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May 2016 – HANG GLIDE CHICAGO: MOM’S BUCKET LIST For the past few years, I have put the Mom back in Mom’s Black Book for our May Mother’s Day issue. I have used the opportunity to seize my own personal need for adventure, which usually involves thrilling and unusual activities on my bucket list; such as, swimming with the Dolphins at the Indianapolis Zoo or taking a road trip to see Mount Rushmore.

Having two girls that share my extreme gene, we hit the road and traveled south for a little over an hour to soar with the birds – quite literally – fly! I have always wanted to try Hang Gliding, but living in the Midwest did not seem to offer many opportunities, until I discovered Hang Glide Chicago. Better yet, there are no age restrictions, making this a kid friendly activity so long as your child is over 3’5” tall.

My Marissa, who has triumphantly; yet, hesitantly, tackled her fear of heights through many of our adventures thought she might pass on this activity since this would indeed push that anxiety to the nth degree. After our brief safety instructional class, I stayed back in the hanger to take photos, as the kids went first. I watched Tessa and her tandem instructor soar to great heights, while waving to us enthusiastically as the tug plane gained elevation and she confidently pulled the release to free fly back to earth. Next, a friend of theirs took to the skies, and I held my breath wondering if Marissa would take her position for flight. Within minutes, I watched her conquer her fears again and I could see her smile in the clouds!

Next up – mom! My heart raced – I couldn’t believe I was finally doing this! When I pulled the release to free fly, I felt on top of the world – probably because I truly was – I was flying – and it was quite possibly my most relaxing and peaceful ‘mom moment’ of the year.

Overview Hang Glide Chicago™, established in 1998, is a local launch pad known for their fun, thrilling, adrenaline pumping, and most importantly, safe hang gliding operations.

Hang Glide Chicago 3234 N 700 East Road Chebanse, IL 60922 (219) 746-1480

Hours: Weekends; by appointment; sunrise to sunset; May until it gets too cold to fly

Price $: Prices vary depending on package selected

about the writer Naperville mom Kristen Kucharski graduated from Illinois State University in 1992 with an International Business Degree. She is married and has two energetic daughters and her house is always full of children. Kristen’s column titled, Mom's Little Black Book, is a monthly feature written for moms who are looking for ways to keep their kids busy.

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