One of my biggest jobs as an events crew member is helping run kids Days each week. This aspect of the job is particularly fun for a couple reasons. First, I have some degree of freedom to shape these events into what I want them to be. Also, once we finish the grunt work of set-up, I get to spend the day playing with toys, making crafts, and talking to children about everything from their vacations to their families, their pets, superheroes, and other childhood randomness. Basically, I get to be a kid again for a few hours. While there's honestly no “typical” day on the job, here's a taste of what a Kids Day could look like.
Wednesday is the middle of the week, hump day, and most importantly Nags Head Kids Day! Kids Day at our flagship store in Jockey's Ridge Crossing is typically the most crowded and highest energy event of the week. And in my humble opinion, a big bundle of fun. It's an early day, but totally worth it to bring joy to so many kiddos.
I'll usually start my day at the office, finishing up some last-second preparations. Depending on the day, this could mean anything from printing flyers for upcoming events, restocking used up crafts, or loading the van with any and all toys and games to entertain the masses.
Next comes set-up. Not surprisingly, this is the least exciting aspect of the day. But that's not to say it isn't completely essential to the success of Kids Day. First, the tent canopies and tables go up. Followed by smaller objects like pamphlets, flyers, crafting materials, and toys. The final step is making our set up look spiffy. We go for a “family-friendly and lots of fun” feel. It features display kites hanging up, numerous games spread across the lawn, stations for face-painting by the members of The lost colony cast and tie-dying by Life on a Sandbar, and a table filled with enough toys and bubbles to entertain a bus full of rowdy school children.
After set-up, it's not long until the real fun begins. By 10:00am on the dot, families surround our tables eagerly anticipating whatever fun in the sun we can offer them. One of the coolest and most unique things about the Kids Days is that they really do appeal to kids of all ages. The littlest ones get endless delight from having their faces painted, chasing around edible bubbles, and coloring and assembling their very own kites. Even the slightly older crowd enjoys trying their hand at the skill toys and games like Kan Jam. And every adventurous teenager finds it hard to resist the chance to ride the mechanical shark. Additionally, the appeal of tie-dying, wax hands, an indoor rock wall, and a splash blaster transcends age.
As an outdoor event, Kids Days are heavily dependent on the weather. Rain or shine, the show will go on. But even in the few short weeks that I've lived here, I've seen how the weather refuses to be ignored. Kite flying, in particular, can be challenging in anything besides a perfect breeze. With that said, no matter what the conditions, we will find a way to have fun for Kids Day; it just becomes a question of what type of fun the weather will allow. If it's overcast, sprinkling rain, and 70 degrees, the Splash Blaster probably looks a lot less appealing. But learning how to use juggling sticks under the shelter of a canopy, or designing and coloring your very own kite to take out on the next nice day is just as fun as ever.
Just like all the other experiences kitty hawk kites has provided, Kids Days have brought a combination of fun and learning. And while there can be some stressful moments when a rush of 15 children and their families all show up at the same time wanting to try 10 different activities, I have just as much fun with Kids Days as the kids do. How could you not have a great time with a job that involves 4 hours of crafts, demoing toys, and playing games with a bunch of happy, excited vacationers?
After a few hours of socializing, entertaining, and teaching, we wrap up Kids Day. Everything gets broken down and packed back up into the van. And I return to the office for a few more hours of work before the day officially ends. Tiredness from a day out in the heat sets in, as does pride about a successful event, and excitement to do it all again next week. Kitty Hawk Kites Kids Days are offered weekly at select locations along the beach.
You can come play with us on Tuesdays at the Kitty Hawk Kites in Avon from 10am – 12pm, Waves Village Watersports Resort from 3pm – 5pm, and Kitty Hawk Kites in Monteray Plaza in corolla from 2pm – 4pm and on Wednesdays at Jockey's Ridge Crossing from 10am – 2pm, and Kitty Hawk Kites in Hatteras Landing from 2pm – 4pm. You can find information on all of our events including kids day at kittyhawk.com/events.