Kite Runners: Where to Fly a Kite in the Bay Area

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If our kids could sprout wings and take off, we’re pretty sure they’d only ever touch down for dinner time. While their dreams of flying might just be flights of fancy, your kids can experience a similar thrill that will lift their spirits up to the highest heights (cue the Mary Poppins song). We’re talking about kite flying, and with our proximity to the coast, the Bay Area is often the ideal spot to pick up some ocean winds and send your kite soaring overhead. Below are some family-friendly destinations full of grassy (or sandy) expanses that offer your little kite runners plenty of room to run around with their paper and string (or perhaps a more sturdy store bought option).

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Cesar Chavez Park in Berkeley
Home to the annual Berkeley Kite Festival, Cesar Chavez Park in the Berkeley Marina is a great choice all year long. The kids may run amuck on rolling, green hills, which offer many a fine picnic spot for a view of the weekly kites that soar overhead, from traditional diamond shape kites to giant kites shaped like ocean creatures to fast-flying show kites. Awesome views of the Bay are a plus.

11 Spinnaker Way
Berkeley, Ca

Crissy Field and the Marina Green in San Francisco
Crissy Field is famous for its northwestern waterfront breeze. The Golden Gate Bridge is a hop away and the many sailboats sprinkled along the horizon will be just as pretty to the kids as the kites sailing in the (hopefully) blue skies. The national park boasts acres of meadows and picnic grounds for launching your own flier, in addition to marshes and trails to explore and goodies to be had at the Crissy Field Center.

1199 E Beach
San Francisco, Ca

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Ocean Beach in San Francisco
Sand dollars, crashing surf, and generous helpings of wind. Ocean Beach is a mecca for kite flyers of all stripes, who are all too happy to show off their skills for the whole family’s entertainment. Kites with super-long tails making beautiful patterns in the air are a frequent spectacle here.

Fulton St & Great Hwy
San Francisco, Ca

Shoreline Park in Mountain View
This 700-acre park has everything from a dog run to water sports to a wildlife sanctuary and of course, kite flying. With steady but not overpowering winds, Shoreline Park is a popular launching spot on weekends, and the kites’ many colors are always fun to see. Find a designated kite-flying space along the fringes of the park or an open head to an open space next to the children’s playground.

3070 N Shoreline Blvd
Mountain View, Ca

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Baylands Park in Sunnyvale
Kite festivals and competitions are not uncommon in the large grassy field at Baylands Park, nor are casual weekend kite flyers with kids in tow. When they’ve had enough of the kites, the kids will have a blast in the Discovery playground.

999 E Caribbean Dr
Sunnyvale, Ca

Fowler Creek Park in San Jose
Massive grassy expanses and often windy conditions at this pristine park make it not only great for kite flying, but entertaining the kids all day. The paved paths snaking through the park make riding bikes a breeze, and the playground structure and slides are sure to be a hit. Nice weather also means you’ll probably want to pack a picnic to snack on in between your kite flying sessions.

Fowler Road at Cortona Dr
San Jose, Ca

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Pierce Point in Marin
There are multiple locations for kite flying in the Point Reyes Area, off of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Pierce Point is one of them, and you might spot some Tule Elk, too. Hiking families who wish to avoid the crowds should seek out the likes of Pierce Point. Walk the trail above the ranch and find the open headlands.

Stinson Beach in Stinson Beach
With 3.5 miles of open beach space and dozens of acres of grassy parkland, Stinson Beach is ideal for kite flying. Stinson Beach was also voted one of the Top 10 Family Beaches by National Geographic.

1 Calle Del Sierra
Stinson Beach, Ca

Blackies Pasture in Tiburon
With easy parking and pristine views of the city, Blackies Pasture is the perfect spot on a windy day for flying a kite in the North Bay. The grassy area right next to the parking lot is great for kids to run and get their kites soaring up to new heights, and the proximity to the mini beach and playground means that there are options to entertain your kids when they get tired chasing their kites.

Tiburon Blvd at Trestle Glen Road
Tiburon, Ca

Where is your favorite spot to go kite flying in the Bay Area?

— Renee Macalino Rutledge

photos courtesy of Creative Commons