Chicago celebrates the charismatic slacker 30 years after “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
CHICAGO — This summer marks the 30th anniversary of a Chicago classic, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” and you can celebrate the milestone by playing hooky at some Chicago hotels. Or show up for “Ferris Fest,” May 20-22.
The Palmer House Hilton’s “Bueller’s Chicago” package invites people to make like Matthew Broderick and re-create Ferris’ day of big-city fun. After all, life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
You’ll be armed with a script of sorts to follow in Ferris’ footsteps, as well as a soundtrack in the form of a Spotify playlist, featuring The Beatles’ “Twist and Shout” and Wayne Newton’s “Danke Schoen,” among other tunes.
Drop by some of the iconic locations highlighted in the 1986 film, such as Wrigley Field, Willis Tower (Sears Tower back then) and Alexander Calder’s orange-red Flamingo sculpture in Federal Plaza. Other notable spots in the Loop include the site of the rollicking parade scene and the parking garage where Ferris leaves the Ferrari.
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The package comes with two passes to the Art Institute of Chicago, where you’re encouraged to re-create the contemplative pose struck by Ferris and his BFFs, Cameron and Sloane, and to post a photo of it on social media for the chance to win a prize.
Make a dinner reservation under the name Abe Froman, Sausage King of Chicago, at Lockwood Restaurant in the Palmer House, 17 E. Monroe St., to receive special white-glove service. (Or seek out a French restaurant that serves extra large portions of snootiness along with those steak frites.)
Buffet breakfast for two at Lockwood is part of the package, priced starting at $258 a night and available through the end of the year by calling 312-726-7500.
Hotel Lincoln, 1816 N. Clark St., also is offering a “Save Ferris” package, priced from $299 to $499 per night with a two-night minimum. It includes overnight accommodations in the Lincoln Park hotel, two tickets to the Art Institute, two tickets to the Skydeck at Willis Tower, a pair of tickets to a Cubs game and a copy of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” on Blu-ray. The package is available through Sept. 20, blackout dates apply.
Hardcore fans of the film from North Shore native John Hughes might want to time their hotel visits with Ferris Fest, May 20-22. The weekend lineup features special screenings of the movie at the John and Nancy Hughes Theater in Lake Forest, a filming locations bus tour and a planned restaging of the “Twist and Shout” parade that Sunday.
Get a glimpse of where it all began when you step inside a re-creation of Ferris’s bedroom at Virgin Hotels Chicago, 203 N. Wabash. The room will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the fest, and the public can check it out for $10. Tickets and info at www.ferrisfest.com.