The need to feel the wind in your hair is best fulfilled by skydiving, though it can also be fulfilled by riding in a convertible, swinging on a tire swing, or getting sneezed on by a jumbo jet. Harness the power of wind with today's Groupon: for $55, you get four minutes of indoor skydiving at SkyVenture New Hampshire in Nashua (a $95 value for adults, a $90 value for ages 3–11).
SkyVenture New Hampshire's indoor wind tunnel gives visitors the gift of weightless flight for four minutes of exhilarating and safe indoor skydiving. During a 20-minute training session with a certified instructor, guests learn techniques for airborne movement before donning a helmet, goggles, and flight suit. Patrons then float upward on a powerful, recirculating current of wind—rather than leaping from a higher point—so there is no sensation of falling or risk of triggering rainstorms by falling through bloated clouds. An observation deck allows family and friends to cheer on participants, and an in-flight photographer captures avian-style portraits that guests can share online for free. The full SkyVenture experience is equivalent to skydiving from a height of 13,000 feet six times, providing ample time to preemptively identify future husbands or wives as life flashes before one’s eyes. Potential air sailors should review SkyVenture's short list of health requirements before signing up.
The swimsuit-clad guests at Skyventure New Hampshire's Surf's Up attraction may not be going anywhere, but they're having lots of fun along the way. Designed to be the largest indoor wave park of its kind, the new venue from simulated-extreme-sports specialists sets surfers atop a standing wave that can—depending on the settings of its modular SurfStream machine—reach heights of 6 feet. Surfers with experience can use it to stay conditioned and improve their balance on barrel waves year round, while beginners can more easily learn to mount their boards in a 100% jellyfish-free setting. As reported on the Discovery Channel, the machine can release a rush of 750,000 liters of water per minute. And because the water temperature is kept at a mild 83 degrees, no wetsuits are necessary.
At 32 feet wide—making it the largest in North America, the owners say—the surf pool is a star attraction. But it's not the only one. There's also the FishPipe, a wildly spinning water-filled sphere that replicates the thrill of an ultra-steep water slide, a 24-foot Nicros art rock wall with an auto-belay system, and SkyVenture itself. The last provides the surreal thrill of falling slowly through the air with no need for a parachute—it's an indoor, vertical wind tunnel, of a kind used not only by everyday thrill-seekers but also by pro skydivers.
Right beside the rolling waters and powerful winds is the Oasis Cafe Restaurant, which completes the beachy experience with a thatched roof and tabletop shakers of sand. Even approaching the wave park puts surfers in a tropical mood—its exterior is bedecked with towering palm trees and other tiki trimmings.