See Chicago’s Holiday Lights Sparkle from the Sky

As the countdown to the holidays quickly ticks by, the excitement that envelopes the city of Chicago is abundant.  From the 62 feet tall Norway Spruce donated by Darlene Dorfler as the star of Chicago’s 104th Christmas Tree lighting, to the 250 trees lining the Magnificent Mile, to the ZooLights of Lincoln Park Zoo to the green and red bulbs adorning the windows of Chicago’s many skyscrapers – the city is shining bright!!  If you are a resident of the city, or one of its suburbs, it is likely that you have seen these lights twinkling at some point through the years.  And if you are a visitor to the city, you may be wondering the best way to see these amazing holiday light displays.  Either way, why not view the spectacular lights as they sparkle from the sky? From now through January 7th, Vertiport Chicago VIP Helicopter Tours, is offering holiday lights tours as a unique, unparalleled way to see Chicago’s holiday lights as they twinkle with holiday magic.

Vertiport’s Holiday Lights Tours are available Thursday – Sunday, 5:30pm-9:00pm with other days and times available upon request.  See all that Chicago has to offer from a vantage point high above the city on a 12-15 minute tour offers breathtaking views of:  Willis (Sears) Tower, Millennium Park, the Magnificent Mile and More!! The 27-30 minute tours includes all of these landmarks plus Wrigley Field, the Museum Campus, Soldier Field and more! Both tours offer private or shared tour options.  All tours begin and end at Vertiport Chicago, Chicago’s only downtown heliport, conveniently located at 1339 South Wood in the Illinois Medical District.

Book online at or call 877-902-9292.  Use promo code HELIDAYTREATS when booking for a special treat of hot cocoa and candy canes.

Reserve your holiday lights tour today, with Vertiport Chicago VIP Helicopter Tours, Chicago’s premier helicopter tour company!

Be sure to check in on social media and tag us @vertiporttours or #iflewvertiport for a chance to be re-posted on our social media.

#ChicagoHome  #ChooseChicago  #HolidayLightsChicago

Vertiport Chicago Opens The Helipad – A Shop For Helicopter Fans

By Michael Cusack

The Helipad

Vertiport CVertiport Chicago Helipad Helicopter Souvenirshicago, the nation’s largest dedicated airport for helicopters, recently opened its onsite gift store – the Helipad.  The Helipad is a retail shop for heliport buffs and just regular folks. Featuring a wide range of items from scale model helicopters to unique award-winning art, the Helipad has something for everyone. 

In addition to helicopter-themed T-shirts and hats, the Helipad has a collection of items that should interest helicopter aficionados.  Vertiport Chicago has collaborated with two amazing organizations, Rhino Air and The Chicago Lighthouse, to bring helicopter-related items to the store that help support their efforts. 

Rhino Air 

Rhino Air is a South Africa-based, non-profit organization that works with game wardens in South Africa’s game Vertiport Helipad Rhino Air extensive preserves to combat rhino poaching.  Worldwide, all species of rhinoceros are under severe pressure as they are killed for their horns which are then used in traditional folk medicine remedies. Poachers hunt down the rhinos with assault rifles or poison, cut off the horns with a chain saw and leave the adult animals to bleed to death. Without the protection of mature adults, young animals then become easy prey for larger predators. If this carnage is left unchecked, rhinos could be facing extinction in a few decades. 

Rhino Air pilots use advanced thermal technology (as pictured) to find poachers at night and then guide park rangers on the ground to intercept poachers before they can kill rhinos.  Seen here is an image of the FLIR 8500 thermal imaging goggles in use, mounted on the nose of a Rhino Air helicopter. Because the pilots can effectively seeVertiport Helipad Rhino Air Pilot in the dark they are able to fly much stealthier and track poachers unseen. Rhino Air pilots are experts in night flying with hundreds of hours of flight experience. 

Vertiport Chicago supports the Rhino Air efforts through the proceeds of T-shirt and hat sales to Rhino Air.  These proceeds go towards the support of aircraft, fuel, parts, pilots, and mechanics.  When you buy a Rhino Air shirt or hat at the Helipad, you are helping in the global fight against wildlife poaching. 


The Chicago Lighthouse 

The Helipad also sells Chicago-themed clocks in partnership with The Chicago Lighthouse.  The Chicago Lighthouse is a world-renowned social service organization serving the blind, visually impaired, disabled and veteran communities with comprehensive vision care and support services.A Chicago institution, having been founded in 1906, The Chicago Lighthouse is widely known for its pioneering work to provide jobs for the visually impaired, providing them with the ability to be financially independent and productive. Perhaps The Chicago Lighthouse is most widely known for its line of wall clocks. The Chicago Lighthouse began producing wall clocks in 1977 for sale to the federal government. Today, it sells to federal, state and municipal agencies, as well as to the commercial market. To date, The Chicago Lighthouse has built and sold more than 5.75 million clocks and counting. Chances are if you are in a state, county, municipal, or federal building you’ve sat in front of a Chicago Lighthouse clock. 

