Remember the final scene in Mary Poppins, where the Banks family skips merrily down the lane while singing “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” before launching one into the sky with utter glee? Those simple pleasures are still just as fun, and just as available. In a day and age where iPads give your kids the world at their fingertips, technology still can’t replace the jubilant feeling of channeling a gust of wind and making a kite soar in the sky with your own two hands. Here are six easy, breezy places to fly a kite in the city for some good old fashioned fun in the great outdoors. Bonus: Each place has views of the city and the ocean that will make your kite-flying adventure the perfect photo opp. Now take that kite up to the highest height, and send it soaring…
Where: Manhattan Beach at Highland and 27th Street
Insider Tips: Don’t be fooled by the name. Bruce’s Beach is really a public park, not a beach — but the views of the ocean and the sunset from the oldest park in Manhattan Beach are spectacular. Spread out across three acres, Bruce’s Beach boasts plenty of open space and a tiered, sloping grassy hillside that is perfect for kite-flying — or rolling down sideways and laughing until your sides hurt.
Silver Lake Meadow
Where: Silver Lake Boulevard
Insider Tips: Dubbed by locals as LA’s version of NYC’s Central Park, Silver Lake Meadow is a lush and expansive grassy field that’s a breath of fresh air in an urban jungle. Signs posted in Silver Lake Meadow let you know that “bare feet are welcome.” Kids will love running across the grass as it tickles their toes, with the hope of catching enough wind to make their kites soar in this often breezy locale. Take a blanket and pack a picnic because you will definitely want to linger in this peaceful setting that offers a serene respite from city life. (However, the one thing this park doesn’t have is potty’s, so go before you go!)
Korean Bell of Friendship and Bell Pavilion
Where: Angels Gate Park, 3601 S. Gaffey Street, San Pedro
Insider Tips: You’ll most likely be amongst fellow kite fliers at the Korean Bell of Friendship, which is a popular kite-flying destination due to its renowned windy conditions. In addition to taking advantage of the wind-factor, you can add to your knowledge of history by visiting the 17 ton, 12-foot tall bell, which was donated by the Republic of Korea in 1976 to celebrate the bicentennial of the United States and to honor American veterans of the Korean War.
Burton W. Chace Park
Where: 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina Del Rey
Insider Tips: Voted one of our favorite spots in LA to have a picnic, Burton W. Chace Park is comprised of 10 acres of lawn set against the magnificent backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. Take advantage of the cool sea breezes and the wide open space to fly a kite. Captains in training will also love taking in the sights of all the boats in the harbor, and hopping on the Marina Del Rey water bus for a ride around the marina that costs only $1!
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
Where: 6300 Hetzler Road, Culver City
Insider Tips: This kite-flying locale is most appropriate for older kiddos because climbing to the top of the 511-foot peak entails walking up a very steep staircase on uneven terrain… and it’s not for the faint of heart. But the panoramic view from the top, of the entire Los Angeles basin and the Pacific Ocean is worth every step. Additionally, there are beginner to advanced hiking trails on which you can not only fly your kite, but behold wildflowers, birds and other wildlife in a beautiful natural setting.
Will Rogers Polo Field
Where: 1501 Will Rogers Park Road, Pacific Palisades
Insider Tips: Not only are you in a gorgeous spot, surrounded by hiking trails, horses, and ocean breezes that drift up Sunset Blvd., you have an entire luscious green field with nothing on it (a polo field is roughly 10 acres, or the size of 9 football fields!) to run unfettered while you fly your kite. Hike up for ocean views, hike down to a rushing stream, or tour the historic house. And on weekends in the summer, you can catch a polo match, too! Parking in the lot is $12.
Psssst: Stop by Sunshine Kite Company in Redondo Beach if you’re looking for a great selection of kites! They even sell “easy” kites that require no kite competence to fly!
Do you love flying kites with your kids? What’s your fave neighborhood spot to fly a kite?
– Beth Shea
Photo Credits: john k in buffalo via Creative Commons, katrinket via Creative Commons, Michael Newton via Creative Commons, Brandon O’Conner via Creative Commons, and Orin Zbest via Creative Commons