Let’s Go Fly a Kite
A Kansas City Celebration of America’s Springtime Pastime
Kite flying is at once fun, whimsical, nostalgic and magical. Our family loves flying kites together while we enjoy spring picnics at local parks. If you love the beauty and creativity of a kite, you’ll enjoy this collection of places, events and ways to celebrate kite flying as a family.
Kites in Film & Literature
The beloved Sherman brothers’ song “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” debuted in Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins, in perhaps the most famous kite flying scene in cinema. Another film we love also includes our favorite springtime hobby. The Peanuts Movie features Charles Schulz’s beloved comic strip characters in classic scenes as the plight of Charlie Brown unfolds, including his perils with kite flying. At Worlds of Fun, opening April 21, kids can ride the Kite-Eating Tree ride in Planet Snoopy!
Some of our favorite beautifully illustrated children’s books feature kites. The Story of Kites by Ying Chang Compestine is a Chinese folktale of three brothers who devise a kite to chase birds from their rice fields. Kite Day by Will Hillenbrand is a story of friends bear and mole attempting to fly a kite despite bad weather. Curious George Flies a Kite by Margret Rey is a humorous story featuring our favorite monkey as he plays with a kite. The Kite That Bridged Two Nations by Alexis O'Neill is based on the true story of Homan Walsh, a man who dreamed of flying a kite across Niagara Falls. How Ben Franklin Stole the Lightning by Rosalyn Schanzer tells of Benjamin Franklin the inventor and his experiments conducted while flying a kite during a storm. King for a Day by Rukhsana Khan is the tale of a Pakistani boy confined to a wheelchair who attempts to capture more kites than anyone else during the kite festival. These are just a few children’s books featuring kites; you’ll fine many more at your local library.
A Celebration of Kites: Events in Kansas City:
Kites in the Sky! Week April 8-14 at Paradise Park. Each week brings new stories, interactive performances or games, art projects and tasty treats in children's cooking during Adventure Time. This week’s theme celebrates the wonder of wind and coolness of kites!
Flights of Fancy April 21 at MCC-Longview (500 SW Longview Rd., Kansas City, MO). The kites of Great American Kites & Events will take flight over the lawn of the picturesque MCC-Longview campus in the heart of kite month. Marvel at awe-inspiring mega kites, power kites, stunt kites and more, including the world’s largest windsock–three stories high and 200 feet long!
Barnyard Babies April 21, 10:00-4:00 at the National Agricultural Hall of Fame (630 N. 126th St., Bonner Springs, KS). Come out to this fun family festival and experience life on a farm, from barnyard babies to a tractor petting zoo, and fresh produce to kiddie pedal pull contests, giant balloon animals, games and much more! Great American Kites will be demonstrating kite flying, and giant animal-shaped kites will fill the air.
Turkey Creek Festival May 19, 10:00-4:00 at Antioch Park (6501 Antioch Rd., Merriam, KS). This festival includes a Kids Zone, kite flying demonstrations, petting zoo, inflatables and vendors.
Go Fly a Kite:
Choose your favorite park with wide open spaces, watch for power lines and go fly kites! These are a few of our favorite places to fly a kite in the area:
Great Kite Flying Parks in Missouri:
- Arborwalk Park: 1301 SW Arbor Park Dr., Lee's Summit
- Belton Community Center Park: 16400 South Mullen Rd., Belton
- Brookside Park: 58th Street between Grand & Oak, Kansas City
- Canterbury Park: 501 SE Blackwell Rd., Lee's Summit
- Fleming Park: 228067 Woods Chapel Rd., Blues Springs
- Legacy Park: 1201-1501 NE Legacy Park Dr., Lee's Summit
- Longview Lake Park Shelter #11: 470 & Raytown Road, Kansas City. Take Raytown Road south to Shelter 11.
- Loose Park: 51st Terrace & Wornall, Kansas City
- Lowenstein Park: 1901 NW Lowenstein Dr., Lee's Summit
- Nelson-Atkins Museum Lawn: 4525 Oak, Kansas City
- Ruth Stockdale Park: George Raines Road & Highway 210, Liberty
- Smith's Fork Park at Smithville Lake: 1601 DD Hwy., Smithville
- Swope Park: Meyer Boulevard & Swope Parkway, Kansas City
- Tiffany Springs Park: N Highway & Tiffany Springs Park Road, Platte City
Great Kite Flying Parks in Kansas:
- Black Bob Park: 14500 W. 151st St., Olathe
- Frontier Park: 15501 W. Indian Creek Pkwy., Olathe
- Garrett Park: 47th Street & Monticello Road, Shawnee
- Kill Creek Park: 33460 W. 95th St., De Soto
- Leawood Park: 10601 Lee Blvd., Leawood
- Heritage Park Shelter #1: 160th & Pflumm, Olathe
- Mill Creek Park: 4731 Wilder Rd., near the intersection at Holliday Drive, Shawnee
- Shawnee Mission Park: 79th & Renner Road, Shawnee
Where to Buy Cool Kites in the Kansas City Area:
For beginners, we’re partial to the simple and inexpensive kites you find at local big box stores. For those wanting to learn how to fly a specialty kite or trick kite, these shops will have what you’re looking for:
- Go Big Skill Toys 12204 Shawnee Mission Pkwy., Shawnee, KS, 913.248.3277. This shop features a variety of unique toys to help you discover your talents. From juggling equipment and yo-yos, to puzzles, games and, of course, kite kits, this store has it all.
- Brookside Toy and Science 330 W. 63rd St., Kansas City, MO, 816.523.4501. The quintessential neighborhood toy store thoroughly vets their toy selection, offering only the best quality toys, games and science equipment for the young and the young at heart. Their collection of diamond and box kites offers the perfect selection for a spring outing.
- HobbyTown 6265 N. Oak Trfcwy., Kansas City, MO. This shop sells box kites, diamond kites, stunt kites and beautiful kites representing your favorite animals and colors.
Bonus Tip: Cheap Kites WORK like a charm!
The cheap kites you buy at the Dollar Store, Walmart and Target... they FLY! The dollar kites have always been the absolute very best for my kids. They are easy to assemble and they always work. The fancy kites are great fun too and we love to watch our giant Butterfly kite soar, but fancy kites and stunt kites require more skill and patience - so they are really best for older kids and adults who want a bit of a challenge.
Kristina Light’s family looks forward to the annual Flights of Fancy event, and all of her girls enjoy kite flying as a springtime tradition.