Benjamin Franklin is credited with discovering electricity during a risky run with a kite. For National Kite Month and (we hope) several windy (and safe) days to match, your kids can head out for their own adventure and discover the simple pleasure of this childhood pastime. Give kite flying a try just for fun or make harnessing the wind your new family hobby.
Where to Buy
First things first: Select a starter kite for your child. Consider a diamond-shape or delta kite with a single line, and save more advanced kites for when or if your child takes a serious liking to the hobby. You can find a variety of sizes and shapes, including dragon and pirate ship kites, at these local retailers.
Fort Worth, 817/337-2400
Fort Worth, 817/735-0021
Big Mike’s Kites
Where to Fly
Essentials for a great day of kite flying include good weather and an open expanse of land sans power lines and trees to avoid danger and the disappointment of losing your brand new toy. Try these parks including a few recommended by members of the Dallas Area Kitefliers Organization, a family club that frequently meets at area parks when the wind is just right, or search our directory to find a park closest to you.
Celebration Park, Allen
Trammell Crow Park, Dallas
Breckinridge Park, Richardson
River Legacy Parks, Arlington
Meadowmere Park, Grapevine
Kite Flying Basics
Flying is a three-way tug of war between wind gusts, technique and your child’s cheerful determination. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind while you send it soaring:
Scope out your space. Give yourself enough room between other kite fliers to avoid tangles.
Where is the wind? Establish wind direction to determine where you and your flying partner should take off with the line. The person holding the string should have the wind at her back, and the person with the kite should be facing the wind.
Don’t make any promises. The perfect kite flying weather can be elusive, as Texas weather conditions are known to change suddenly. Keep the kites in your vehicle for an impromptu trip to the park if windy weather strikes.
Focus on the fun. Don’t worry if your child’s first flying experience is less than stellar. Watching the colors twirl in the wind is half the fun.
Kite flying isn’t just for kids. Bring an extra to send up your own rainbow in the sky.
Want to learn from the best? Meet up with members of DAKO, or visit the American Kitefliers Association for more tips and information on how to get some height in your kite.
Local Kite Events
Not ready to strike out on your own? Get some practice, watch the experts and learn how to build your own kite at these kite-centric events in April and May.
Barnyard Buddies, April 10 at Dallas Heritage Village. Listen to a storybook reading for preschoolers about Ben Franklin and learn what makes a kite fly.
Kite Festival, April 13 at River Legacy Parks in Arlington. Join kite building workshops and contests, watch stunt demonstrations and enjoy face painting, a bounce house and concessions.
Family Past Times, April 21 at Dallas Heritage Village. Bring a kite from home or make your own at the village and practice your kite-flying skills. See who can get it to fly longest or go the highest.
Trinity River Wind Festival, May 18 at the Commerce Street Viaduct in Dallas. Watch show kite teams fly their biggest kites, see hot air balloons and check out the activities at the children’s fun zone.
Dragon Boat, Kite and Lantern Festival, May 26 at Las Colinas Urban Center in Irving. Bring a kite to compete in flying contests or make your own during kite-making sessions.