Riley is a master of gifting experiences for my birthday. The first year we were dating, he took me skydiving and the second year he took me on a helicopter tour of Chicago (this kid has a thing for flying, but I guess I should be grateful he's only had me pushed out of the aircraft once, right?). Since his delivery of his gift the first year has left us both with PTSD, he decided to tell me the idea and have me help plan it in case I was utterly terrified again.
We wound up finding a Groupon deal for the Chicago Helicopter Experience for a Day Time Helicopter Ride for 2 and booked it immediately. I wanted to make sure we'd be able to see the foliage on the trees since Lincoln Park was bursting with colors of orange, red and yellow from the changing seasons, so we opted for a 4 P.M. departure time.
Upon arrival at the Chicago Helicopter Experience building, which is just southwest of the Loop off the orange line, we were weighed and given a debrief. We had about 30 minutes to kill before a second safety debrief, so we entertained ourselves in the waiting area reading different historical facts about Chicago and attempting to fly a helicopter in a simulated experience. Since Riley and I were the tallest people on the helicopter, we scored the front two seats on the helicopter. The other two couples sat across four seats in the back of the chopper. While the rides are a quick 15 minutes, the pilot offers a fully guided tour of the different sites you fly over in Chicago. Ours pointed out Solider Field, the Shedd Aquarium, Navy Pier, Lincoln Park, Wrigley Field, and many other key destinations in Chicago.
I absolutely LOVED my experience with Chicago Helicopter Experience and highly recommend it to anyone wanting a different perspective of Chicago!