A pancake breakfast and free airplane rides for kids sounds too good to be true but that's what's happening at the Poplar Grove airport once a month starting this May. 

Getting on an airplane without your parents as a kid is one of the coolest things ever. It was something I was able to do at the age of 5.

If this had happened today, I'm pretty sure my parents might be arrested, but this was 1985 and things were a little different. My parents loaded me on an airplane when I was 5 years old to go visit my aunt in California. Fortunately, they didn't make me take the bus to O'Hare, they did actually drive me there and walk me to the gate.

A flight attendant took me to my seat where I was seated between two men. I remember them very distinctly. The guy to my right talked to me and helped me with my invisible ink book, one of these:


The guy to my right helped me cut my steak (this is back when full meals were served in coach) and I was positive it was the dad from Webster, George Papadopolis AKA Alex Karras.


Now I realize the odds of former NFLer and star of a hot prime time sitcom probably isn't sitting in coach, but you cannot convince me that Alex Karras did not cut my meat when I was 5-years-old.

The trip back was a lot less eventful. The only hiccup was when American Airlines, tried to tell my aunt that I needed my parents at the airport for them to allow me to fly by myself. My aunt politely pointed out the flaw in their logic of letting my parents send me off in Chicago by myself and then not letting me go back to Chicago and they eventually decided to let me on the plane.

I don't remember much of the trip to be honest but I definitely remember flying by myself. It was fun, but it was a lot more fun to do it without my parents.

Give your kids the thrill of flying by themselves during this awesome pancake breakfast that is being put on by the Experimental Aviation Association.

The 2nd Sunday of every month starting in May, so these dates:

  • May 9
  • June 13
  • July 11
  • August 8
  • September 12
  • October 10

...the EAA will be holding a pancake breakfast at the Poplar Grove Airport from 7A-12P.

At this breakfast, weather permitting, kids aged 8-17 can take to the sky in one of their Young Eagle Airplane Rides.

Here's a video of one of their flights with a young brother and sister:

The price is very reasonable as well. $7 for adults and only $4 for kids. And you get pancakes. Pretty cool.

Visit their website for full details.

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