Going to a Winter Kite Festival

Sunday, February 9, 2020

I love love love seeing festivals from neighboring cities. Everyone who knows me, knows that I prefer less crowds but high quality events. I love going to car shows and festivals from cities outside of the metro. Usually we attend summer and fall festivals. But, in winter I'm usually doing so much that we don't get to explore. Yesterday, I was finally able to see what it was like to see lots of giant kites flying above a frozen lake. Buffalo, Minnesota holds the Kites of Ice Festival every year and I kept my eye on the calendar waiting for it to come. Every year, I'd add it to my list of things to see, but I always end up missing it.

There were so many kites and we had soooo much fun. Graham enjoyed it more than I expected him to. He screamed in excitement at every kite, and it was so adorable. A little part of me wants to own a giant kite, but I have no clue how to even properly fly a big kite. A small kite, sure. But these kite flyers have some major skill. I don't know if I would ever be able to wield anything like we saw yesterday.

We were at the festival for about an hour. I wish we could have stayed there longer, but we were freezing! We definitely did not prepare well, despite me dreaming of this event. If you are thinking of attending a winter kite festival, I have a couple suggestions to help you prepare for the trip. Besides dressing warm, remember, you're going to be outside, it's not just a casual stroll in a park. Be better prepared than I was. These are tips I gathered from my experience and I hope these suggestions will help you, if not remind me for next year, on what to wear or bring to a winter kite festival.

Dress Warm

I know, it's an outdoor winter event. This is a given. But I just had to say this to remind you to wear your base layers, warmest winter jacket, warm gloves or mittens.

Snow Boots are a Must

The lake hasn't been plowed like the streets and sidewalk. There will be times where you might have to step in snow to get closer to the kites. If possible, bring something with grip as well. There may be slick spots on the ice, you might slip.

Wear Snow Pants

Not only will snow pants keep you warm and dry, they will also act as padding if you so happen to fall. Or possibly even kneeling down to take a picture with your family, friends, or loved one. If you don't have snow pants, wear thermal leggings underneath your pants to keep your legs warm.

Protect your face, head, and ears

It will be windy. We were lucky, it wasn't that windy; only enough to keep some kites in the air. But there was also enough wind to nip at our cheeks. Get everyone's ears and face covered up and protected from the wind. A hat or hood will keep your head warm so that you don't lose too much heat. You don't want to get sick from enjoying a day out on the ice.

Bring Hot Chocolate

Yes, there will most likely be hot chocolate there. But I don't want to be standing in line for hot chocolate that might not even taste good. I suggest bringing your own hot chocolate in a thermos and either leave it in your car to warm up after your excursion, or bring it with you and enjoy it as you walk around.

Bring Tissues

It's cold. You and everyone around you will probably have runny noses at some point. Have some tissues in your pockets to clean your face, scarf, or mask. Then just tuck it away until you can toss it into a trash can on your way out.

Optional: Sunglasses

If you love wearing sunglasses, I definitely see how it would be a benefit to bring them. I personally don't wear mine a lot, and I end up being the idiot squinting at the kites flying in front of the sun. There is a lot of white snow, with sunlight bouncing off all around you. Protect your eyes, bring your sunglasses.

If you are a parent, I don't really suggest bringing a wagon or stroller, just because you may have trouble getting anywhere. But if you absolutely must, there will probably be a stroller parking area at the edge of the lake. You can at least use it to get to the lake from your parking spot, but once on the lake there will be too many bumps and inconsistencies on the lake to roll through.

That's it. I know there may be other things to do at the festival such as food trucks, games, local shops, and restaurants. But these tips are for those of you who may like to enjoy things without having to spend any money and just be able to enjoy the heart of the event. I hope these suggestions helped you in preparing for a great day out at the winter kite festival in your area. If you have any other suggestions, please leave them in the comments to help out everyone else.

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