Though children are taught to reach for the sky, in time it becomes apparent that jumping out of the sky is more practical. Glide safely back to Earth with today’s Groupon: for $150, you get an introductory tandem hang-gliding lesson from Hang Glide Chicago in Clifton (a $249 value).
The certified instructors of Hang Glide Chicago help first-time rocketeers soar through the sky. Pupils pick up on the basics of hang gliding during a 30- to 45-minute ground lesson before travelling 3,000 feet into the air in one of Hang Glide Chicago's planes. After pointing out which distant landmarks they plan to someday own, students leap into the blue beyond strapped safely to instructors, slowly swooping across the sky on a graceful descent toward the earth. After the lesson, newly landed students and teachers hang out in the training field’s picnic area, which offers complete washroom facilities, while the nearby lake provides exhilarated gliders a place to swim, boat, fish, or mock the low-flying habits of local waterfowl. In addition to the tandem hang-gliding lesson, buyers also enjoy a free 30-day student membership to the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA).
Hang Glide Chicago
From May until winter, the USHPA-certified instructors of Hang Glide Chicago spend their weekends accompanying passengers on tandem hang-gliding flights. Flight school sessions acclimate beginners to the sport before they board gliders, which are then towed into the air by a small plane. As flyers are released for their 2,500-foot free flight, they can steer their glider or let instructors guide the way as they take in the surrounding vistas. Students are welcome to bring their own cameras (wrist straps are recommended) or arrange to have their flight recorded by Hang Glide’s HD-panoramic video equipment or their instructor’s photographic memory. Flights take place from sunrise to sunset, and patrons can extend their experience by taking advantage of facilities that include camping grounds, bathrooms with showers, and a lake for kayaking or catch-and-release fishing.