Surprising source of free kid entertainment: the airport
Brian's one of the few people I know who willingly takes his kids to airports:
We live relatively close to a major airport (Chicago O'Hare) which gives us access to a cheap morning of entertainment. Elevator and escalator rides are fun, especially the glass elevator, but the real fun is what the elevators and escalators connect. First, there are the moving walkways. Kids can't get enough of these. Then there is the train that goes out to long-term parking and back to the terminals. Part of the track goes right under the flight pattern for one of the runways so there are lots of opprotunities to see airplanes in action. Aside from a few dollars for parking all of it is free. We usually go on a Sunday morning when the crowds are non-existant (your religious commitments may vary).
Beautiful! (Keep Brian's ideas in mind if your holiday travel includes a flight.)