Living in Texas: the Kite Festival

Yesterday was the annual Zilker Park Kite Festival in downtown Austin.
It’s the oldest kite festival in the US and has been going on for 84 years! (just as long as the Academy Awards. Funny).

If you ever want to see a good cross-section of Austin life, this is it.
Thousands of Austinites, hanging out in 73 degree sunshine, flying kites, eating food, wearing whatever, singing whatever, riding unicycles, throwing footballs, walking on make-shift tight ropes, blowing bubbles, having fun….it’s all there.
It’s so Austin.
We love it!
And the Austin city skyline is the perfect backdrop.

In fact Zilker Park is fabulous (also home to the SXSW music/film festival). If you’re looking for “things to do in Austin, TX”, stop by Zilker. Ride the little train, rent a canoe (like we did), watch the bats from the Congress Bridge, swim in the old Barton Springs Pool.
It is so choice.
Yesterday we headed down for a couple of hours and caught the tail end of the festival.
And I decided not to bring my camera–because I knew I would be a better mom for it. Do you ever feel that way? Just one less thing to juggle, to carry, to keep from bonking into kids’ heads when they run up to tell you something. Of course in the late afternoon as the sun went down, I really wished I had it. Those kites were just too pretty at sunset.

So you’ll have to imagine that the festival this year was very much like these pictures from last year. The kids are a few inches shorter but their bums are just as cute.

How can I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this?
Thanks Austin for another fun outing.Ā  And for sights like this.Ā  We may be famous for our bats but we’ve got a bird thing going on too:

  1. What beautiful pictures. Sounds like a glorious day!

  2. 2) Jenn S

    Lived in S.A. my whole life till I moved to DC. We’re moving back to Texas (to Austin!) soon and I’m so glad I saw this post! I had no idea about the kite festival in Austin, and I was just saying how I would miss the kite festival here in DC during the Cherry Blossom Festival. WooHoo! Another thing making it easier to get the heck out of DC šŸ™‚

  3. It was such a beautiful day here in Alabama yesterday that I made my husband go with me to the park and fly kites, too. It was so much fun, and tons of people were out flying too.

  4. 4) Jackie

    I’ll have to send this to my twin who live in S.A.

  5. I love Zilker park. Last April my family and I visiting San Antonio and Austin. My son loved the little train, it was one of his favorite parts of our trip, second only to riding the shuttle from the car rental to the airport.

  6. Looks like so much fun!! I was totally wanting to go this year but Chase is out of town and I was too overwhelmed to take the three kids by myself. Maybe if George wasn’t so little. Great pics!!

  7. 7) Lori

    What perfect timing! We homeschool and my 1st grader is supposed to write about kites. He will enjoy the pictures for sure! Thanks for sharing. šŸ™‚
    P.S. I hope this season of transition with new baby is going smoothly! You are a great mom…I can just tell. šŸ™‚

  8. Awesome pictures! What a beautiful day. I LOVE Austin. We live in Dallas, but want to move to Austin so bad. I went to UT so I got to enjoy it for a few years and I think it would be a great place to raise our kiddos. I know they would enjoy all the festivals like this one. Thanks for sharing šŸ™‚
    XOXO Ginny

    • Supposedly there is a Kite Festival in Arlington,TX this upcoming weekend. After seeing these pics, I think I will try to go if the weather is nice.

  9. We were there too. So worth the crowds just to experience it and the beautiful weather we had yesterday!!!

  10. 11) Briana

    Love Austin weather especially yesterday. It was a perfect day to clean up the jogging stroller and go for a run then We headed to the park. We live in
    South Austin not to far from the Zilker Park.

  11. Lovely pictures – lots of happy memories of Zilker park when visiting family

  12. That looks so fun! The picture of the birds is part amazing and part scary! I can not wait to see the warm sun again, only one more month of winter to go!

