If you’re scratching your head for a great holiday gift this season for friends and family, an experience gift through Cloud 9 Living, is something unique and exciting for all ages. Cloud 9 partners with experience providers all over the country — everything from flying lessons, to racecar driving, to tamer things like city tours and the Pirates Adventure Dinner Kristi just experienced in LA with her family.
My 9-year-old gladly helped me test drive the iFly SF indoor sky diving gift a few weeks ago. It’s a crowd-pleaser and children as young as 3 can do it. We tried this activity in the Bay Area, but there are four additional locations in the US: Utah, Orlando, Hollywood, and Seattle.
Indoor Skydiving Basics
Indoor skydiving simulates a real sky diving experience to the extent that you get the chance to float in a fast-moving stream of air. The big difference is that there’s no life-threatening jump from a plane and the only view is that of the wind tunnel and everyone watching you.
There’s still some challenge involved; floating in a fast-moving stream of air is a learned skill and if you don’t adopt the right body position, you sink (slowly). Not to worry, new flyers have an instructor there the entire time to ensure all goes well.
iFly SF Experience
Flying with iFly is hugely popular, or at least it was the day we were there. Fortunately, it’s well-organized. The entire experience takes more or less 1.5 hours. Participants are organized in specific group with time slots. Each group (maximum is 12 people) is assigned a trainer for the session who will give you the introduction, take you to flying school which involves watching a video, suiting you up in your flight suit including a helmut, goggles, and earplugs – and finally, taking you through the flight itself.
One of the reasons it takes so long is that everyone in the entire group is brought into the flight area and goes for 2, 1-2 minute flights. It’s fun to watch everyone go, plus it helps you know what to expect.
Try It You’ll Like It
I’m usually the scaredy-cat in the family and although indoor skydiving gives you a bit of trepidation, there’s really it’s totally safe. If the body position is right you can float up 30 feet.
It’s a unique sensation to be weightlessly floating. Round one is an intro flight where you just get used to being in the wind tunnel. Round two is a real thrill; if all is going well the instructor takes you on a ride (he jumps in the air with you) for a spin at the top of the wind tunnel.
We were warned we would drool – I know I did. I also did some screaming. My son whooped it up to.
At the end you of your class you can buy photos for $4 each and/or a CD with a video of the flight or $25. You just need one per family as it includes everyone’s flight. The CD is recommend as it’s impossible to really film the flight from the outside. Plus, it will give friends and family endless fits of giggles.
Why Purchase Through Cloud 9 Living
If you don’t want to choose a specific experience for someone, you can offer them a Gift Certificate and the recipient can apply it towards any Cloud 9 activity. Moreover, even if you do select a specific experience for them, they can exchange it for any other experience up to a year after the original certificate is purchased.
You do not need to commit to an experience date at the time of purchase. All purchases made between November 15, 2012 – December 31, 2012 can be returned until January 31, 2013. There’s a customer service team at Cloud 9 Living to help ensure the booking experience is seamless. Plus, they have tight relationships with all of their supplies so Cloud 9 customers get VIP treatment.
There is something for every budget. Experiences start at $50 and Gift Certificates start at $75. Go to the Indoor Skydiving page on Cloud 9 Living to learn more about this activity through them. Two one-minute flights start at $85. There are also family packages available for 5 flyers, 10 flights for $305. This is a super fun gift!
Check out Cloud 9 Living’s Nine Days of Christmas sweepstakes for an opportunity to win one of nine different experiences including Fighter Pilot for a day and White Water rafting.
Editorial Note: We received two complimentary passes to iFly to check out this experience for Cloud 9 Living. As always, our thoughts and opinions are our own.