Gardiner said: “We are committed to continually improving the traveller experience at the airport. With more families travelling with children at Christmas time than any other time of the year, it’s great to be able to provide an innovative play space to keep youngsters entertained while their parents relax in our brand new retail and dining precinct at Terminal 2.”

Innovative Retail CEO Dale Smorgon commented: “We’ve worked closely with Melbourne Airport to deliver a colourful and engaging play space that seamlessly fits within the terminal, as well as catering to the needs of families and children travelling at Christmas time and throughout the year.

“We wanted to create a fun experience for the whole family, for kids to get active and be creative in the playspace, while parents relax before their flight and enjoy food from favourites such as Brunetti, Two Johns and the newly-announced BaXa.

“This is the second playground we’ve created for an airport in Australia, and the first to include a rope-climbing structure. We are seeing a growing trend for airports and shopping centres alike looking for solutions to support families. Our recent research found that 90% of shoppers agreed that having play facilities to entertain children at shopping centres enhanced the overall experience in the centre.”

The area features a 3m tall rope climbing structure and connected cubes so that children can create their own fun

Innovative Retail provides premium children’s entertainment services across more than 700 retail environments worldwide. The company said health, safety and hygiene are a priority in play space development. The play areas comply to relevant Australian Safety Standards and are certified by an accredited third party safety auditor.