The Chicago Lighthouse, The Helipad and Chicago’s own award-wining photographer Nick Ulivieri have collaborated to produce a line of Chicago-themed wall clocks featuring Nick’s art. Working together, the three-way collaboration continues to support the financial independence of the visually impaired. 

These clocks capture the breath-taking beauty of Chicago’s spectacular skyline. The clocks are for sale at the Helipad in a range of sizes and dial designs, all featuring Chicago as seen from the air. Below you can see the images selected for the clock faces before they are assembled. All clocks come with a 3-year warranty and can be shipped from Vertiport Chicago.  

Vertiport Chicago Helipad Custom Clocks 

In addition, The Helipad has worked with The Chicago Lighthouse to provide you with a custom clock service. If you have a picture from a flight at Vertiport Chicago or in fact, any picture at all, send it to us and we will work with The Chicago Lighthouse to create a one of a kind clock with your image as the clock face. 

Nick Ulivieri-Chicago Photographer 

Extending its work with Nick Ulivieri, The Helipad offers his work in a larger format, up to 6 x 8’, printed on fabric with a collapsible frame for ease of shipping. These high-resolution images bring home the sweeping expanse of Chicago’s magnificent skyline. 

Helicopter Souvenirs 

Rounding out its line-up, the Helipad offers a range of helicopter and aviation souvenirs from scale model, metal die cast helicopters to models carved in fine hardwood and on to diecut models of notable Chicago buildings like the Hancock or Willis (Sears Tower). 

Next time you are looking for a unique gift you can stop by the Helipad at Vertiport Chicago 1339 S Wood Street in the Illinois Medical District.

While you’re there, consider taking a helicopter tour of the Lake Michigan shoreline for an unforgettable experience. My favorite time is at dusk so you can get spectacular lighting over the lake to the east or to the west, with the setting sun backlighting the City of Broad shoulders. Sweet Home Chicago. Visit our web site to view tour details and book your seat today! 

Chicago Helicopter Tours – A Beautiful Way to See the City

By Michael Cusack

Chicago is famous worldwide for its dramatic skyline and diverse architecture, spanning the history of skyscrapers. Most people see Chicago from street level and that view itself is impressively neck-craning. Others venture out down the Chicago River on Chicago’s architectural boat tours. 

Now there is a third way and it may be the most impressive of all: by helicopter. Vertiport Chicago, North America’s largest helicopter airport, is located just minutes from downtown. You can make your reservation on Navy Pier and grab a free Lyft over to Vertiport Chicago. From there, you take off from the  Vertiport and see all the major sights from the air:  Shedd Aquarium;  Adler Planetarium; Navy Pier and its Ferris wheel; Millennium Park and the Cloud Gate sculpture (locals call it the Bean); all the famous sports venues including, Soldier Field, home of the NFL Chicago Bears; Major League Baseball’s White Sox and their Guaranteed Rate Field; the United Center, home of the NHL  Blackhawks and the NBA Bulls; and finally Wrigley Field, home of the always lovable and now invincible, World Champion Chicago Cubs. 

On the way back you fly through the city for a close-up view of the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower. If you’re lucky there will be people outside on the Skydeck ledge that you can wave to as they take your picture flying by! 

Chicago Skyline Helicoppter Tour
Chicago Helicopter Tour Skyline View

Depending on the time of day you choose for your flight, you can catch the sunrise on the iconic lakefront or setting behind the City of Broad Shoulders for a truly remarkable view. If there is a special someone in your life, then I recommend taking off in time to catch the liquid golden light of sunset backlighting the skyline as the lake sinks into the cobalt blue of evening. By the time the sun has set the lights below look like jewels scattered on black velvet.   I call these golden hour flights, the perfect time for a special occasion.

We’ve hosted anniversaries, birthdays, quinceaneras, bar/bat mitzvahs and proms but best of all are the proposal flights. We very much enjoy hearing about all the plotting and scheming that goes into an engagement proposal. Our pilots are happy to participate, hiding the ring, flowers, chocolate, or champagne. What a treat to for us to see the happy couple after one of these flights! 

Call Vertiport Chicago today at 877-902-9292 and let us help you set up your perfect helicopter tour!  Tours are operated by Vertiport Chicago’s operator partners.