Unlike Hot Pockets, old hot dogs, or your hot-mess friend Pauline, hot air balloon rides are appetizing snapshots of scenic grandeur. Soak them in for one hot hour with today's Groupon: for $145, you get a hot air balloon ride over northeast Ohio from Fun-Makers (a $225 value). Coasting over picturesque pathways of Akron, Cleveland, and Canton on a pillow of 25 years of piloting experience, Fun-Makers intensifies romantic interludes and sibling rivalries amid the clouds. Weightlessly soar over countryside in a wicker nest of free-floating easiness, wafting to heights as high as 3,000 feet in the air or as low as 200 feet above the ground. Choose a dusk or dawn flight for optimal scenic potential, and partake in a bubbly, post-flight champagne toast for no additional cost. After selecting a departure date, Fun-Makers calls passengers the day of the flight to let them know their designated launch location, as determined by wind, weather, and hair conditions. Set aside between two to three hours to take in billows of airborne adventures from start to finish.
For a quarter of a century, Fun Makers' licensed, FAA-certified pilots have guided thousands of passengers skyward during hot-air-balloon tours of Ohio's lakes, valleys, forests, and rolling plains. Pilots update their training annually to stay informed on ballooning guidelines, and each sendoff begins with a passenger orientation that briefs guests on flight basics, personal safety, and how to deflect dive-bombing ostriches. After touching back down, passengers commemorate their voyage with a champagne toast and a first-flight certificate. In addition to hot-air-balloon rides, Fun Makers' staff travels to large and small events at colleges, festivals, and churches bearing a variety of portable entertainment including rock-climbing walls, bungee trampolines, and mechanical rodeo bulls.