Go Fly A Kite

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kiteFlying a kite is a classic and inexpensive pastime. It’s fun and relaxing, anyone can do it and it doesn’t take a whole lot of skill.

There are several shapes and sizes, all in a wide range of prices, found in dollar stores, sporting good stores, general stores or online. If you are creative and have the patience, try making one with some inexpensive or re-purposed materials, linen bed sheets and lots of thin, strong string.

Long Island has some terrific open fields and great stretches of beach to launch your tailed flyer. Here are some local kite flying areas, suggested by the New York State Park Department:

Kite flying is permitted at the following state parks:

Belmont Lake, Bethpage, Captree, Governor Alfred E. Smith/Sunken Meadow, Heckscher, Hempstead Lake, Hither Hills, Jones Beach, Montauk Point, Orient Beach, Robert Moses, Valley Stream and Wildwood.

Specific locations for each of the state parks are as follows:

• Belmont Lake – between comfort station and the lake.

• Bethpage – picnic area playfields when not in use, during the spring and fall only.

• Captree – in the overlook parking field, north of picnic area.

• Governor Alfred E. Smith/Sunken Meadow – parking field 2 and west of the bathing beach, playing area east of field 1, area east of field 3, picnic area west of field 4 and on the beachfront where lifeguards are not on duty.

• Heckscher – fields 1 and 6, field 1 south of office, field 6 east of picnic grove.

• Hempstead Lake-open field area, south of Schodack Pond.

• Hither Hills – guarded bathing beach area, however not between flags.

• Jones Beach – picnic area east of field 6.

• Montauk Point – on beach west of refreshment stand.

• Orient Beach – shoreline east and west of refreshment stand.

• Robert Moses – field 3 and 4, east and west of bathing area, and fields 2 and 5, west of bathing area.

• Valley Stream – ballfields when space is available.

• Wildwood – playfield west of camp entrance.

kite flying
Jessica Orquera of New Hyde Park likes to fly her kite at Coney Island.

On Long Island, piping plover birds are an endangered species and kites threaten their nesting habits. Kites are mistaken as predators, which scare the birds from their nests. In state parks, observe signage indicating plover nesting areas or restricted kite flying, typically from April through August. Visit www.nysparks.com for maps of these suitable kite flying locations within the state parks and plover nesting areas. Also, locally, check out Eisenhower Park’s kite field, near parking field 6.

Tips

• Fly your kite in open fields or on the beach. Keep clear of tall buildings, trees, cars and power lines.
• Never fly your kite when there is thunder or lightning.
• Kites fly best in light breezes, approximately 7 to 20 mph winds.
• Keep clear of other kite fliers, so your lines do not tangle.

Whether you are an amateur or a novice, pack a picnic and grab your kite, tail and string and head to the park or beach. Have fun and let it fly.

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