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Hanging Out in Airports: Fairbanks International

Hanging Out in Airports: Fairbanks International

Airports in Alaska tend towards the utilitarian.

The fanciest, in Anchorage and Juneau, have every amenity a modern airport can offer. But the most basic are, at heart, shipping facilities. The fact that some fraction of that ‘shipping’ is passengers only means they need to put in a few benches.

Fairbanks International Airport is somewhere in-between.




The overall architectural style leans towards ‘warehouse.’ There’s a small gift shop, a smaller bar, and a coffee stand. Still, it’s a rather lonely place to spend a few hours, especially if you have a late-night flight, and the only thing open is the bar.

And none of that matters, because FAI has the one thing that every airport should have but so many lack: a dinosaur park.

Fairbanks airport


Granted, it’s small. Just a few feet long, actually, set into a concrete bowl at about knee height, under a decorated section of wall. But it’s well stocked and lovingly tended, home to a dozen toy dinosaurs.

Oh, and whatever this guy with the wings guy is.


He doesn’t even GO here.

A small plaque explains that the Dinosaur Park – and yes, small enough to fit onto your carry-luggage or not, it’s a Park – is dedicated to the memory of Charlie Richmond, and maintained by friends and employees of the airport.

That doesn’t really explain the ‘why’ behind putting a sand pit filled with toy dinos in the middle of an airport. But maybe some things don’t need to be explained.

They’re dinosaurs. They make me happy. Every airport should have at least a few.





  1. I love the idea of having shipping facilities in the passengers’ area in an airport. It is what I mostly miss at LAX (Los Angeles). If you want to mail a letter you have to go outside the airport. Why do you think every airport should have a dinosaur park? Kids may find it of some interest, but the adults… who cares?
    Anda recently posted…The Weekly Postcard: The Stunning Cathedral of SevilleMy Profile

    • Oh, right, the dino parks are fun for the kids. Just the kids. Totally.

      Excuse me, I have to go hide the 50 pictures I may or may not have taken while staging a dinosaur vs dragon-creature uprising . . .

  2. I find airports incredibly boring so I love when they have free exhibits or museums like this. A few of the Asian airports I’ve been to had actual museums and SFO (our local airport) has changing exhibits from art to TV history to a history of board games which is nice to walk through when you have extra time.
    Jessica @ Independent Travel Cats recently posted…The African Tulip: Best Hotel in Arusha Tanzania?My Profile

    • I love airports that have little educational exhibits – expecially for layovers, it’s nice to get a sense of a place when you’re just passing through.

    • I really wish I could have found out the story behind this – but it’s kind of cool without any explanation. Just a mystery dino park tucked against a wall.


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