A few weeks ago we mentioned that iFly, an indoor skydiving facility, recently opened at Ridge Hill in Yonkers. Last week, I brought my two kids down to experience what the attraction has to offer. Never mind that they’re only 6 and 4 – iFly’s largest demographic is tweens, and children as young as 3 can be taught to fly! Well, it’s technically floating on a cushion of air in a wind tunnel, but I was told that the experience realistically simulates free fall, minus the terrifying jumping out of a plane part!
My kids were placed in a group with other people who had the same scheduled flight time. We started the hour-long session by watching an instructional video on some simple hand signals that the instructors give in the wind tunnel, since it’s too loud to be heard in there. Then our instructor, who was a natural with kids, reviewed the signals again to make sure that everyone understood them. Next, all the participants got suited up. (The tiny flight suits and goggles for the smallest kids are totally adorable!)
Everyone got two flights, with each flight lasting between one and two minutes, depending on your package. (In real skydiving, the free fall period before you open your chute is only about a minute.) The kids had a blast! They enjoyed floating just above the ground as they got acclimated, and especially loved the “high flight” portion, when the instructor took them high up in the wind tunnel and did a couple of simple tricks with them. After their flight was over, our instructor showed off a few advanced skydiving moves in the tunnel.
Flight packages start at $80 per person, and iFly does birthday parties, too, with prices starting at $670 for a group of 12. If your kids catch the flying bug, the facility also offers private instruction and levels of advancement, much like any other sport. It’s not cheap, but I think the experience is well worth the splurge as a present or reward. The ecstatic looks on my kids’ faces as they flew in the air, arms spread out, was priceless.
iFly, 849 Ridge Hill Boulevard, Yonkers; 914-449-4359