Family Fun with iFly

In Entertainment by Kate BaylessLeave a Comment

For the record, indoor skydiving is not how my family normally spends our Friday nights. But a few weeks back, we headed to Universal City Walk outside of Universal Studios, California to test out our wings at iFly.

My kids – ages 11, 10 and 7 – were equal parts excited and nervous. The wind tunnel sits right on the main drag, allowing all bystanders to watch your flight. My husband felt a little skeptical. As the only one in the family who had been actual sky diving, he wasn’t sure it would be that fun. Boy was he wrong!

What to Expect

We started by getting a quick training by the flight staff. They show you how to hold your body, the hand signals they’ll use in the tunnel (it’s too loud to talk) and what not to do. While we were initially a little bummed that they don’t let you do any tricks on your first flight, we quickly found out why – it’s hard enough just to stay straight!

After our training, we got suited up. Full-body jumpsuit. Check. Helmet. Check. Ear plugs and goggles. Check, check. You can’t wear any jewelry since it might be blown off and if you have long hair, I’d suggest a braid or a tight ponytail or you’ll spend a good 15 minutes trying to detangle your rats nest after your flights.

There are two parts to the tunnel – an outer chamber where you sit and wait your turn and the actual inside wind tunnel. Contrary to what I thought, the tunnel doesn’t actually blow from the bottom – it sucks from the top, creating a powerful current that they adjusts for each flier based on their weight.

Your Turn to Fly

Each flier gets two 60-second turns. It doesn’t sound like very long but when you have 60-80 MPH winds making you float in mid-air, it actually seems plenty long! A flight trainer is in the tunnel with you the whole time. For your first turn, they’ll hold on to you to make sure you don’t hit the walls, and give you hand signals to straighten or bend your legs to help adjust your position. It’s exhilarating! Just don’t smile. The wind will dry out your mouth before you know it!

For your second turn, the guide may help you do some maneuvers like spins, or let go of you to let you “fly” all on your own. For an extra $10, you can add on a “High Fly” where the guide will hold your hands and “fly” you up and down the wind tunnel, over and over, getting over 25 feet high!

Remember you can’t bring a phone or camera into either tunnel – even while you’re waiting your turn. So no Instagramming your own flight or the flight of a friend or family member. If you want memories of the event, plan ahead. You can have someone outside the tunnel capture your flight. Of course, you can choose from the stills and video clips that iFly takes during your flight.

All in all, the experience was more fun than imagined and a great family bonding experience. iFly has locations all over the United States (and even two international locations!). They allow kids as young as 3 years old to fly. It’s a fun option for a birthday party, family bonding experience, or hey, just another Friday night!

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Disclaimer: iFly provided flights for my family. Opinions are my own.

Meet the Author | Kate Bayless

Kate Bayless is a Southern California-based writer and a mom of three. She writes regularly about beauty, travel, health and wellness for both digital and print outlets.

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