Simple Pleasures of flying a kite is great fun on a windy day. It’s also very relaxing. So ditch those video games, get off the couch, and get yourself one of many of our great kites.  Choose from a vast selection of stunt, diamond and delta kites.”

Simple Pleasures. That simple statement on the website for Tumbleweeds & Tarantulas, the premier kite and kite supply store in Bullhead City, Arizona, hints at the simple pleasures of flying a kite. And it also hints of the universal nature of kite flying that transcends barriers of language and culture.

The kite store is a unique place where the past, the present, and on occasion the future blend seamlessly. And these stores are often a portal that transport us back to halcyon days of childhood.

Exemplifying the timelessness of kites and kit stores is Once Upon A Breeze. Established in 1975 by D.K. Smith this is purported to be the oldest kite store on the Oregon coast.

In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina the owner of Klig’s Kites found a unique way to blend the timlessness of kites with modern pop culture. His kite store is the entrance to the Keep on Trumpin’ Store. As the name implies, the Trump store is a one stop shop for most anything with a Trump caricature or slogan that you can imagine from toilet brushes and flags to t-shirts, caps, and novelty items.

A less polarizing blend is found along highway 1 in Bodega Bay, California. Candy & Kites is a store that magically blends two smile inducing products with an atmosphere that invokes childhood regardless of the customers age.

Established in 1983 the delightfully eccentric shop boasts of having the largest selection of sports kites, single line kites, box kites, and dragon kites on the north coast of California. As the store is located within walking distance of Bodega Dunes Beach, the owner encourages customers to try out their purchase and enjoy an afternoon on the beach.

The store is also a active sponsor and participant in the annual Bodega Bay Castles and Kites event hosted by Sonoma County Regional Parks at Doran Beach. A descriptor on the events webstite entices with the promise of an afternoon of memory making family fun.

“Celebrate the joys of building sandcastles and flying kites with the entire family at Doran Beach. Amateurs and experts are welcome at this fun and colorful event. Bring your own kite or purchase one from local vendors. Bring your own sandcastle building tools or borrow ours.” 

But kites and kite stores are truly international. In Afghanistan kite flying is a relaxing hobby and passionate sport. In Kabul’s Shor Bazaar kite stores well stocked with huge piles of colorful kites are a mute testament to Afghans’ love of the sport and enjoyment of kite flying. How the store will fare under recently imposed Taliban rule is yet to be seen. From 1996 to 2001 during the aliban’s repressive regime kite flying was forbidden and stores were closed.

What are you waiting for! Your discovery, or rediscovery, of the simple pleasures of flying a kite begins with a stop at Tumbleweeds & Tarantulas in Bullhead City, Arizona.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America