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Up, Up & Away: 10 Places to Fly a Kite in Seattle

How awesome was that reoccurring dream you had as a kid–flying like the Caped Crusader over your neighborhood. What a disappointment to wake up in your bed, no wings or flying carpets in sight. Luckily, Seattle has a plethora of perfect places for your kids to do the next best thing—go fly a kite! From strolling near the Sound, walking through the park or wandering alongside Lake Washington, these picture perfect kite flying spots (and a breezy fall day) will guarantee you and the kiddos will feel like Superman—no capes required.

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Gas Works Park
This 19-acre former coal gasification plant turned historic landmark is the epitome of a Seattle park—lots of grass, interesting history, quirky-but-cool architecture turned into playground equipment, and the one of the best views in Seattle. The park’s artificial (and ideal) kite-flying hill—called the “Grand Mound”–is covered in kites on a windy day; the breezes coming off Lake Union make it Seattle’s go-to kite soaring destination. Get there early to avoid the crowds (no problem when you have littles who wake with the birds), and don’t forget your boots if it’s been raining—all that grass means one giant mud puddle after a Seattle shower!

Gas Works Park
2101 North Northlake Way
Seattle, Wa 98103
206-684-4075
Online: seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?id=293
Park hours:  6:00 am – 10:00 pm daily

Discovery Park
With almost 12 miles of walking trails throughout this giant gem of a park, you’re sure to find a place for your kite to take flight no matter where you wander. However, we suggest entering the park at the south parking lot on Emerson (at 43rd); take the wooden staircase from the middle of the lot or walk along the Loop Trail headed west and make your way to the “Parade Grounds” or meadow, situated in the center of the park, in front of the pretty and historic turn-of-the-century military housing and the large FAA radar “golf ball.” There’s a wide hill perfect for catching a breeze and gazing on the Sound; we recommend bringing a picnic to dine on under the old madrona trees after a full day of swooping and gliding.

Flying Fun Bonus: At the east entrance to the park, check out the new Environmental Learning Center for fun events and nature-inspired classes throughout the year (plus a playground). Register online or call to sign up for classes like Bird Walks and Tales Among the Trees.

Discovery Park
3801 Discovery Park Boulevard
Seattle, Wa  98199
206-386-4236
Online: seattle.gov/parks/environment/discovery.htm
Park hours:  6:00 am -11:00 pm daily

Environmental Learning Center
206-386-4237
Hours:  Tuesday – Sunday, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Lincoln Park
This park can get downright blustery even on a late summer day, but the bonus views of the Fauntleroy ferry or an occasional harbor seal certainly don’t hurt. Park in the south lot for the easiest trip down to the beach; bring your bikes and pedal north along the water to the viewpoint in front of Colman Pool, where the wind is the strongest and the views are the best. We recommend bringing snacks and a blanket to spread out on the driftwood for a bite after your kite adventure.

Flying Fun Bonus: On October 6th, Seattle Parks is hosting a fun class called “What’s Aloft at Lincoln Park’s Blustery Beach.” Anyone 5 and up (with parent) can take part to learn all about the wind, and then you get to build your own kite! The $5 fee includes all kite making materials. Register online for course #105245.

Lincoln Park
8011 Fauntleroy Way SW
Seattle, Wa  98136
206-684-4075
Online:  seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?id=460
Park hours:  4:00 am – 11:30 pm daily

Edited Russell

Magnuson Park
Another feather in the cap of Seattle parks, Magnuson Park is 350 acres of hiking and biking trails, swimming beaches (perfect during this neverending summer), a great dog park and open spaces just waiting for little feet to find them. The epitome of an open space, “Kite Hill” is the cherry on top of Magnuson, a 35 foot, kite-beckoning hilltop overlooking Lake Washington, Mount Rainier and beyond on a clear day; a perfect, treeless spot to unfurl your kite’s wings. To get to Kite Hill, enter the park at NE 65th Street off Sand Point Way. Go straight ahead to the lake, then left (north) along the shoreline. Park next to Kite Hill and the Fin Art Project, near the swimming beach.

Magnuson Park
7400 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, Wa  98115
206-684-4946
Online: seattle.gov/parks/magnuson/default.htm
Park hours:  4:00 am – 11:30 pm daily

Seward Park
Centered by an old growth forest and home to eagles, osprey, owls and many more feathered friends, Seward Park has multiple spots for you and the kidlets to spread your wings and fly. The grassy field next to the swimming beach at the park’s west entrance, the sandy beach along the north end of the paved trail overlooking the I-90 Floating Bridge, or the meadow in front of the amphitheater at the top of the park’s loop drive (enter to the north of the Audubon Center) are all great locations for a loop-de-loop with your kite. The new playground’s zip line is also a super cool spot to get some air.

