When we saw Internet Troubadour Jonathan Mann's Bing jingle on TechCrunch, we knew we needed him to sing about today's skydiving deal. Enjoy…
We know this won't be an easy weekend for you. Here in the Groupon office, we're already each individually fretting over the decision. It's a great deal—and a chance at an extraordinary adrenaline rush—but do you have it in you to take the plunge? Maybe you're the career thrill-seeker who chews up adventure and spits out stories. Or maybe you're more like us, ordinary Janes and Joes, nine-to-fivers, worker bees who aren't sure they're cut out for real adventure. But here's a Groupon secret to transform your life: bees can fly.
Today's Groupon lets you leap from 14,000 feet in the air and breathe the air that angels breathe with a tandem jump at Chicagoland Skydiving Center. From the Hinckley, Illinois, drop zone (west of Naperville on Route 30), the sky is clear for great views of the Chicago area and Lake Michigan while you flutter in ecstasy above the earth.
CSC is the third-best skydiving spot in the country, according to dropzone.com. Since 1968, it's dropped more than 100,000 people into the joy of skydiving with a perfect student safety record. Tandem means the novice skydiver is connected via a harness to an instructor. It's the jump of choice for first-timers. After a 30-minute orientation, one of Chicagoland Skydiving Center's friendly, professional instructors will guide you through the whole jump, from exit through freefall to piloting the canopy and landing. Since you're in front of the instructor with your own altimeter and ripcord, it feels like you're skydiving on your own.
It is only from 14,000 feet in the air that you can truly take in the majesty of creation as well as the intricacies of the many crop circles left behind as directional signposts by a race of ultra-intelligent extra-dimensional visitors who have evolved beyond Twitter, and now mash their communiqués directly into wheat.
Fall from 14,000 feet in the air, then hover in what Wilber Wright called a "perfect peace mingled with an excitement that strains every nerve to the utmost" for up to a minute and a half of freefall. It feels like you're moving down a cushion of air.
People who are scared of heights expect to be scared stiff by jumping out of an airplane and hurtling through the air, but many of them are surprised to find they're totally comfortable. A good deal of acrophobia (the fear of heights and acros) has to do with seeing objects in relation to one another—at 2,500 feet, the ground is so far away that the flattened depth perception decreases acrophobics' instinctive fears. People who skydive say the feeling of pure freedom is unparalleled, the adrenaline rush is addictive, facing one's fears is satisfying, and falling out of the sky is pretty good. Plus, it isn't likely you'll wet your pants.
Chicagoland Skydiving Center uses state-of-the-art gear serviced by FAA-certified technicians. Call ahead to schedule your jump; CSC is open seven days a week through September (then hours change). CSC's aircraft allow you to jump with friends rather than going down one at a time. Skydiving is the perfect way to celebrate a birthday, sweat out premarital terror for a bachelor or bachelorette party, or take a glorious leap into retirement. Buy a few Groupons and learn to skydive with people you trust. Buy a few more and learn to dive with some people you're highly suspicious of and some friends you trust watching them. Either way, you only live once.
- I had my first sky diving experience today and it was awesome. The trainers walk you through the entire process and they are really friendly. – neo.donald, dropzone.com
- I was made to feel welcome the minute I set foot on their grounds. Pet friendly. Great vibe. AWESOME staff. I can't say enough great things. – ItalnIrishDude, dropzone.com
- A big group of us went there and faced our height fears! Great staff, great video, and just a great process and experience. I recommend you going and facing your fears! – Stella Y., Yelp
Chicagoland Skydiving Center
Fully licensed instructors, thoroughly maintained aircrafts, and a skydiving training program licensed by the US Parachute Association ensure that a jump at Chicagoland Skydiving Center is rigorously safe—but nothing can dampen the thrill of free falling from 14,000 feet. The center’s spotless student record can be attributed both to the longevity of the program, which has been around since 1968, and to the expertise of the instructors, some of whom have made more than 15,000 jumps. Their attention to safety enables visitors to focus on the fun part: a 60-second free fall followed by a leisurely float under a parachute with countless high-fives from passing birds.
Once their feet have firmly planted on the ground, skydivers can celebrate besting Sir Isaac Newton in a spacious facility with games, a lounge, and an onsite restaurant. Instant footage provides new perspectives on daring falls, and guests can purchase pictures and videos to commemorate the event.