While the serious business of flying and space exploration is left to the experts, regular mortals like you and me can indulge our yen to “take off,” so to speak, via more accessible but no less thrilling activities. Switch it up the next time you’re looking for a thrill with any of these exhilarating flying adventures in Connecticut.

Adventure Balloon, Inc.
PO Box 55
Plymouth, CT 06782
(860) 584-1300

This company provides hot air balloon rides and private charters for individuals and larger groups. It has experts in the field field of flight, with intimate knowledge of their stomping grounds – central Connecticut. Adventure Balloon will take you soaring serenely over the gentle Litchfield Hills and Farmington Valley. Totally immersed in the “Sport of Ballooning,” the company offers diverse professional and commercial services to businesses and individuals including advertising, flight instruction, equipment sales and balloon event management. It lives up to its mission to provide the best possible ballooning experience.

Connecticut Parachutists, Inc.
Ellington Airport
360 Sommers Road
Ellington, CT 06029
(860) 871-0021

Located centrally in CT, just 15 minutes north of Hartford, CPI was founded in 1962 amid the rolling green surroundings of Ellington Airport. Most weekends and holidays, from 9 a.m. to sunset, it is the venue for a great day of jumping – for individual lesson takers, pros or gala events. Total newbies can be ready to jump after a mere 30 minutes of expert instruction. Tandem jumps, under a single parachute system with dual controls and seasoned instructors, initiate students safely into the solo training programs. The conjoined free-fall drops from up to two miles or 4,000 feet above the earth. The adrenaline-pumping experience takes in fabulous views of the gentle Connecticut landscape. The Club takes care to invest in the newest, most advanced equipment to ensure quality and safety to all students and participants.

Sport Flying of Connecticut
53 Miry Brook Road
Danbury, CT 06810
(203) 895-1204

Sport Flying of Connecticut was founded by Tony Debany, a veteran flight instructor and designated pilot examiner for light sport. His aim is to make available the sport of light plane flying to local and neighboring aficionados in a variety of airborne vehicles. There is a choice of skiplanes, tricycle-gear, tailwheel and seaplanes. He pays great attention to the safety as well as entertainment aspects of his business. The seaplane training is located in panoramic southwestern Connecticut over the many picturesque lakes and rivers that abound in the area. The land-based training in the other aircraft is delivered at various sites in and around Waterbury and Danbury. Sport Flying of Connecticut is one of the few flight schools specializing in Sport Pilot Training and Certification and rental of light sport aircraft. This professional outfit is respectful of its neighbors and the environment, practicing and promoting minimum safe altitudes and noise abatement procedures.

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Empower Leadership Sports and Adventure Center
2011 S. Main St.
Middletown, CT 06457
(860) 638-4754

Empower has programs for everyone that thrill, motivate and “empower” one to exploit one’s full potential through a fun and memorable experience. A choice of activities provides a fun, unique and safe adventure. The zip-lining activities include the Zip Line Canopy Tour, the Canopy Plus Scavenger Hunt and the Canopy Plus Tree Climb with varying levels of difficulty. A great time is had by all, regardless of age, experience and ability. With its wide range of services, Empower is the perfect bonding, developmental and team-building experience for individuals, friends, families, school groups, corporations, athletic teams, clubs, park and rec campers or other groups.

Lake Compounce Family Theme Park
822 Lake Ave.
Bristol, CT 06010
(860) 583-3300

Purists will not consider The Skycoaster a true bungee jump, as it does not utilize elastic cables. However, it is the nearest relative to it in Connecticut, and the only permanent bungee jump in CT. And to the uninitiated, it still seems like the biggest bungee jump in the world. One of the many thrill rides at the Lake Compounce Family Theme Park, it has a drop of 180 feet that reaches speeds over 60 mph. Those indulging in this extreme activity dive from a high platform or bridge while attached by a strong cord, harnessed to the ankles. The park will provide the special jumpsuit-cum-harness linked to the rig by a steel carabiner. The entire experience from donning the flight suit to stepping out of it at the end of your flight takes approximately five minutes.

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Bina Joseph, a resident of Glastonbury, CT is a freelance writer covering all things travel-related in Connecticut.
A passionate veteran of the travel industry, Bina has visited more than 40 countries, giving her a unique, global perspective. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.