Flying Fun BonusSeward Park’s Environmental and Audubon Center hosts a variety of events centered around our feathered and winged friends. From Bat Walks and Talks to Hummingbird Super Saturdays, find out what makes things fly (besides your awesome kite).

Seward Park
5895 Lake Washington Boulevard S
Seattle, Wa  98118
206-684-4396
Online: seattle.gov/parks/environment/seward.htm
Park hours:  6:00 am – 10:00 pm daily

Environmental and Audubon Center
5902 Lake Washington Boulevard South
206-652-2444
Online:  sewardpark.audubon.org/
Hours:  Wednesday – Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Carkeek Park
If your child loves kites AND trains, Carkeek Park is the place for you. To get to the ideal kite flying area at this park, you have to walk over the train tracks on a very tall pedestrian bridge, and if a train happens to be coming right as you get to the top—watch out! Those trains don’t slow down and their speed and the fact that you’re looking right down onto them is exhilarating for you and the kiddos. The beach below is an awesome place to let the string out on your kite (and do some beach exploring), or stay in the green space adjacent to the parking lot and playground for your kite-tastic adventures.

Carkeek Park
950 NW Carkeek Park Road
Seattle, Wa  98177
206-684-0877
Online: seattle.gov/parks/environment/carkeek.htm
Park hours:  6:00 am – 10:00 pm daily

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Jefferson Park
One of the more recent Seattle park overhauls, Jefferson Park now boasts an awesome playground, two fast and furious slides, climbing areas, solar picnic shelters, a skate park, lawn bowling, two zippy ziplines and more flat, open green space than one kid and kite combo can cover! Check out the awesome views from the lookout on top of “Beacon Mountain” or just run your kiddos ragged along the paved paths or deep green grass, and watch their eyes sparkle as their kite soars into the blue.

Jefferson Park
3801 Beacon Avenue South
Seattle, Wa 98108
206-684-4075
Online:  seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?id=114
Park hours:  4:00 am – 11:30 pm daily

Golden Gardens
This 87 acre park is another favorite for those little train engineers in your family, but the wide, sandy beach is what beckons the kite flyers. The great news at Golden Gardens is that the beach is a short, easy walk from the parking lot; the bad news is the parking lot will be full on nice days. Get there before lunch to float that kite. If you need a break, the new pirate ship-themed playground will definitely please the mateys in your crew.

Golden Gardens
8498 Seaview Place NW
Seattle, Wa 98117
206-684-4075
Online:  seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?ID=243
Park hours:  6:00 am – 11:30 pm daily

Alki Beach
In 1908, Seattle’s first flight happened just south of Alki Beach – a hot air balloon ride from Luna Park to Georgetown. What better place for your kiddo’s first kite flight then Alki? The wind’s always blowing along that part of the Sound, the sandy beach is ideal for little feet to run with their kite aloft, and the grassy area north of Salty’s (not to mention the stunning city view) is a picture perfect place to get the wind in their little sails.

Alki Beach
1702 Alki Avenue SW
Seattle, Wa  98116
206-684-4075
Online:  seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?ID=445
Park hours:  4:00 am – 11:30 pm daily

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Ella Bailey Park
Although the smallest park on the list, Ella Bailey has much to make up for what it lacks in size. You may be distracted by the jaw dropping views of downtown Seattle, the Sound and Mount Rainier, but try to focus as your tot’s kite catches what’s sure to be a perfect breeze at this Magnolia Bluff park. We think this spot is perfect for the under 5 kite enthusiasts in your crew.

Ella Bailey Park
2601 West Smith Street
Seattle, Wa 98199
206-684-4075
Online:  seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?ID=318Park hours:  4:00 am – 11:30 pm daily

No Wind? No Problem!
If calm skies (or drizzly ones) are keeping your kite flyers grounded, never fear – Crossroads Community Center has indoor (yes, we said indoor) kite flying! Check it out on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month, 6:00 pm – 7:45 pm, year round. BYOK (bring your own kite), anyone under 18 must come with an adult. Call ahead for details: 425-452-4874.

Go Buy a Kite
Although Seattle’s last kite shop closed last year, we’ve found a few toy stores in the area that can supply you with an awesome kite, from beginner breeze catcher to stunt pilot. Call ahead to make sure they have what you need:

Top Ten Toys
124 N 85th Street
Seattle, Wa 98103
206-782-0098

Magic Mouse Toys
603 1st Avenue
Seattle, Wa 98104
206-682-8097

Curious Kidstuff
4740 California Avenue SW
Seattle, Wa  98116
206-937-8788

Where’s your favorite spot to fly a kite? Let us know in the comment section below!

- Erin Cranston

Photo credits: Erin Cranston, Allison Sutcliffe, Christina Miller, Milyssa Daigle, Jen Boyer, Tom and Paige F on Yelp, Arin Winsor

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