June 10, 2021
The 35th anniversary of this classic comedy is the perfect excuse to enjoy a day off with family and friends.
It's hard to think of the '80s without coming-of-age movies like "Risky Business," "Footloose" and one of the all-time classics — "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."
June 8 marks the 35th anniversary of this timeless comedy about the adventures of Ferris Bueller and his friends, Cameron and Sloane, as they skip school and get lost in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.
Now is the perfect time to watch the movie with your family (or re-watch for the umpteenth time) and take it a step further — you can build your own Ferris Bueller->Contour Voice Remote to watch now.
Note to parents: We aren't encouraging anyone to create elaborate excuses to skip school ("Bueller…Bueller…Bueller…"), trick their parents or school principal, or ruin an expensive sports car. But we do love Ferris' all-in-for-fun attitude.
My family and I live outside of Chicago, so we can make our day off quite authentic. Among our favorite locations is Cameron's house in Highland Park, where they drove his dad's 250 GT California Spyder through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The architecture (with glass windows fully intact) is certainly worth checking out.
But if you aren't near the Windy City, you can still plan your own family-friendly day off. Pack in all you can into one 24-hour period. After all, as Ferris Bueller, says, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Here are six suggestions to get you started:
Go Up, Up and Away
A visit to Chicago's Sears Tower (now called the Willis Tower) was a must for their day off, even if it made Cameron queasy to be in the (then-) tallest building in Chicago. Today, you can visit the Willis Tower Skydeck and walk out onto “The Ledge," a clear glass platform over the city, instead of climbing on the rail like they did.
If you aren't in Chicago, take in the views from the highest point in your city — whether it be an overlook, a tall building or a lighthouse. Even though Ferris and his friends didn't take selfies, snap one with the view. Here's a guide to the tallest building in every state.
Eat at a Fancy Restaurant
A beloved scene in the movie is when Ferris, Cameron and Sloane try to get a table at an upscale restaurant using the name Abe Froman, the mythical sausage king of Chicago. You don't have to pull any strings or use an alias to get a reservation, but you can take the family somewhere special or just different. Try a new kind of food or get dressed up for a fun night out.
Catch a Baseball Game
Perhaps the defining moment for Ferris Bueller is catching a foul ball at the Cubs game. Who can blame him? It's always very exciting to catch a foul ball — and baseball games make for an ideal day off. We have taken our kids to the Cubs games many times. If you aren't in a city with an MLB team, look for a minor league ball park. They can be just as fun (and more affordable) than major league games.
Visit an Art Museum
The Art Institute of Chicago had not often served as a movie location until "Ferris." A favorite of writer-director John Hughes, the famed museum also provided a moment of reflection in the film. For your day off, check out a local museum — many of them offer special programming for the smaller set.
Check Out a Parade
An iconic scene in the movie is when Ferris takes over the Von Steuben parade, and the whole crowd starts singing and dancing to the Beatles' version of "Twist and Shout." If there's no parade in the vicinity, you can put on "Twist and Shout," turn up the volume and have an epic family dance party instead.
Hit the Beach
When Ferris and Sloane need to calm Cameron (hello, Ferrari), they take him to Glencoe Beach, a beautiful spot on Chicago's North Shore. If a beach is within reach of where you live, spend some time reflecting on your day off. If not, you can take some time to journal, draw or just talk about your awesome day together!