Skydiving in Chicago - Experience the Adventure of a Lifetime

If you want to feel the rush of adrenaline, freefall from the sky, and enjoy Chicago’s scenic views while soaring in a parachute, skydiving is the sport for you! Chicago has numerous options for skydiving for divers of all levels of experience. Tandem jumping is rising in popularity among first-time jumpers because of safer equipment and ease of access in Chicago. If you are looking for an adventure while in the city, skydiving is an exciting way to spend the day.

4 Best Places to go Skydiving in Chicago

1. Skydive Chicago 

Skydive Chicago
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Skydive Chicago is a popular company for first time tandem jumpers. They have experienced instructors with thousands of jumps each. If you are new to the sport, they have a short training program and you will jump harnessed to an instructor. There are media options like a Hand camera or Outside camera to capture the moment. You will also have a 5-7 minute canopy flight to take in the picturesque sight. Skydive Chicago has swimming, bike trails, volleyball and golf courses, so you can bring along your friends and family to watch! If you decide you love the experience you can jump the same day again and sign up for the Advanced Freefall Program (AFP) and learn to skydive alone. For experienced skydivers with a certificate, you can get a 50, 100, or unlimited jumps membership at Skydive Chicago. 
Height of the fall: 13,000 feet
Price: Tandem Jumpers - 229 USD/person onwardsExperienced jumpers- 27 USD/person onwards
Media packages: 99 USD/person onwards
Address: 3215 E. 1969th Road, Ottawa, IL 61350

2. Chicagoland Skydiving Center

Chicagoland Skydiving Center
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Chicagoland Skydiving Center, nearly an hour's drive from Chicago is worth checking out for both novices and experienced skydivers. With a perfect safety record, CSC has impressive packages and skilled instructors. You can tandem jump alone or with a group of up to 23 other people which saves a lot of waiting time. CSC has amazing facilities and events for licensed and experienced jumpers all year round. If you want to go solo, CSC offers the Freefall University Skydiving School course approved by the United States Parachute Association. 
Height of the fall: from 9000 to 18,000 feet
Pricing: 189 USD/person onwards
Address: 1207 W. Gurler Rd, Rochelle, IL 61068
Group discounts and student discounts available. 

3. Skydive Midwest

Skydive Midwest
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Accessible from both Chicago and Milwaukee, Skydive Midwest offers a picturesque view of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline.  Skydive Midwest’s instructors are United States Parachute Association certified and have tons of experience. Apart from a great tandem skydive experience, Skydive Midwest offers a licensed skydive course with two components- ATP (Accelerated Tandem Progression) and AFF (Accelerated Free Fall). They also have the best rates and jump packages for experienced jumpers!
Height of the fall: 14,000 feet
Prices:  Tandem: 315 USD/person including video and picturesExperienced: 24 USD/person 
Address: 13851 56th Road,Sturtevant, WI 53177

4. Skydive Windy City Chicago

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Skydive Windy City Chicago also offers a splendid view of the Chicago skyline with the drop zone next to Lake Michigan. They offer packages for solo, tandem or group jumps. Located just one hour from downtown Chicago, Skydive Windy City Chicago is the closest skydive company and accessible via public transport. They use multi-lens 360º video cameras on every jump giving you high-quality images of your experience. They offer a lot of discounts and waivers for students or early bird reservations. 
Height of the fall: 14,000 feet 
Prices: Tandem: 219 USD/person onwards 
Experienced: 26 USD/person
Address: 1300 S, IN-212, Michigan City, IN 46360 

Best Time to Skydive in Chicago

Chicago has harsh winters which make it unsafe to skydive some months of the year. The best time to skydive in Chicago is between April to October. While the ideal weather to skydive is sunny skies with minimum cloud coverage, Chicago’s reputation as the ‘windy city’ makes diving all year round challenge. Don’t worry, most companies have a refund or extension policy if the day of your skydive is cloudy or windy. Companies also usually only allow reservations on days they predict are clear, using tools to forecast the weather. However, you can always call the dropzone before your appointment to check on weather conditions or options to reschedule. 
Requirements: 
Age: You must be at least 18 years of age and hold a valid photo ID (drivers license, state ID, or passport). However, there is no maximum age limit. So it’s never too late to try!
Weight: You must not weigh more than 108kg or 240lbs. Exceptions are made in some circumstances and the instructor takes the final call. 

Things to Note While Skydiving in Chicago

  • Most Skydive companies have military and public servants (police, firefighters, EMT, and dispatch) discounts. Make sure you ask your drop zone for those while registering. Students and teacher discounts are also available at some companies. 
  • Skydive companies offer multimedia packages at an extra cost to capture your freefall experience. You cannot bring your own camera if you are a student. 
  • There is a training season before your jump where you will be briefed on the safety measures and correct procedures to follow. Pay attention to the training to ensure your safety and that of your instructors. 
  • Wear appropriate clothing. It gets cold 14,000 feet in the air, so make sure you're dressed in comfortable pants and a shirt. Shoes and sneakers are preferred. 
  • If you want to cancel or reschedule, you must inform the company at least 48 hours in advance if you want a refund. Cancellations due to bad weather conditions will allow you to reschedule your jump date, valid up to one year from the original date. 
  • Eat lightly before the jump. Do not skydive on a full or empty stomach. Do not consume any alcohol or drugs before skydiving. 
  • If you have epilepsy, certain cardiovascular and neurological conditions or have previous injuries, you must consult a doctor to determine if it is safe for your health to jump.
  • Safety is a priority for all skydiving companies. While skydiving is an extreme sport intended to give you a thrill and an adrenaline rush, it is very safe given the world class equipment and USPA guidelines that companies follow. So do not fret, relish the adventure! 

Beyond the Jump- Skydiving Courses in Chicago

Are you planning to stay a few days? A local interested in skydiving? An excited novice who wants to continue the sport after a few tandem jumps?  If so, you can become a licensed skydiver and skydive in locations across the world! Many skydiving companies in Chicago have licensed programs to help you get certified. Each company has its own unique and specialized program along with instructors guiding you. The Accelerated Freefall Program and Freefall University are some popular ones. However, the USPA ‘A’ license is what you need to skydive in drop zones across the world. Ask your skydive company for more information on packages they offer to get certified and licensed. 

Are you feeling excited? Discover your adventurous side, soar across the skies for a few minutes and check skydiving off your bucket list!

This post was published by Anupama Manjunath

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