A day in the life: Kitty Hawk Kites Kids Day

Written by: Emma Turnbull, Marketing Intern

One of my biggest jobs as an events crew member is helping run Kids Days each week at our various locations. 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 the grunt work of set-up is done, 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, 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 of a Kitty Hawk Kites Experience to so many kiddos.

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Toy Demos with Chip

I’ll usually start my day at the office, finishing up some last second preparations. Depending on the day and the week, this could mean anything from printing flyers for upcoming events, restocking crafts that have been used up, 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 the 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.

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Scaling the Rock Wall in Kitty Hawk Kites

After set-up, it’s not long until the real fun begins. By 10:00am on the dot (sometimes even earlier), our tables are surrounded by families eagerly anticipating whatever fun in the sun (or shade) we can offer them. One of the coolest and most unique things about the Kids Days is that I’ve found they really do appeal to kids of all ages. The littlest ones get endless delight from having their faces painted, chasing around edible bubbles (yes, you read that correctly… candy bubbles do exist… and we sell them!), and coloring and assembling their very own kites. The slightly older crowd enjoy 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. Plus, the appeal of tie dying, wax hands, an indoor rock wall, and a splash blaster (think of a reverse dunk tank, where the water sprays up at you) transcends age.

As an outdoor event, Kids Days are heavily dependent on weather. Rain or shine, the show will go on, but even in the few short weeks I’ve been here, I’ve seen how the weather refuses to be ignored. Kite flying in particular can be challenging in anything besides a perfect breeze. That being said, no matter what the conditions, barring a hurricane-level squall, 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 are just as fun as ever.

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Wax Hands have been a Kids Day favorite this year!

Just like all the other new 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?

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Stanley the bucking Shark in Kitty Hawk Surf Company is always a huge laugh

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. Information on all of our events including kids day can be found at kittyhawk.com/events.

Hatteras & Ocracoke Beaches-Spectacular

The beach at Rodanthe, looking north.

The beach at Rodanthe, looking north.

The beaches on Hatteras Island Ocracoke are spectacular. How spectacular? Ocracoke is not longer rated by Dr. Beach, Steve Leatherman, who is considered the preeminent world authority on beaches. The reason it is no longer included is because in 2007 it was rated #1 in the US and when a beach is ranked #1 it comes off the list.

Hatteras consistently makes his top ten list, so it’s not far behind.

Hatteras beaches tend to be wide with very soft sand. Toward the north end, around Rodanthe the sand tends to be a little more coarse, but all of the beaches are wonderful.

Most of Hatteras Island is part of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, although the northern end is part of Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and is administered by US Fish & Wildlife. The National Park Service offers two lifeguard patrolled beaches:Hatteras Island: Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach, next to the Old Cape Hatteras Lighthouse site and on Ocracoke Island at the Ocracoke Day Use Beach about a half mile north of Ocracoke Village.

Dare County just completed a beach access bathhouse and parking lot in Rodanthe. The site may be the best on the Outer Banks.

For anyone using National Park Service beaches, there are restrictions in some areas. Look for roped off dunes and beaches with signs warning that the area is a habitat site, usually for piping plover, sometimes the American oyster catcher. Do not enter those areas. Park rangers will issue citations are even the most casual incursion and since the areas are clearly marked and easily avoided there is no reason to enter.

Summeritaville at Kitty Hawk Kites

KHKSummeritvilleSummeritaville is a great Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce event that’s coming up this Friday at our Waves Village Watersports Resort in Rodanthe. 

Great music with Jonny Waters Band and SOULone. It’s a great combination of sounds—Jonny Waters is part country with some rock thrown in and a little bit of an edge; SOULone is a little mellower, really tight with an occasional reggae tune. Perfect bands for an evening on Pamlico Sound.

There’s going to be something for everyone at the event. Great food: our Good Winds Restaurant will be there with Sushi and Sake, Sooey’s BBQ & Rib Shack, our neighbors in Nags Head, will be on hand, and Lisa’s Pizzeria, just down the road from Waves Village will be serving up great pizza.

We’ll be demoing SUPs and kayaks, so this is a great chance to try your hand on a SUP or kayak, or for more experienced users, to see what suits your needs best.

As always, at any Kitty Hawk Kites event, we have plenty of activities for kids, so this is really a great event for the whole family.

Summeritaville is a ticketed event. $10 for Adults (16+), $5 Youth (ages 12-15) and kids udnder 12 are free. Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets or call the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce, (252) 441-8144, for more information.

June Featured Kiteboarding Products

We touched base with our kiteboarding team down at Waves Village Kiteboarding Resort to find out what the hot products of the month are and here’s what they told us:

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2013 Axis Universal Kiteboard Pads & Straps

The 2013 Axis Universal Kiteboard Pad & Strap system features a dual density super comfortable pad which allows you to move your heel around when you change directions. The base plate has five slots that allow the footbed to be mounted on any angle. This system is one size fits all and comes with screws and an Axis screwdriver.

Mystic 2013 YZ Crossfire Wetsuit

Mystic 2013 YZ Crossfire Longarm Shorty

The Mystic 2013 Mens YZ Crossfire 3/2 Longarm Shorty is designed especially for kite and wake boarders! This shorty wetsuit has 60% M-Flex neoprene, freedom of movement and a design that will keep you comfortable in warmer conditions. This shorty is light weight with excellent technology!

Mystic 2013 YZ PRO Waist Harness

Mystic 2013 Artistic YZ Pro Kite Waist Harness

World Champion Youri Zoon released his first signature harness in 2012. Last year’s version was built based on the Mystic Shadow harness and thi syear Youri has modified the new Mystic Artistic harness with the addition of the fixed HP system and his own color scheme. The Artistic Waist Harness is the first multidiscipline harness in the Mystic lineup and is suited for kitesurfers and windsurfers!

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Mystic 2013 Majestic Quick Dry Short Sleeve Shirt

The Mystic Majestic Quick Dy Short Sleeve Shirt is a loose fit rash vest/quick dry shirt is the perfect kiting accessory helping to keep you warm and protected from sun and rash. The technical features of this water shirt are flatlock stitch technology, heavy quality rash guard with a soft touch, and UV protection (UPF 50+).

Summer Demo Days

In addition to these product highlights, the Kitty Hawk Kites Kiteboarding crew wanted to let everyone know that starting next week we will be hosting weekly demos every Wednesday through Labor Day! Test out kites and boards at the Waves Village Kiteboarding Resort‘s waterfront – open to the public and free launch site!