What a year 2020 has been so far! If you can’t wait to get outside and run around and enjoy some of life’s most simple pleasures, it’s time to go kite flying. Hey, if it was good enough for Mary Poppins, it’s good enough for us! Read on to find 15 great places to show your stuff.

[Editor's note: Please be aware parking lots are closed at the following parks due to COVID-19 safety measures: Gas Works, Discovery, Magnuson, Lincoln, Seward, Carkeek, Alki and Golden Gardens. These parks also close at 8 p.m.]

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” or more affectionately “Kite Hill”—is covered in kites on a windy day; the breezes coming off Lake Union make it Seattle’s go-to kite soaring destination. On a windy day, 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!

2101 N. Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98103
206-684-4075
Online: seattle.gov

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.

3801 Discovery Park Blvd.
Seattle, WA  98199
206-386-4236
Online: seattle.gov

Magnuson Park
Another feather in the cap of Seattle parks, Magnuson Park is 350 acres of hiking and biking trails, swimming beaches, 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 N.E. 65th St. 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.

7400 Sand Point Way N.E.
Seattle, WA  98115
206-684-4946
Online: seattle.gov

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.

8011 Fauntleroy Way S.W.
Seattle, WA  98136
206-684-4075
Online: seattle.gov

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

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.

5895 Lake Washington Blvd. S.
Seattle, WA  98118
206-684-4396
Online: seattle.gov

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 kids. 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.

950 N.W. Carkeek Park Rd.
Seattle, Wa  98177
206-684-0877
Online: seattle.gov

photo: Kristina Moy

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.

1702 Alki Ave. S.W.
Seattle, WA  98116
206-684-4075
Online: seattle.gov

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 is usually full on nice days. Get there before lunch to float that kite. If you need a break, the pirate ship-themed playground will definitely please the mateys in your crew.

8498 Seaview Pl. N.W.
Seattle, WA 98117
206-684-4075
Online: seattle.gov

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 five kite enthusiasts in your crew. And if they get tired of running that kite, the playground is sure to be a hit while you take a seat on the grassy hill and enjoy the scenery.

2601 W. Smith St.
Seattle, WA 98199
206-684-4075
Online: seattle.gov

Jefferson Park
A popular Seattle park, Jefferson Park boasts an awesome playground, two fast and furious slides, climbing areas, solar picnic shelters, a skate park, lawn bowling, two zippy zip lines 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 green grass, and watch their eyes sparkle as their kite soars into the blue. Bring your bikes and make it a day.

3801 Beacon Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98108
206-684-4075
Online: seattle.gov

photo: Fort Casey State Park

Fort Casey State Park
Fort Casey is already an enjoyable place to walk around and explore, but the 11,000 feet of saltwater shoreline also offers a reliable wind source and plenty of room to spread out as needed. The views of Admiralty Inlet aren't too shabby either. But if that doesn’t do it for you, you also have the option of flying on the grassy field. The Admiralty Head Lighthouse is also worth a visit. Though it is closed for renovations through August 2020, the park has set up some temporary exhibits and gift shop at the Fort Casey Park Office.

Good to Know: You'll need a Discover Pass to catch air here. Good thing the park is equipped with automated pay stations for visitors to purchase a one-day or annual Discover Passes.

1280 Engle Rd.
Coupeville, WA 98239
360-678-4519
Online: parks.state.wa.us

Marina Beach Park
You hardly need an excuse to come to the Marina Beach Park in Edmonds, but flying kites is a good one. Pack up a picnic lunch or stop by Top Pot Doughnuts and mark your spot on the sand. In addition to seeing your kite sway in the air, you can enjoy views the ferries coming and going and Olympic Mountains. Even Fido will have a good time at the nearby off-leash park just south of Beach Park.

470 Admiral Way
Edmonds, WA 98020
425-775-2525
Online: edmondswa.gov

Mukilteo Lighthouse Park
Formerly a Washington State Park, Mukilteo Lighthouse Park has been a favorite spot for kite flying for many local families, but after the recent renovations to the park, it is better than ever. It’s hard to beat the cool breezes and fantastic views on a warm spring or summer day. And if you’re lucky, you just might spot a sea lion too!

609 Front St.
Mukilteo, WA 98275
425-263-8000
Online: mukilteowa.gov

Marymoor Park
Rumor has it that the most popular place to fly a kite at Marymoor Park is right by the rock climbing wall. It may be because that’s a good spot to watch the paragliders zoom by if the weather is right. Truth be told though, anywhere in the park’s large open grassy areas is a good place to camp out with one’s kite. And you’re a lot less likely to have a Charlie Brown moment with a kite-eating tree here as well.

6046 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway N.E.
Redmond, WA 98052
206-477-7275
Online: kingcounty.gov

Dash Point State Park
You might want to make a point to visit Dash Point during low tide as it allows you a huge playing field of sand, by any time is a great time to fly over Commencement Bay along the 3,301 feet of saltwater shoreline. The beach is good for restless ones to splash about and a good spot to catch local skim-boarders.

Good to Know: You'll need a Discover Pass to catch air here. Good thing the park is equipped with automated pay stations for visitors to purchase a one-day or annual Discover Passes.

5700 S.W. Dash Point Rd.
Federal Way, WA 98023
253-661-4955
Online: parks.state.wa.us

Go Buy a Kite

Prism Designs, Inc. is a kite manufacturer right in our own backyard that offers a variety of kites, including single-line kites, dual-line foil kites, dual-line framed kites, power kites, supplies and replacement parts too. Visit them in person or check them out online. Be sure to check out the bargin bin.

Prism Designs, Inc.
4214 24th Ave. W.
Seattle, WA 98199
206-547-1100
Online: prismkites.com

For other great spots to find the perfect kite, try one of these local stores. Be sure to call ahead to make sure they have what you need. Under current COVID-19 restrictions, Snap Doodle Toys and Curious Kidstuff are offering curbside pickup.

Snap Doodle Toys
120 N. 85th St.
Seattle, WA 98103
206-782-0098
Online: snapdoodletoys.com

Curious Kidstuff
4740 California Ave. S.W.
Seattle, WA  98116
206-937-8788
Online: curiouskidstuff.com

Magic Mouse Toys
603 1st Ave.
Seattle, WA 98104
206-682-8097
Online: magicmousetoys.com

REI
222 Yale Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
206-223-1944
Online: rei.com

— Jeffrey Totey & Erin Cranston

 

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