How To Have Your Own 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' in Chicago
Photo courtesy of pyxurz.blogspot.com. All others via Wikimedia Commons unless otherwise noted.
The fall is a great time to get up to Chicago before that stinging, windy, snowy, cold winter comes creeping in. And with the weather so beautiful this time of year, it clearly begs the question, “How could I possibly be expected to handle school/work on a day like this?” If you want to live life in Chi-town like Ferris did, read on.
Willis Tower Observation Deck
The highest of all the places to go on Ferris’ list is the Willis Tower’s Skydeck Chicago. This scene from the movie is terribly easy to recreate by standing on the bars and leaning up against the glass, gazing down and seeing if you can see Cameron’s Dad. The Skydeck is a great chance to see all four sides of Chicago, and if you really are in the mood to freak yourself out a little bit, go out on The Ledge, where you can walk out onto clear glass and literally stand over the traffic below.
The Art Institute of Chicago
In probably one of the most famous scenes during their trip around the city, Ferris and crew head to the Art Institute of Chicago to take in the sights. Allow yourself the better part of a day to check out everything there is to see at the museum and even grab a hot lunch and a beer from their café to enjoy in the courtyard.
If you are looking to see the pieces of artwork that are featured in the movie, stop by the information desk and grab the aptly titled mini-tour brochure, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” which will take you to everything from Chagall’s “America Windows” to Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.”
Take the Red Line on the “L” up to Wrigley Field and take in a day or night game. Recent renovations have included additional concessions, digital scoreboards and big screen with instant replay available for the first time in the stadium's 99-year history. Sit in the outfield, try to catch a ball, and take in the history, Bueller and otherwise.
The fancy French restaurant where Ferris poses as Abe Froman, “The Sausage King of Chicago” is unfortunately a residence that barely resembles the scene from the movie. So if you still want to be the Sausage King of Chicago, we recommend you head over to Jim’s Original. These guys have been serving up polish dogs for over 70 years and serve them the exact same way today. You can get a burger, dog or even a pork chop sandwich if you want, but you have to ask yourself, WWAFD?
Photo courtesy of pyxurz.blogspot.com.
The parade scene in the movie is supposed to be the German-American Parade that takes place in Chicago each September. The place where it was shot contains a giant piece of art entitled, “The Flamingo” which you can see clearly behind Cameron and Sloan as they watch Ferris Twist and Shout down Dearborne Street. The artist is Alexander Calder, and if you aren’t able to see it in person, there is a smaller version of it in the Art Institute of Chicago.
There are a few other places that you can go to and stand outside like Cameron’s House at 370 Beech St in Highland Park, the Chicago Board of Trade which since September 11, 2001 has been unavailable to the general public unless you book a group tour, and the parking deck at the corner of Madison Street and Wells Street, but there isn’t even a parking attendant on duty.
But mostly, if you really want to take the day off, head up to the Windy City for the weekend, and stop and look around once in a while. You wouldn’t want to miss it.
More by Tom Bastek
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