When I was a child, a thing we would do was go Up The Airport. We'd get in the back of my dad's van then go across town to Luton Airport. We'd park up at the viewing area by the runway, sit on a bench, and look at the aeroplanes taking off. Sort of. This was Luton Airport in the 1980s, so it wasn't exactly a relentless barrage of 747s. Now and then a small charter plane would appear. We'd badger my mum and dad for a burger or an ice cream from the viewing area café and never get one. This is what passed for entertainment in the days when all the telly could offer on a Sunday was religion, politics and Mahabharat.
The highlight for me, every time, was when we could persuade our parents to let us poke around the airport terminal. It was fairly new at that time, built out of red bricks and concrete and looking like the headquarters of a minor building society. It's still there in fact, buried under successive terminal expansions: it's the location of that Burger King on Google Maps:
Even at the age of nine or ten the exciting part for me was a bit of transport infrastructure. We only went on one holiday abroad when I was growing up, when my dad had to go to Malta for work and so we managed to tag along to the free accommodation, so airports were still places of unimagined glamour and excitement. The Departures area was low lit and had a shiny marble floor, plus a single shop that sold everything you needed for a holiday - sun tan lotion, shades, magazines. We would once again try to persuade our parents to buy us something from here, not being old enough to understand the phrase "outrageous mark up", and we'd once again be denied. Then we'd go home.