When the sun is shining, the skies are blue, and the winds are favorable, flying a kite can be an exhilarating family activity. A number of kite festivals pop up in the warmer months, and a great resource for tracking them is Kites Over New England, a club for flyers of all ages. The club has family-friendly events scheduled throughout the year and holds a group fly the first Saturday of each month at locations throughout the region. (In winter, they even host indoor flies!) The festivals below are all held at popular spots that are worth visiting year-round, kite in hand or not.
The Revere Beach Kite Festival, May 15, 2016, from 11 a.m. to 2 pm, is firmly focused on kids having fun. The first 300 children under the age of 12 will receive a free kite that they can then decorate and fly. The event also features professional kite flyers, music, face-painting, and other family-friendly activities. Bonus: Once the festival is over, you can simply enjoy the beach.
Head to Hampton Beach on May 15 (rain date is May 22), 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., for Exeter Hospital’s eighth annual Kites Against Cancer. All proceeds from the event benefit Exeter Hospital’s Beyond the Rainbow Fund, which provides financial assistance and support to patients in need. Activities include kite flying and decorating, face painting, raffles, refreshments, music, and more. Can’t make it on Sunday? No worries: Hampton Beach has been a time-honored kite-flying spot since the 1840s.
The 2016 Bug Light Kite Festival takes place 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 21 at Bug Light Park in South Portland, Maine. Held by the South Portland Historical Society on the third weekend of May each year, this year’s event features members of the Noreasters Kite Club and Kites Over New England leading activities, including a how-to-fly-a-kite workshop and show-kite demos. Kites will be available for purchase, and a kite “hospital” will help with assembly and fixes. Bonus: Bug Light—officially known as the Portland Breakwater Lighthouse—will be open to the public, offering families a rare chance to see a lighthouse’s interior.
The Newport Kite Festival takes place July 9 and 10 at Brenton Point Park—an ideal place to fly kites, with the Atlantic to the south and the mouth of Narragansett Bay to the west. Fest activities include kite flying, sport-kite demos, a contest for the largest kite, and more. Not all the details have been announced, so check the website for more information closer to the date.