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Hot Places to Stay Cool: Throw caution to the wind at iFly

'Morning Show' anchors soar to new heights with indoor skydiving adventure

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – "The Morning Show" team will be out and about this week looking for places to help you beat the heat as the searing summer temps continue to scorch us.

We're starting with one of the breeziest spots in town: the newly opened iFly off Town Center Parkway and St. Johns Bluff Road South.

Not only is the indoor skydiving venue a great place to keep cool during summer vacation, but your family can also get a taste of what it’s like to jump out of an airplane.

RELATED: Morning Show's places you gotta go

“It’s as close as you are going to get to actual skydiving without going up in a plane,” meteorologist Richard Nunn said after "The Morning Show" crew took a field trip to try out iFly's facilities.

Anchor Jennifer Waugh admitted she was scared at first, but the experience turned out to be a lot of fun.

“It wasn't what I expected. You kind of have this sensation that you want to hold your breath, but then you kind of relax and it's really peaceful,” Waugh said.

First, we suited up and donned our protective helmets. Then we chose either goggles to cover our eyes or helmets with a shield to fully cover our faces -- depending on how much exposure we wanted to the wind.  

Know before you go

Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Packages range from $70 to $300

Next, our flight instructor gave us some basic instructions and the lowdown on what to expect during the “flight.”

And because it’s noisy in the wind tunnel, we learned to communicate using some basic hand signals. 

We were told to keep our chins up, our elbows out and our hands forward -- and to relax.

Then it was time to head into the vertical wind tunnel chamber that clocks windspeeds high enough to keep flyers afloat.

“You walk in and the wind just swoops you up! It’s amazing,” anchor Melanie Lawson said. “It's a workout. You're really using all your muscles.”

For me, it felt like trying to stay afloat on top of waves in the ocean.

If you're interested in taking your family on a “flight,” flyers can be as young as 3 years old. Anyone under the age of 17 will need a parent or guardian to sign their waiver. 

About the Authors:

This Emmy Award-winning television, radio and newspaper journalist has anchored The Morning Show for 18 years.

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.