Flying Over the Plaza Lights with KC Copters
As regular readers of this site know, I am a Kansas City girl through and through. I "never" (exceptions only for illness) miss the Country Club Plaza Lighting Ceremony (sadly this was one of those years), and the Plaza Lights as a Christmas tradition is in my DNA. In fact, my first word as an infant was light - because of the Plaza Lights (my husband claims I was forecasting our future... :) ).
When I was a college student, my grandfather gifted me with a ride over the Plaza Lights in a small plane - it was magical! Then, a few years later when my husband and I were engaged, he took me on a ride over the lights as a Christmas gift. And, once more we took a flight with a friend who pilots small planes many years ago when our oldest was a baby.
It had long been on our wishlist to take our girls for a flight over the lights, and this year, thanks to our Christmas gift from KC Parent and KC Copters... we did!
This was the first helicopter flight for our family and it truly was spectacular. All four of my girls want to go again!
KC Copters, a Johnny Rowlands Company, offers a wide variety of copter tour packages. You may choose a package departing from the Johnson County Airport or the Downtown Kansas City Airport. You may also choose how long your flight and what you'll see according to the package you purchase. Each copter has four seats - one for the pilot and three passengers. As there are six people in my family, we chose two short 15 minute flights over Downtown and the Country Club Plaza.
We called KC Copters to book the flight and Madeleine, who schedules everything, did a great job with instructions, emailing directions to the airport and which terminal you want, and all the details. We chose Friday night, December 1... I was excited - having missed the ceremony this year due to illness - this was a fabulous subsitute!
We arrived at the airport twenty minutes before our scheduled flight to sign waivers, use the restroom, and they offered cookies for the children.
For our family, we opted to have one parent and two children in each of our two groupings. There are two pilots working each night, one sets up groups and escorts them to the copter and buckles everyone in, the other is your actual pilot for the flight. Helicopters have to be "reasonably" balanced to fly - so the pilots assign everyone their seats. For us, that meant adult diagonal from the pilot and girls in the other two seats - one next to the pilot. The girls did each decide that among them (next to the pilot is the best seat in my opinion - what a view).
Everyone is buckled in and provided with a headset, which helps block the noise from the chopper and also allows the pilot and passengers to communicate. I pointed out the various buildings downtown for my girls throughout the flight - you can clearly see the Kauffman Performing Arts Center, Sprint Center, Power & Light District, Power & Light Building, Union Station, Crown Center, the Mayor's Tree, Liberty Memorial, Westport, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Plaza, etc. Everything is vivid and clear - the girls commented that the cars and people below looked like toys.
Our fifteen minute flight was beautiful, with several times around the Plaza - going both directions. We then headed back to the airport, and my husband and next two girls took off on their flight.
Our family had a wonderful time with KC Copters - the staff was friendly and hospitable, the pilots did a great job, and we highly recommend this as a holiday family memory. And, if you'd love a flight with KC Copters, I have GREAT NEWS! KC Parent is giving away a FREE Flight... just enter to win by Dec. 8!
Photos from our Plaza Lights Flight with KC Copters: