Director: John Hughes

Cast: Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Grey, Mia Sara

Location: Chicago, Illinois

“Ferris Bueller, you’re my hero”

I read a fantastic article in The Onion recently. By all accounts this is probably not the best way to start one’s own article, but sharing is caring and I’m not about to monopolize all the online lifestyle publications the web has to offer. The title read as follows: “Find The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life”. As a 22 year-old charged with the simple task of choosing my life calling and making sure it offers a decent salary, it was a headline whose irony was not lost on me.

Starting a 9-to-5 after four years free from responsibility and the sound of ‘Marimba’ every weekday morning was a shock to the system like no other. Gone were the spontaneous ‘Black Sundays’, impromptu road trips and last-minute city breaks. Suddenly I no longer had the option of joining an Italian class, learning how to make the perfect Martini or starting my own Bling Ring. Not that I would have actually done any of these things – it was the fact that I could, the hypothetical freedom to do so, that kept me so blissfully content.

As teenagers we spent so much effort crafting the perfect “sick day”: the genius (or often not so genius) excuses, the intense carpe diem urgency, the determination to make every truant hour count. It is both painful and illogical to me that as we get older, this sort of deviant behaviour become less acceptable. ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ is the perfect reminder to each and every one of us to “play hooky” a little more often. After all, we’re staring down the barrel of about 45 years of perfect attendance; surely skiving should be a priority, even if you risk getting the sack rather than getting detention.

And what better place to have John Hughes’ tale of truancy unfold, than in Chicagoland. The hometown of the director – the man behind some of the greatest stories of youthful spontaneity ever told – provides the perfect playground for Ferris, Sloane and Cameron.

You may not steal your dad’s Ferrari, sing ‘Twist And Shout’ to a parade full of people or pose as the Sausage King of Chicago, but I can guarantee you that pulling a sick day in one of the greatest cities in the U.S. of A. will be just what the doctor ordered.

 

PLAY

“The question isn’t ‘what are we going to do,’ the question is ‘what aren’t we going to do?’”

Wrigley Field: Ferris and his friends indulge in the classic American pastime of going to watch a ballgame – an experience made even sweeter by the fact that they’re missing their economics class to do so. Make sure you plan a visit while it’s still baseball season and for god’s sake cheer for the Cubs.

Steuben Parade: Forget Oktoberfest. The real party is on September 7th when Chicago celebrates all things German. It’s this very parade where Ferris commandeers a float and performs what can only be described as one of the greatest musical moments of cinematic history.

Glencoe Beach: If the sweltering city heat is too much for you, then head to Lake Michigan’s prized beach spot on the North Shore. It’s at this picturesque location where Cameron realizes just how much damage they’ve done to his father’s Ferrari. We suggest you avoid car drama and rent a boat for the day instead.

 

SEE

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Art Institute of Chicago: They may be skipping school, but that doesn’t mean Ferris and co. can’t educate themselves in one of the finest collections of art America has to offer. Make sure you catch the Institute’s exhibition on Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity running until September.

The Flamingo: Located in Chicago’s Federal Plaza, Alexander Calder’s Flamingo sculpture encapsulates the modern vibrancy of the city. This spindly, vermillion mass of steel is perfect Instagram material.

Marina City: Equally quirky are the two architectural gems that make up the Marina City building complex. These corncob structures are said to have been the inspiration for the Corinthian Tower in New York.

 

VISIT

“Anything is peaceful from one thousand, three hundred and fifty-three feet.”

Skydeck at the Sears Tower: At a staggering 103 stories (and exactly as many feet as our hero describes), Chicago’s Skydeck makes the Shard seem miniature. No wonder it’s the first stop the teens make in the city.

Chicago Board of Trade: This magnificent building at the foot of the LaSalle Street Canyon is a prime destination for architecture enthusiasts and finance fiends alike. It’s here that Ferris proposes to Sloane while Cameron gives the trading floor a whirl.

The Tribune Tower: Built in 1922, this impressive neo-gothic building is a prominent landmark in Chicago. Unsurprisingly, Hughes makes sure to get a shot of it as soon as the truants arrive in the city.

 

EAT

“Four thousand restaurants in the downtown area, I pick the one my father goes to.”

Henri: In the film, Ferris blags his way into fancy French restaurant humorously named Chez Quis. Sadly, the restaurant scene was filmed in L.A., but if you’re in the mood for a first-class Gallic meal then we suggest you pay a visit to Chicago’s Henri.

Smith & Wollensky: Back at Marina City why not add to your day of indulgence with a good old-fashioned American steak. Adjacent to ‘The Loop’ (also featured in the film), this two-story restaurant offers fantastic views across the Chicago River.

Alinea: Want to make yours a day to remember? Then book in advance at Alinea and enjoy one of the top 50 restaurants in the world. It’s an experience that doesn’t come cheap – but if Ferris has taught us anything, but nothing fabulous ever does.

“Are you also aware, Mrs. Bueller, that Ferris does not have what we consider to be an exemplary attendance record?”

Words by Lindsay Carlson, @princesslindsay

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