A trip to the airport doesn’t have to be purely functional.

If going to a shopping mall to get your Santa or Christmas carols fix doesn’t sound too appealing to you, how about an airport? After all, as travelers, they should seem like our second home.

Harriet Baskas at USA Today has compiled a pretty cool list in her article At the Airport: Contests, carolers, coupons, and karaoke for the holidays. I’ll even give her two bonus points for her use of alliteration.

Here are some of the interesting sounding events happening at an airport near you:

Indianapolis International Airport

When: December 12
What: Petting zoos! Well, sort of. One is hosted by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra where you can get up close and personal with their instruments. The second is being held by the Humane Society of Indianapolis where you can also adopt a pet.

Musical entertainment will be on site all month, culminating on Christmas Eve with a Santa tuba ensemble.

Philadelphia International Airport

When: December 15 – 24
What: Santa will be milling around greeting travelers and posing for pics.

I would have thought he’d be extra busy in the toy factory, but I suppose for a man who gets around the world in a single night, time isn’t an issue.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

When: All of December
What: Coupons. 80 of them to be exact.

Pick your booklet up at one of the information booths or online at ShopsAtMSP.com. Peruse this schedule of musical entertainment and pick your dates.

George Bush International Airport and Detroit Metro Airport

When: December 19 at GBI and December 20 – 23 at DMA (McNamara/Delta Terminal)
What: Karaoke. Everyone loves karaoke.

Here in Australia, I just heard that ABBA’s Waterloo is the top pick for wannabe crooners. Word of caution: I would definitely be wary about choosing Tom Jones’s Sex Bomb. Not a good word to use there.

For more airport events, make sure to visit the article at USA Today. Maybe there’s something happening near you.

COMMUNITY CONNECTION

For more airport reading, check out Food on the Fly — the Best Airport Restaurants, The World’s 10 Most Technologically Advanced Airport Terminals, and — at the other end of the spectrum — The World’s Worst Airports.

Maybe you’re using an airport to get to Europe this December. If so, don’t miss Where to Find the Best Christmas Markets in Europe.

So tell me, besides catching a flight or just people-watching, do you go to airports for other reasons?