I received complimentary admission in exchange for sharing my honest opinion.
Skydiving is something I can honestly say I never ever want to do. It scares the heck out of me the thought of free falling through the sky and clouds and trying to land safely – yes even though I know I’d be with a trained instructor.
Then I heard of indoor skydiving and I admit I was curious. It sounded a lot safer and more controlled. Well a few weeks ago on a no-school day, my husband and I as well as our two boys (ages 7 and 8) headed over to our local iFLY in Naperville, IL. (There is also a location in Rosemont, IL.)
So what exactly is iFLY?
Well iFLY is basically indoor skydiving, without the whole jumping out of a plane. You actually start at the bottom of a wind tunnel and go upwards safely. No experience is necessary and just about anyone can fly, including those with physical disabilities. Children as young as three and adults as old as 103 have flown. Obviously if you’ve had a dislocated shoulder, are pregnant or have a neck injury you can’t but most people have the go ahead.
So how does it work?
Well during a flyers first time they have a personal, highly-trained and certified instructor that is in the wind tunnel guiding you through the entire experience. Each flight is the equivalent of one and a half skydives, even though it takes just minutes. Each flight within the wind tunnel actually lasts 60 seconds. There is no sensation of falling or anything that would cause motion sickness, you are simply floating!
Once you arrive you get suited up a special suit and helmet. Then you watch a quick video. Your group goes inside the wind tunnel and one flyer at a time goes in.
All the equipment is provided to you:
My 8 year old was very scared to do this but once he watched a few others do it before us, he jumped in to be the first flyer in our group! You can definitely go early and watch other flyers if your worried as the area is open and easily viewed.
Like I said flyers go one at a time but once you have gained more flight experience then you will be able to fly with others of the same skill level in the tunnel. I asked and was told up to six professionals have been in there at a time. Professional skydivers actually use iFLY to practice their maneuvers!
How much does it cost?
First off I will say it is pricey per person. Basic first time flyer packages start at $59.95. The more time you want to fly within the wind tunnel and the more people you have impact the price too.
How did we like it?
We absolutely loved it! My husband who has sky dived before actually said it felt pretty similar, minus the view. As a mom I appreciated that my kids could enjoy it without me freaking out over real skydiving! I felt too it was a great bonding experience for us and we liked it so much we bought return flights to do it again another time! I highly recommend iFLY but warn you that it is addicting!
Here is a video of my 8 year old:
You can view more of our skydiving videos here: https://www.youtube.com/user/MomandMoreBlog/videos
iFLY is educational too!
iFLY actually has a program that allows students to use the wind tunnel as a floating classroom through its unique Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education field trip program. During field trips, students get to experience the vertical wind tunnel as both a classroom and lab with guidance from a dedicated STEM educator. For example, various objects and liquids are thrown into the wind tunnel to see what happens. Oh and kids get to fly afterwards! In order to make the program accessible to all students, iFLY is exploring local and national partnerships to help provide subsidies and scholarships for schools that need financial assistance to participate in these experiences. I think this is such an amazing program, I actually sent the information over to my son’s cub scout troop because you can earn a cub scout patch during the class!
Find an iFLY near you!
iFLY has 11 U.S. locations and 37 tunnels worldwide and will more than double its domestic presence over the next 12 months.
If your local to the Naperville area, I had a great experience with the employees there!
iFLY Chicago – Naperville
1752 Freedom Dr, Naperville, IL 60563