If your plans bring you to the Bay Area this weekend, consider stopping by the Berkeley Kite Festival, a fascinating and family-friendly event that will the skies with vibrant colors from 10am to 6pm on July 28-29. Best of all, it's free.  

The event, which dates back to 1986, is the brainchild of Tom McAlister, the owner of Highline Kites. "When we started the Berkeley Kite Festival 30 years ago we could never have imagined what a wonderfully vibrant spectacle it would become," McAlister says. 

Highlights include Free Kite-Making seminars, where kids can build (and fly) their own creations; Team Kite Ballet, which showcases fliers' skills; the Rokkaku Battle, where fliers engage in a free-for-all to control the skies; and the Candy Drop, a playful merger of kite flying and pinata-smashing that results in a field full of sweets (and a lot of happy kids).

A wide variety of food vendors will be on hand to feed hungry mouths and there will be musical performances by Tatsumaki Taiko