There is nothing like flying a kite! It is one of childhood’s favourite memories. The face of a child lights up as he carefully releases the string and watches his kite climb higher.
Burlington has hosted an annual summer Kite Festival for many years. The Burlington Events team believes that, especially in this screen-obsessed age, every child should have the opportunity to experience the simple joy of kite flight. Families are invited to build a kite (or bring their own) to help fill the sky with colour.
We had purchased a new “pop-up” Eagle kite to debut on this adventure but decided to leave it in the car initially while we had fun building our own. Am I ever glad we did.
When we arrived, our first stop was to pickup our free kite building supplies. We received a plastic cutout in the shape of a kite, two wooden dowels, a length of string and two tails.
The materials needed to make a kite are simple, everyday items. The kite shape is cut from a blue plastic recycling bag, the wooden dowels are from Rona and the tails are lengths of crepe paper party streamers. The Burlington Events team must have worked hard prepping all of these materials for hundreds of kites.
Our next stop was to find a table for construction. When we arrived, a dozen or so families were busy building their creations.
Taped to each table were instructions that led us step-by-step, teaching us the art of kite making. Volunteers roamed the area, answering questions and helping out where needed. We crafted our kite in less than five minutes.
Next came the fun part! The kite decorating area offered many ways to personalize our new kite. Jr Burlington drew and added stickers and pasted glitter until he was satisfied with his creation.
With the kite built and decorated, we were ready to try to make it fly.
And you know what? It worked!
I think we’ve all had kite flying experiences where it’s been a struggle to get the kite off the ground. On this unsettled day, the wind was on our side. There it was, our simple, do-it-ourselves kite hanging and dipping and bobbing in the air against the bright blue sky above Brant Hills Park.
“They look like floating paintings,” my boy said, as he marveled at our kite — and the dozens of kites around us — dancing in the air.
There is something soothing about flying a kite. As our kite soared against the backdrop of Mount Nemo and the Niagara Escarpment, it seemed like we had formed a quiet bond with nature.
Brant Hills Park is one of Burlington’s largest open spaces (we visited the playground here on Adventure #31). There was plenty of room for everyone, from expert kite fliers to kids flying their first kite.
Throughout the day there were also professional kite flying demonstrations. Hobby and Toy Central was in attendance with an assortment of Diamond, Delta, Parafoil and Stunt Kites available for purchase or test flight.
After flying our kite for 20-minutes or so, we decided to take a break and discover what the rest of what the festival had to offer.
A bubble making demonstration at one end of the park had all the kids in awe of the giant bubbles being made — up to 10 feet long!
A number of food vendors had set up shop too, including a stand selling “Beaver Cheeks” which are fried balls of soft dough covered in cinnamon-sugar. They were so yummy, I forgot to take a picture.
Mr Burlington also met Mr Sweet Tooth in his ice cream truck. You can’t have a summer festival without ice cream!
Conservation Halton was in attendance too! Their booth showcased their nearby conservation areas and gave kids free animal stickers. Of course, the biggest draw here was the kestrel perched on the keeper’s hand.
While we were at their booth, we noticed behind us that the Mountsberg Birds of Prey talk had started. Jr Burlington was excited to see Octavious, the Great Horned Owl, whom he first met at the Lowville Winter Games (Adventure #5).
Next stop was the Fun Photo Booth which has become a trademark of events hosted by the Burlington Events team. Everyone loves to ham it up in a photo booth!
By this time, the sky was becoming ominously dark and we knew that if we wanted to fly our store-bought eagle kite, we should do it now.
I took the kite from the package, figured out how to “pop” it into a 3D shape and sent it flying into the air. But it didn’t stay up for long. Over and over we tried without much success. The homemade kite started to look pretty great by now!
We decided to check out the last Mad Science show of the day before leaving.
It wasn’t long before the flood gates opened and a torrential rain started! Professor Pete bravely continued, graciously inviting the kids onto the stage with him. We took this as a sign to head for home.
Our fancy pop-up eagle made for a better rain cover than a kite!
I must be a great dad for asking my guy to pose for one last photo before getting in the car! More that he’s a great kid!
There’s a lot more fun coming
up this summer from the amazing Burlington Events team including:
We’re looking forward to them all. Aren’t you?