High above a lush vineyard, the morning sky brims with creatures of flight: an eagle, a large bumblebee, a pigeon that forgot how to land. These were just some of the sights Airbus Balloon Rides' owner Andy Richardson imagined would greet his future down-gazing passengers. He first fell in love with the roar of a hot air balloon's flame just before entering the second grade, and that passion has driven his dreams ever since. Ten years after buying his first balloon at age 14, Andy now commands a fleet of rainbow-colored balloons that come in standard and specialty shapes. These colorful vessels set the elevated stage for individual flights and tethered rides helmed by Andy and his talented team. Flights lift off at sunrise, in the afternoon, and at sunset, when the low sun paints an orange-red glow over water, fields, and reindeer still stuck on rooftops.
Back on land, Airbus Balloon Rides also educates visitors on hot air balloon creation inside their balloon factory, which welcomes tours. At the end of each tour, the guides lead guests in a champagne or mimosa toast with accompanying hors d'oeuvres, celebrating their skyfaring adventures together.
The pitcher leans in toward the plate, nods when the catcher signals the pitch, and then straightens up to the set position, shooting a quick glance toward first base to keep the baserunner's lead in check. With one cleat firmly planted on the rubber, his opposite foot rises skyward and then makes a mighty lunge toward home as he fires a baseball over the center of the plate.
At Indy Hitters, the Pro-Batter hitting simulator does away with the need for a real pitcher. The apparatus relies on digital video technology to display footage of a pitcher and virtual spitballs on a large screen situated in front of the pitching machine. All the batter sees is the pitcher winding up, and then the pitch rocketing out of a small hole in the screen at adjustable speeds, up to a blistering 104 MPH.
In business for nearly 25 years, the National Institute for Fitness and Sport’s 65,000-square-foot fitness center boasts an array of classes and training sessions, as well as a host of strength-training and cardio equipment. But these represent just one branch of the nonprofit organization. NIFS also manages fitness centers for companies and retirement communities all over the country, creates an online curriculum for Health YOUniversity, and collaborates with the Indiana University School of Medicine on research projects.
Science-fiction fans are eternally disappointed that society hasn't yet developed the technology that would allow them to strap on a jetpack and rocket to their destination. Though Indy Flight Academy & Watersports can't supply you with a futuristic vehicle for the daily commute, it does give extreme-sports enthusiasts the chance to blast off with its Flyboard water-powered jet packs.
The Flyboard—a water board with a pair of boots attached to it—is attached to long hose, which is in turn hooked up to the water jet exhaust of a jet ski. When the jet ski's driver hits the gas, the Flyboard and rider shoot up into the air atop high-powered streams of water. Riders can then fly around above the water or mimic a dolphin diving in and out.
Tibbs Drive-In Theater blissfully blends the nostalgic with the neoteric, projecting current blockbusters across four motor-moseying screens. Movie whizzes can comfortably plop lawn La-Z-Boys in front of vehicles to enjoy back-to-back features as the soundtrack streams through their FM car radio, stereo, or a boom-box-equipped John Cusack. Whether laughing through a lighthearted wartime drama or crying through The Land Before Time XXVI: Still No Time, flick catchers can chow through their emotions with a bite from the theater's snack bar, which boasts a scrumptious view-enhancing selection that includes sandwiches, pizza, fresh-baked pretzels, and caramel-apple chips alongside the traditional candy and popcorn.
White River Canoe Company provides outdoor entertainment for river people in the form of canoes, kayaks, and river tubes. Unlike the baby-doll clients and child CEOs of imaginary boat companies, this water-tight canoe company's customers do not need inflatable limbs to enjoy a canoe or kayak trip on the serene White River. Today’s deal is good for the popular Rusty Oar adventure, a two- to three-hour excursion that launches off at the Rusty Oar drop-in. Starting at the company’s main River Road facility, paddlers will be transported via passenger van to the drop-in point (about a 10–15 minute trip), schooled in safe river navigation, and equipped with all the necessary paddling gear. Then, selecting either a kayak ($34 plus tax) or a canoe ($42 plus tax), boaters shove off melodramatically to paddle and float down the watery way that will return them once again to River Road, where parked cars and bejeweled trolls await their owners on gravelly lots.