When my daughter-in-law gave the whole family gift vouchers for Xmas, she didn’t go for Marks and Spencer or Argos vouchers! No, she went for an Indoor Sky Diving experience for everyone! I can’t say I was thrilled at the prospect but nonetheless this summer the 6 of us (me, my son, his partner and 3 grandsons aged 27, 24 and 12) headed off to IFLY in Milton Keynes. (IFLY have 3 venues, Milton Keynes, Basingstoke and Manchester but as we live in London Milton Keynes was the best one for us).
Upon arrival we were kitted out in suits, helmets and goggles and had a thorough safety briefing which explained what hand signals to use to communicate with our instructor. We then joined a few more people (there were about 10 of us in all) and headed up to the tunnel anti chamber. This is a room with the glass tunnel in the middle and we all say in a semi circle around it so that we could watch as the others had their session. The first person (who happened to be my youngest grandson, Andre) went to the entrance door and the instructor stood in front of him then signalled him to lean into the tunnel. As he is very small and very light he was immediately thrown into the air but the instructor was holding onto him until he got his balance and then he hovered over the wind tunnel. Because he was so light, he was extremely buoyant and the instructor took great delight in pulling him downwards and then letting him soar up! The instructor was very good and treating us all differently according to our age etc. He was much more considerate with me than he was with the boys and was very gentle as he stopped me spinning off before I found the right balance. Also with the older boys when their 2 minutes was up he brought them down and got them to try and walk across to the exit. Trying to walk even a short distance whilst a simulated gale force wind is blowing into you causes great hilarity for those people watching!
Our gift voucher allowed us to have two sessions at 2 minutes each. Two minutes doesn’t sound long but it feels a lot longer! On the second session he asked us if we wanted to “go high” and if we did, (and if we were willing to pay £5 more), he would grab us and spin us and then rise with us right up to the ceiling! A bit like being on a roller coaster without the roller coaster!!
You can’t have a camera with you if you are flying but there is an area where people can watch and take pictures. (A good excuse if you don’t want to fly, you can use the excuse that you will be the photographer!) IFLY also take photos and videos and send them to you by email later which you can purchase.. This is a fabulous present for a child or grandchild and is something anyone can do. It really isn’t as scary as it sounds.
Two flights costs about £50 per head but I believe there are special offers on their websites.
With Christmas coming up I think most kids (and adults) would be thrilled with a chance to try this…and if Nan or Granddad fly too I am sure the kids would be well impressed!