Illinois bungee jumping
Fly without wings near the Windy City. (Photo: Karl Weatherly/Photodisc/Getty Images )
If you are an extreme sports junkie, bungee jumping from cranes, buildings, bridges, helicopters or hot air balloons is the ultimate thrill. A single plunge turns you into a human yo-yo, but how else are you going to experience such an intense adrenaline rush? When you’re looking to catch air near Chicago, don’t attempt to jump solo at unknown locations. Instead, explore safer options that won’t land you in hot water.
Go With a Pro
Bungee jumping is an epic adventure you’ll want to live to tell about. Consequently, it pays to take the dive with experienced professionals who own certified bungee jumping equipment. Luxergy is a company offering bungee jumping expeditions in the Chicagoland area. It also offers jumps at various spots around the state, including Rockford, Elgin, Peoria and Waukegan. You must register and pay for your bungee trip prior to your jump date.
Free Fall at a Fair
Given the sparse number of professional bungee jumping companies in and around Chicago, you may have to get your fix at a local fair or festival. In 2013, the annual Lincoln Art and Balloon Festival in Lincoln, Illinois, featured a four-person bungee jump at Logan County Airport. Various vendors also offer hybrid bungee jumping opportunities at Chicago-area carnivals and other outdoor events such as Edison Park Fest in the Windy City’s northern suburbs. The quasi-bungee jumping device is often referred to as Euro Bungee. It employs a safety harness, multiple bungee cords and special trampolines to replicate the gravity-defying experience of a traditional bungee jump. Once you’re strapped in, the device catapults you up to 25 feet in the air without fear of crashing into anything other than a springy trampoline on the way down.
Go Big at Great America
Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, is a haven for thrill seekers, but it’s not just the roller coasters offering high-flying fun. The popular theme park, located 45 minutes north of downtown Chicago, is home to Daredevil Dive. The stunt apparatus will quench your thirst for bungee jumping with its 120-foot free fall. Prior to your plummet, you’ll be strapped into a safety harness and hoisted 12 stories into the air in-between two metal crane booms. Strike a Superman pose and prepare for an epic plunge. If you are 54 inches or taller, you may ride the Daredevil Dive solo. Riders who are less than 42 inches tall must ride with an adult. Up to three bungee fans can experience the ride together; however, it will cost $35 per person in addition to the park’s general admission fee.
Look Before You Leap
Like any sport, bungee jumping comes with risks. However, you can reduce the odds of getting hurt by selecting a reputable company to jump with. Illinois Carnival and Amusement Ride Safety Division of the Department of Labor maintains that bungee jumping apparatus used at fairs, festivals and other public events must comply with the same regulations as other carnival rides. The state requires bungee jumping operators to obtain a license, which is only issued to companies that have $1 million in liability insurance and pass a review by a state inspector. Prior to getting your bungee jumping fix, seek out licensed operators or you may end up paying dearly for their downfall.