We took to the air recently at iFLY Indoor Skydiving’s Bay Area location that brought all of the fun of flying without the fear of jumping out of an airplane. All of the same emotions were there – nervousness, fear, followed by an adrenaline boost – with the knowledge that trained staff were there to help to make the experience awesome.
We arrived an hour before our appointed fly time (make an appointment online; it’s easy and you’re guaranteed a spot), signed in and waited for our pre-flight lesson that started about 30 minutes prior to flying. We were joined by a few kids there for a birthday, and two other families for our flight session. After the lesson, we geared up with the jumpsuits, helmets, goggles, and ear plugs provided by iFLY, then we took our spots around the tunnel. One at a time, an instructor took people into the tunnel for their first flight. While there were more kids than adults in our group, it was the adults who looked more nervous. Sometime during the first flight, fliers would relax. The deer in the headlights look that some would enter the tunnel with, would fade. Everyone gets two flights, and by the second flight, people were much more loose. The second flight has a high jump option, which costs extra. The high jump resembles something from a superhero movie. The instructor would hold into the flier and they would both take off up the tunnel, then back down, and up again. It was really cool. The good news is that if someone pays for a high jump, but changes their mind, the cost is refundable. This happened with two of the kids in our group, who didn’t want to do the high jump after all. The opposite was true for one of my kids, who did not want to do the high jump, yet when given the option upon entering the tunnel, she flashed the thumbs up and went for it.
iFLY SF Bay is located in Union City and is open to ages 3+. We didn’t see a three year old, but we did see one very young looking child in the group before us and she had a big smile on her face the entire time. The cost is about $60 per person for two flights, with some of the packages offering a better value, including a family package for up to five people to share 10 flights. The family pack works out to $21.99 per flight. While we saw two birthday celebrations while we were there, one appeared to be an official party, while the other was a group of five celebrating the birthday boy, probably at the family pack price.
I liked the idea of iFLY as a birthday spot, especially for older kids or teens, yet it also appears to be a great work team outing. Much better than a trip to mini golf.