Kite flying is a popular pastime among the young and old, and there are many variations on the simple diamond kite, such as a delta, or a triangular shape, a dragon, a box, or a parafoil kite. Kites can easily be found at many sporting goods stores, and range in price from the very inexpensive to more pricey versions, depending on the materials used. If you are looking for a cheap way to have fun at the beach or the park, consider making your own kite using fabric from old sheets or use a plastic garbage bag, some dowels or bamboo skewers, and plenty of thin string. Long Island has many great places to fly homemade or store-bought kites that are far from trees, power lines, and cars. Whether you are an amateur kite flier or you have been flying kites for years, take a look at these great locations to try out your kite and enjoy a relaxing day outside.
Where to Fly Your Kite
According to the New York State Parks Department, kite flying is permitted at the following state parks on Long Island: 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.
Here are the specific kite flying areas in each park:
- Belmont Lake- Between comfort station and the lake.
- Bethpage- Picnic area playfields when not in use during the spring and fall only.
- Captree- 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 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 & 4, east and west of bathing area. Field 2 & 5, west of the bathing area.
- Valley Stream- Ballfields when space is available.
- Wildwood- Playfield west of camp entrance.
Many local parks and beaches are also great sites for kite flying, such as Cedar Beach in Mt. Sinai and Bald Hill in Farmingville. As long as your local park does not have tall structures or phone lines that could snag your kite, feel free to bring your kite and let it fly!
Kite Flying Tips
- Avoid flying kites over piping plover nesting areas. Piping plovers nest in sandy areas, and their nests are typically marked by a sign alerting parkgoers to keep their distance so as to not disturb the birds. Kites can scare the birds away from their nets, as piping plovers may think that the kite is a predator. Do not fly kites near these nesting sites from April 1 through August 30. For more information on piping plover nesting sites that are near kite flying areas, click here.
- Pick a clear, open area away from tall buildings, cars, power lines, and trees that might snag your kite.
- Never fly your kite during a storm.
- Wind that is too strong or too light makes it difficult to fly your kite. Look for a day with a light breeze of about 5 to 25 mph.
- Always give space to other kite fliers so that your kite lines do not get tangled.