  13. 14) Carrie Overman

    haha the “walking on make-shift tight ropes” is called slacklining, it started in the rock climbing world using webbing. They even did it in the half-time show of the Superbowl this year!

  14. What a perfect day for a kit festival! Great pics of the plane and bird (parrot??) kite. At home, we have a large shark one … looking fwd to spring (much warmer weather than the current one in new york). so we can ‘play’ šŸ™‚

  15. 17) Brandi

    I had no idea you were located in Austin! We are in Pflugerville. Last year we did not realize the kite festival was happening and ended up sitting in traffic on Mopac for a crazy amount of time. My husband was miserable. My little guy ecstatic. He was so fascinated! There are soooo many kites!

    Like you said… very Austin šŸ™‚

  16. 18) Sarah K.

    We almost moved to Austin about six or seven years ago. We flew all the way down from Seattle to scout out houses and see the town. It was winter and it was glorious! I’m pretty sure I couldn’t handle the summers, but Austin was absolutely enchanting in January.

  17. looks like fun! at first when you said it is so choice, i thought you were kind of a nerd, then i realized you were doing a ferris beuller thing. ha! love it

  18. 20) Lacey

    Oh, I am SO jealous! I used to live in east Texas, but I now live in Virginia where it snowed yesterday. I would much rather be in short sleeve/kite-flying weather!!!

  19. 21) chante

    We were at Zilker too. I didnt know you lived in Austin. I just had a baby the week before your babe was born. I followed your blog because of the cool crafty ideas. Now I will follow because your an Austinite and a new mama (again)too.

  20. 22) Shean

    Love the pictures of the kites. My son and I will be in Austin this weekend for our yearly SXSW Interactive and had plans to hit Zilker park and Barton Springs but looking at the weather for Saturday it is not going to be in the cards. Living in Tomball I can always make a weekend trip during the summer and enjoy all the fun the park has to offer. I might make it to Eeyore’s Birthday Party in April though.

  21. 23) Andrea

    I was born and raised in Austin but have lived my adult life in Dallas, the kite festival has very fond memories from my childhood and growing up years. I always wish we could make it but we come down the following week for spring break and SXSW:)

  22. 24) Carrie

    That looks like SO MUCH FUN! I would love to be there for that. Good thing there was a little wind, otherwise you would have had a lot of disappointed kite fliers!

  23. 26) Julia Ruddell

    HOLY MOLY! that’s a lot of birds!!!

  24. 27) Sara

    šŸ™‚ I lived in Austin for 2nd, 3rd, and a bit of 4th grade (also some when I was very small, maybe 2 or 3). My mom was going to school at UT so we lived in married student housing by Deep Eddie and the Colorado River.

    We loved Zilker park, and I remember it with a child’s vision – the train was hours long, and went through exciting forests and past rivers and through scary dark tunnels. The pool was so cold that anyone swimming in it must be very brave, and there were *turtles* if you looked closely enough.

    I remember once seeing half-naked women sunbathing in the courtyard of the women’s restroom/shower area, and feeling like I was part of a special thing, being able to go in there.

    I went to the kite festival once, I now realize – I don’t think I recognized it as such at the time, I just knew we were there and there were lots of kites and remote controlled airplanes and people in a huge field.

    Austin was a magical place for me. Thank you so much for bringing back those memories.

  25. I loved this post. My family is moving to Austin in three weeks! It’s exciting to see awesome things going on there. And I cross my fingers that someday I’ll run into you at target šŸ™‚

  26. oh..goodness….what memories! I lived in Austin back in…well lets just say…back a ‘few’ years…i graduated from Crockett high school…and went to St. Edwards…! thank you for sharing!!!

  27. 30) Kirs

    I once followed a flock of those birds from Ft. Worth to College Station. It was wide and thick, and never left the sky the whole drive.

    I didn’t get to Austin much, but the kite day looks like fun!

  28. I want to move to Austin just for this! Maybe we’ll come visit next year šŸ˜‰

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