Friday, May 24, 2024

Web Extra: (More) Experiential Gift Ideas

With the holiday season ramping up, studies have shown that more Americans prefer experiences over physical gifts, as featured in our “Are You Experienced” feature in the November-December issue of Boca magazine. Want even more nontraditional gift ideas like those featured in the print edition? These two high-flying options are perfect for the skygazers and gravity-defiers on your list.

Full of Hot Air

There’s nothing like viewing the Magic City while packed into a giant picnic basket, surrounding by friends and strangers, from the comfort of an airborne vessel emblazoned with palm trees, a sunrise and ribbons of color. On a trip with Balloon Over Miami, attendees will float above the Miami skyline and experience unparalleled views of Key Biscayne, the Everglades and the Keys for 45 minutes to an hour.

Your giftees will be in safe hands under the direction of Capt. Aaron Farber, a certified Commercial Lighter-Than-Air pilot. And, in a tradition dating back to the first manned balloon flight ca. 1783, the event will conclude with a Champagne toast and light food. The cost runs $250 for a “shared adventure,” and $400 for an exclusive trip to the clouds.

Call 305/987-7788 or visit

Diver Down

No matter how many people tell me how safe skydiving is—that George H.W. Bush skydived at 90, or that a 104-year-old Chicago woman dived out of a plane in Chicago just this month in an effort to break a Guinness World Record—this is not something I will ever muster the courage to attempt in my lifetime. My knees wobble when I peer out the balcony of a mid-level high-rise. But simulating the effect of skydiving from the comfort of a controlled wind tunnel? That’s another story, and it’s one that iFLY has been telling (and selling) since it opened its first location, in Orlando, 1998.

There are now more than 80 iFLY locations worldwide, each of them offering the experience of suiting up and riding the wind through the marvel of modern technology. Prior to your “flight,” you will watch an experienced instructor achieve remarkable feats of aerial acrobatics in the tunnel. You’ll want to leave the showmanship aside and just enjoy the feeling of defying gravity for a hot minute.

The closest iFLY is at 11690 W. State Road 84, Davie; call 954/280-4359.

This Web Extra is from the November/December issue of Boca magazine. For more like this, click here to subscribe to the magazine.

John Thomason
John Thomason
As the A&E editor of, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

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