An Angelic Party At The Kennedys

Outdoor Fun with Fluffy Wings

Matthew Hranek

That image comes to life at today's celebration, as Kyra's friends excitedly exchange school uniforms for snow-white leotards, tights, and skirts (all from Danskin) topped by fluffy wings. The girls decorate their own halos with a variety of sequins, feathers, and pipe cleaners, then it's out to the backyard, where they frolic among the Kennedys' menagerie of peacocks, guinea hens, cormorants, and geese. (A small barn houses a family of hawks carefully tended by Bobby, who serves as vice president and chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Valley environmental group Riverkeeper.) Darting in and out of the action are Kyra's devil-clad brothers and a few of their friends.

After warming up on the trampoline and climbing on the circle of beanbags, the guests eagerly head to the rear of the Kennedys' lawn for the main event: flying! In honor of the birthday girl, a family friend who builds sets for Broadway musicals has rigged up equipment from Flying by Foy, the company that has sent several generations of Peter Pans soaring across the stage. The little angels and devils line up for turns in the bucket-shaped seat, and Bobby pulls the ropes to send them up, up, up in the air.

Matthew Hranek

A crowd of 25 very young partygoers might seem daunting to most hosts, but Mary says, "For us, this isn't a big group at all. Every Sunday afternoon, we invite an ever-expanding group of people to come and play Capture the Flag. Bobby's older kids [Little Bobby, 16, and Kick, 12] are with us weekends, holidays, and summers, and Bobby's family has more than 50 nieces and nephews, so nothing we do is small. Last weekend, there were 60 people of all ages here. We play games outdoors, with regular cookie and lemonade breaks."

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