Owner and pilot Todd J. Monahan remembers chasing hot air balloons across the sky as a land-locked child. After attending extensive training and FAA-approved safety seminars, he finally caught up to them, founding SunKiss Ballooning and enlisting the expertise of his brother Scott as well as a cast of experienced pilots and crewmembers. Citing safety as a priority, SunKiss' captains stay up to date on the latest in balloon technology, and they escort passengers through the sky in nine vessels, each rated to carry different gross weights and repel different-sized Mothras.
The adventurous tour guides at GO Mountain Biking! lead scenic nature-gazing rides for all skill levels as well as harrowing jaunts through rocky terrain for more experienced riders. Each client takes part in a phone interview before the tour to schedule a time and devise a game plan. Tours begin with a review of safety and technique before guests venture out into the wilderness of the Glens Falls area to enjoy the lush landscape, scope out resident wildlife, and gulp fresh, clean air without having to suck from a balloon inflated by Mother Nature.
For 2.5 hours, tourists can thrive on historical, architectural, and edible tidbits courtesy of Saratoga Springs Food Tours in Saratoga Springs. The walking tour begins at the Saratoga Farmers Market, where locally grown legumes flaunt their healthy stuff to the tune of live music as tasters sample various dishes such as Greek–style yogurt, jams, tapenade, and goat cheese. After visiting the Olde Bryan Inn, a historic restaurant named for a Revolutionary War hero, carefully crafted olive oils and vinegars lube tongues at the Saratoga Olive Oil Company, and spicy concoctions highlight the region's diversity at Saratoga Salsa. Tours end on a sugary note at Bettie's Cupcakes with toothsome drinks and tiny treats that hold rampaging sweet teeth at bay.
Double M’s treats families to a day of fall fun with a bucolic hayride, mind-bending corn maze, and petting zoo filled with sociable farm animals. Duos can dangle shoes from the side of a tractor-drawn wagon, which hauls adults, kids, and stowaway phantoms on a 20-minute pilgrimage through the crisp fall air and toward the entrance of a labyrinthine corn maze. Maze-goers can showcase their navigational prowess as they wind their way through the towering earth-grown walls in pursuit of victory over racing companions. After the maze, huskers can refuel stomach engines with grub from the concession stand (not included with this Groupon) before hobnobbing with friendly animals in the petting zoo or indulging in the purest oxygen molecules by jumping atop a bouncy bounce. Double M’s invites tykes of all ages to join the autumnal festivities and welcomes children 2 and under free of charge.
Whitewater Challengers' certified guides steer paddlers as young as 5 across the skipping surf of the Poconos’ Lehigh River Gorge, the Black River Canyon, and the Adirondacks’ Hudson, Moose, and Salmon rivers. In the rafting industry since 1975, the guides have collectively traveled more than 16 million miles of rapids. They chart courses that satisfy a range of experience levels, from beginning jaunts down gentle rapids to advanced battles through coursing foam and wicked currents.
The crew’s ultimate goal is to make rafting a fun adventure, which means that they take care of the business end, providing all safety equipment, transportation to launch points, and lessons for novices. When not on the water, the outdoors-loving crew also organizes mountain-biking and camping trips in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Adam Towne, a Pan Am-trained pilot and full-time flight instructor since 2006, subscribes to the ideology of Wilbur Wright: "It is possible to fly without motors but not without knowledge and skill.” In this spirit, he leads custom instruction for students of all experience levels, from first-time flyers to out-of-practice pilots looking to refresh their skills. From his four-seat, 160 horsepower Piper Cherokee PA28-140 (which is also available for rental), Adam can take photographers skyward to capture landscapes, construction projects, or proof that birds run on tiny, feather-covered engines.