Photo of the Day: Austin’s Zilker Park Kite Festival

On March 4, Austin’s Zilker Park held the Zilker Park Kite Festival. It was a beautiful day — the sort that made lounging folks enjoying their Saturday want to go fly a kite. Preceding SXSW isn’t an easy task for an event, but the Zilker Park Kite Festival is a staple engrained in Austin culture. The kite festival is the oldest one in the US. It’s a free event that, on top of producing fun, raises funds for the prevention of child abuse. According to the event website, “The 2010 festival benefited the Center for Child Protection, Safeplace, Theater Action Project, Communities in Schools, Family Eldercare, the Dept. of Family and Protective Services, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and Boy Scout Troop 10.” Chris Owens is a photographer based out of Austin. He snapped this shot while attending the kite festival in 2011.

Flying Kites Adventure Challenges: Give back on your next trip

Travelers looking to add a new dimension to their next journey may want to check out the Flying Kites Adventure Challenges, which are a series of great adventure travel opportunities that allow you to visit some fantastic destinations, while raising funds for charity at the same time.

Organized by Flying Kites, a non-profit that is dedicated to improving the standards for childcare in some of the poorest nations in the world, the adventure challenges are an intriguing prospect to say the least. The process starts with travelers selecting their adventure of choice from a list of five options. From there, they pledge to raise a certain amount of funds for Flying Kites, and once they reach that goal, the entire trip is payed for including airfare, guides, accommodations, and so on.

The list of challenges include climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, both of which require a $6000 fundraising goal. There are also two options for surfing in Nicaragua with an 8-day itinerary costing $2300 and a 10-day version requiring a $2500 commitment. Photographers and wildlife enthusiasts will no doubt be intrigued by the Kenya Film Expedition, which comes with a fundraising target of $7500, while runners and endurance athletes will want to compete in the North Face Endurance Challenge this May.

The fundraising goals are certainly reasonable, and attainable, for anyone who sets their mind to it. Most of those trips can obviously be done for less money on your own, but in this case, you not only get a fantastic travel experience, but also the added benefit of giving a little something back in the process. Great adventure travel combined with the chance to improve the lives of children in the places we visit? Sign me up!

Flying Kites – Adventure Challenges – Kilimanjaro/Nicaragua from Flying Kites on Vimeo.