Before helicopters, the only way to catch a lofty glimpse of town was via catapult, which often left people stranded atop leafy redwoods and surly giraffes. Ensure yourself an aerial exit strategy with today’s Groupon: for $149, you get an 8–10-minute holiday-lights helicopter tour for up to 3 people from Timberview Helicopters (a $299 value). Flights take off from Northwest Richards Road in Kansas City, and can depart Monday–Sunday from 5 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., weather permitting.
Embarking from a helipad in Kansas City, experienced pilots guide helicopters high above shimmering cityscapes and landmarks such as the Sprint Center and the Plaza. During the 10-mile 9-minute spin through the cloudscape, up to three guests at a time take in glistening lights and holiday displays from the same vantage point as birds and stowaway elves. Visitors should arrive about 10 minutes early for the flight, allowing enough time to learn the secret dance that levitates all choppers.
The professional pilots at Timberview Helicopters ferry passengers high into the clouds aboard a sky-scraping whirlybird during flight tours through Destin and Kansas City. Having chartered flights for National Geographic and the Travel Channel, these pilots expertly navigate planes toward sweeping, picturesque views, allowing sightseers to steal glances of Fort Walton Beach, downtown Kansas City, and Key West's ocean views from a perspective normally reserved for birds and astronauts with binoculars. Additionally, their high-definition videos grant guests a lasting commemoration of their in-flight experience. When they're not chartering tours, they teach budding pilots the gravity-defying tricks of their trade through pilot training and lug precious shipments from port to port with their cargo-lifting services