The New Front Row Seat for Fireworks

Chicago Fireworks Vertiport Helicopter TourFireworks. That one word most likely evokes instant childhood memories. Celebrating the Fourth of July, with family and friends meant waving a sparkler in the hot summer night air, as you ran around waiting for the magical show that would soon encompass the ebony sky. Trying not to step on anyone’s feet as those around carefully protected the small section of grass they had carved out to gaze at the sky with their own family. And finally, laying back on a blanket and watching in wonderment as the beautiful bursts of color popped high above, letting out an excited “ooh” and “ahh” as you compared your favorite combinations of colors and patterns above. The Fourth of July was magical and, at one time, the only way and day you could see these grand fireworks shows.

As time went on, though, Chicago’s surrounding suburbs sometimes varied viewing dates to July 3rd or 5th. Thus began a fun game of coordination to go with friends to watch in your own community on one date but then to get an encore the next in a nearby town, prolonging the magic an extra day or two. As you compared which town had the best and most brilliant fireworks, and where you could find the best view through trees and surrounding buildings, plans would already begin percolating for the next Fourth of July extravaganza.

Anyone who has watched Chicago’s fireworks knows that our city has spoiled us over the years with its awesome fireworks and many magnificent places to watch its breath taking display of lights and pageantry. There was a break wall just off of DuSable Harbor that used to provide a secret and unique view of the lights from the lake side for those who knew how to access it, while a hidden berm near the now spectacular Maggie Daley Park made you feel a bit closer to the fireworks above. Even in the years that the best view you could get to was out of your car’s sun roof, in the grid locked traffic on the arterial streets of the city, the fireworks shows in Chicago are nothing short of spectacular.

In recent past, Chicago’s Navy Pier has brought the excitement of fireworks to the city all summer long. With fireworks every Wednesday and Saturday night from Memorial Day through Labor Day, there are many opportunities for you to gather with friends and family to watch the show. With viewing options from outside as you stroll along the Pier, or inside perched on the stairs in Exhibition Hall near the full windows, you may feel as up close as you can get. But there is another way to view the amazing fireworks, that is even more spectacular – and that is from a helicopter tour!

Vertiport Chicago VIP Helicopter Tours offers their Chicago Fireworks Tour, all summer long, every Wednesday and Best View of FIreworks Vertiport Helicoter TourSaturday night, in sync with the Navy Pier schedule. This tour offers the best view of the city’s visually exploding fireworks from Chicago’s only Enstrom 480B Helicopter, designed for the ultimate tour experience, with windows above, below and all around! Imagine soaring above the city in this tour, with unobstructed views allowing you to catch glimpses of the fireworks from all angles in the sky. The view is unmatched! Best of all, this is a private flight for up to 4 people making it perfect for a special evening for a family, a group of friends or to entertain out of town guests. With only one tour available for each scheduled fireworks show, though, you must reserve quick! Learn more and book online or call today 877-902-9292 Ext. 1 to find out what dates are still available for the best view of the fireworks in Chicago!

Don’t miss out on this one of a kind experience and add to your memory book of fireworks shows!

Fly The Sky

Are you looking for an adventure – something new and exciting to try in Chicago? How does flying a helicopter sound? This unique experience is brand new to the Chicago sky and offered only at Vertiport Chicago. The Chicago Pilot Experience is exactly what it says – an opportunity for YOU to experience being an actual helicopter pilot!  Chicago Pilot Experience VertiportThis ultimate flight experience takes place in a Guimbal Cabri G2, which includes a dual set of controls in the cockpit. Similar to the Drivers’ Ed cars you may have learned to drive in – these dual controls allow you to assist in your own flight over the city under the careful watch of a highly credentialed pilot and instructor.

This one of a kind experience begins at Vertiport Chicago’s world class facility located in downtown Chicago in the Illinois Medical District.  Upon arrival, you will check in and meet your instructor for this adventure.  Your instructor will take you through a half hour pre flight review in Vertiport’s luxurious dedicated lounge, going over safety and critical instruction points for you to be able to take control of your flight.  Once you have passed the pre flight review, you will walk down the red carpet, like a true VIP, and pause in front of the Guimbal Cabri G2 you’ll be flying for a photo to mark your adventure.

Next up, you and your instructor will board the Guimbal and share the 2 seat cockpit. As you take off towards Chicago’s breathtaking skyline, your instructor will turn over the controls to you to complete your in flight experience over the city. The total experience is approximately 1 hour and includes 30 minute pre flight review and instruction and 20-30 minutes in flight.

As an added memory, you can even purchase a special souvenir video of your experience that you can share with friends and family to showcase YOUR Chicago Pilot Experience.

Reserve your Chicago Pilot Experience today online or by calling 877-902-9292, extension 3.  This also makes a perfect gift for the adventurer in your life!

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.