Flying a kite is one of those iconic activities that we associate with warm, sunny days, open fields, gentle breezes and most of all – childhood. But if you’ve been to a kite shop recently, or made a trip to the beach during prime kite-flying weather, then you’ve probably realized that kites aren’t just for kids anymore. While it’s still possible to find the simple kites that we remember as kids, kite materials and styles have come along way since our carefree childhood days. These days, you don’t have to travel far to find incredible exhibitions, competitions and kite flying extravaganzas.
And while kite festivals and competitions are fun, there are those days when you just want the chance to get outside and enjoy the simple, childlike pleasures of flying a kite and maybe make memories with your own children while you’re at it. Richmond offers no shortage of open spaces that are great for flying kites, so it help to know your options. With that in mind, we’ve picked a handful of our favorite go-to spots. As always, we had a few things in particular that we were looking for when it came to ideal kite flying locales, including:
- Large, unobstructed, open spaces
- Places that wouldn’t be overcrowded
- A variety of nearby activities and amenities (to keep the whole family entertained)
The following parks offer everything we were looking for – and then some. So now, all that’s left for you to do is get out there and fly a kite! And, of course, if you have a favorite kite flying spot that we might have overlooked, we would love to hear about it. Leave a note in the comments below or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pole Green Park is a Richmond area favorite for many reasons. This park offers walking trails, picnic shelters, playgrounds, a skate park, an equestrian ring with stables, a sand volleyball court, a community center, cross country running courses, horseshoe pits and a dog park. But what makes it ideal for kite fliers is the fact that it has not one, but three, large open grassy fields that are perfect for launching kites of every shape and size.
Why we love it: While this park is popular, its wide range of offerings mean that you can still find plenty of open space without crowds or obstructions to enjoy a perfect day of kites and family fun. Likewise, if you’ve only brought one or two kites, but have more than one or two family members who need to be entertained, there are plenty of other activities for the whole family to enjoy.
8996 Pole Green Park Ln.
Mechanicsville, VA 23116
Not only is Joseph Bryan Park listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it’s also one of the city’s favorite sites for nature lovers. In fact, The Audubon Society hosts bird walks in the park on the first Sunday of each month. And with it’s variety of scenery, playgrounds, walking trails and big open fields, Joseph Bryan Park offers ample opportunity for just about any outdoor activity – including flying kites. Throughout the park, you’ll find dedicated soccer fields and a disc golf course, which are great for kite flying when games aren’t going on. But even if those spaces are full, you can still take advantage of the park’s many other open spaces to get your kites soaring.
Why we love it: When you’re flying a kite, all you really need is some wind and an open field. But if you can have wind, an open space and beautiful scenery, then you’ve pretty much hit the jackpot. Lucky for you, Joseph Bryan Park has it all.
4308 Hermitage Road
Richmond, VA 23227
(804) 646-0036 or (804) 646-0761
The Greater Richmond Area offers a wealth of green spaces – from riverside trails to wooded paths to wide open spaces. And while many of these spots are found outside of the city, some of the greatest treasures can actually be found right in the heart of downtown. Chimbarazo Park is the perfect example. With some of the best views of the Richmond skyline, this laid back park offers city dwellers the chance to get outside and fly a kite any time the wind is right. And with its hilltop location, that’s pretty much any time. Grab a picnic, gather the family and find your favorite kite for a day in the great outdoors without ever leaving the city.
Why we love it: If you live downtown, you might think that you have to, at the very least, travel to the outskirts of the city to truly enjoy outdoor activities. But oases like Chimbarazo Park put activities like kite flying within reach. Set high on a hill, it’s the perfect place to fly kites – and make memories.
3201 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23223
Taylor Park is not the most elaborate park in the Richmond Area when it comes to fancy playgrounds or complex trails. But what it does offer is good old-fashioned kite flying fun. As part of the Hanover County Park System, Taylor Park provides large, open grassy fields, consistently good wind, and some great extra “park” features, like playgrounds, picnic areas, sports’ fields, and a dog park.
Why we love it: If you’re a novice kite flier, or want to teach your kids how to fly in a quiet location, then Taylor Park is the perfect spot. In addition to wide open spaces (which are necessary for people like me who tend to spend more time getting their kite out of a tree than actually flying it), the park offers less traffic than many other parks in the area. With fewer crowds, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to move around, let your kids run free and take all the time you need to figure out how to launch your kite – and keep it flying high all day.
13017 Taylor Complex Lane
Ashland, VA 23005
Winning the number one spot on our list, Dorey Park comes with more than just our seal of approval, it is actually verified by Richmond’s largest kite flying group, the Richmond Air Force (RAF). Founded by a group of local kite enthusiasts in 1986, the RAF is a member club of the Eastern League Sport Kite Association and the American Kitefliers Association. In addition to monthly club gatherings and kite demonstrations at Dorey Park, the club also competes in competitions around the country, and the globe. So why is Dorey Park the place chosen by local kite “experts”? Well, in addition to wide open spaces perfect for maneuvering everything from standard kites to “sport” kites, the park offers wind conditions that are just right for flight. In fact, the conditions are so ideal, that it has not only become the site of RAF events, but the annual home of the Old Dominion Sport Kite Championships (ODSKC).
Why we love it: When the RAF first started meeting at Dorey Park, it wasn’t the well-kept spot it is today. They initially chose it because of its ideal location and open spaces. But as more people discovered the park, conditions improved and, today, the park offers multiple sports fields, as well as a pond, a walking trail, a playground, a gazebo, picnic shelters and a dog park. So whether you are there to take part in one of the many kite-flying events held by the RAF, to see national competitions, or simply to enjoy a day at the park with your own kites, Dorey Park offers the perfect setting.
2999 Darbytown Road
Henrico, VA 23231