Although “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” took place decades ago, visiting spots from the movie remains very popular in Chicago. After all, this teen comedy is universally loved and praised. What’s more, you probably know some of the funniest lines from this hilarious 1986 film. For example, who doesn’t remember Ben Stein saying “Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?….Anyone? Anyone?” What’s more, you probably remember other scenes that would be so much fun to visit. To put it another way, in the immortal words of Ferris himself, “Life moves pretty fast; if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”. Therefore, the next time you’re in Chicago, stop and see these famous Ferris Bueller spots.
About “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”
A teen comedy film by John Hughes, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” Matthew Broderick in the lead role decides to skip school. In doing so, he comes with a creative way to deceive not only his parents but the Dean of Students, Dean Rooney. On the other hand, Ferris’s sister (Jennifer Grey) doesn’t believe he is sick, let alone staying home. In fact, Ferris, his girlfriend Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara) and best friend Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck) spend their day in Chicago. In order to get around, Cameron steals his father’s vintage 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Spyder. “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” was an enormous success, both critically and financially. To this day, the movie ranks among the funniest ever made. Lastly, the film is known as director John Hughes’ love letter to Chicago.
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Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60603
CTA Subway Station: Adams/Wabash
If you’re a first-time visitor to Chicago, the Art Institute must be on your list of things to see. Moreover, this is a must-see attraction, regardless of its Ferris Bueller connection. During their brief time there, Ferris, Sloane and Cameron gaze at some famous works out art. For instance, Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” and Picasso’s “The Old Guitarist” are notable inclusions. In addition, there is a romance scene between Ferris and Sloane in front of Marc Chagall’s “America Windows”. However, it is Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte” that may leave the lasting impression. In more detail, it’s the scene where Cameron stares at Seurat’s masterpiece in a moment of self-reflection.
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Chez Quis Restaurant
22 W. Schiller St.
Chicago, IL 60610
CTA Bus Stop: Clark and Schiller
After visiting the Chicago Board of Trade, Ferris decides he wants to have lunch. In this case, the restaurant he wants to go to is the haute Chez Quis. How the trio made it to the restaurant is unknown. However, they either walk 2.2 miles, take a cab or CTA bus to Schiller Street. Once at the restaurant, Ferris unknowingly poses as “Abe Froman, Sausage King of Chicago”. Although the maître d’hôtel is initially impolite to his “guests” he later becomes painfully respectful. In light of this, Chez Quis is a purely fictional restaurant. Even though it’s a beautiful building, it’s actually a private residence. The interior of the chic restaurant was shot at the former L’Orangerie in Los Angeles. After the trio leaves Chez Quis, they narrowly avoid Ferris’ father and two businesses associates standing outside. This time around, Ferris and friends take a taxi cab.
Chicago Board of Trade
141 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 6060
CTA Subway Station: Quincy
Immediately following the visit to the Art Institute, Ferris and his friends make it over to the Chicago Board of Trade. However, you won’t be able to view the action on the trading floor like in the movie. Although a new trading floor just had its grand opening this summer, there is currently no public viewing. However, public tours are available for this beautiful Art Deco. building. In case you want to take a tour, try the Chicago Architecture Foundation or Inside Chicago. Incidentally, there is a reconstruction of the Chicago Stock Exchange trading room at the Art Institute. But then again, this space is only available for private events. Above all, you can always recreate the hand signal scene right in front of this landmark structure.
50 W. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
CTA Subway Station: Washington
You probably can’t recreate the Ferris Bueller Chicago parade scene and you probably shouldn’t. To put it differently, you shouldn’t interfere with a parade float and its participants. What’s more, you see a Chicago police officer escort Sloane and Cameron away from the float. But by the same token, you can visit the exact spot where Ferris sings “Danke Schoen”. However, it’s important to realize that the street address above is a different location from the parade.. Indeed, you must walk to the corner of North Dearborn and West Randolph streets. At the same time, you can sing not only “Danke Schoen” but also “Twist and Shout”. However, the “Twist and Shout” scene appears to be much further up Dearborn Street, near Calder’s Flamingo. Incidentally, the festive parade in the movie is the Von Steuben Day Parade held in September.
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The Parking Garage
172 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60601
CTA Subway Station: Washington/Wells
Before the trio begins their memorable journey through Chicago, Ferris has to find a place to park the red Ferrari. In this case, it’s a parking garage known as “A-1 EZ OK Park”. Although this might not be high on your list of spots, it’s fun to recall the scene. For some reason, Ferris drives into this garage near the corner of West Madison and South Wells. As a result, Cameron is uncomfortable about having his dad’s car parked there. In any event, the parking attendant assures everyone that “I’m a professional”. Later on, the attendant and his buddy enjoy a drive with the Ferrari. Hilariously, the Ferrari pulls back into the garage just as the trio are waiting to pick up the priceless car. Today, WMW Self Park is at the West Madison address. By the way, the Washington/Wells subway station is on the northwest corner of the lot. Lastly, a spinoff movie, “Sam and Victor’s Day Off” featuring the parking attendants, is currently in the works.
Willis Tower/Skydeck Chicago
233 S. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
CTA Subway Station: Quincy
If you are afraid of heights, going to the top deck of Willis Tower probably isn’t for you. After all, at 1451 feet high, it was once the world’s tallest building. However, if you want the complete Ferris Bueller experience, you should visit Skydeck. Although you can’t duplicate what Ferris does in the movie, you can walk out on the Ledge. In this case, you will walk into a glass enclosure and admire the views. Interestingly, enough, that one Sears Tower scene in the movie may be an inspiration to 360 Chicago, another local attraction. Either way, this is truly a Ferris Bueller Chicago attraction to see, whether at street level or the top.
1060 W. Addison St.
Chicago, IL 60613
CTA Subway Station: Addison
For fans of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, no trip to Chicago would be complete without visiting Wrigley Field. For one thing, who doesn’t remember “hey batter, batter, batter, batter, batter “saawing” batter”? Not only can you jeer the batter you can even sit in the same section along the left field line. In more detail, fans say these seats were 101, 102 and 103 in Section 102. On the other hand, due to the popularity of the movie, those seats may be hard to get. Despite this, many tickets are available to Chicago Cubs home games. Even if the Cubs are on the road, you can always take a public tour of Wrigley Field.
Ben Rose House
Highland, Park, IL 60035
Union Pacific North Line Station: Ravinia
Cameron’s house is in the affluent community of Highland Park, about 25 miles north of Chicago. If you recall, Cameron’s home is an expensive one, with a modernist architectural design. Indeed, one of its most distinctive features from the film is the glass enclosed garage. Because the Ben Rose House is a private residence, you may want to skip visiting. Furthermore, it’s a considerable distance from the heart of Chicago. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for Ferris Bueller’s house, it’s not in the Chicago. In fact, it’s in Long Beach, about 25 miles south of Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles. Coincidentally, the “Save Ferris” water tower is also in Long Beach. Incidentally, that “Ferrari” wasn’t real; it was a kit car with a Mustang chassis.
Shermer High School
Glenbrook North High School
2300 Shermer Road
Northbrook, IL 60062
Linden CTA Bus Stop: Shermer Raymond
Ferris and Cameron are soon-to-be graduating students of Shermer High School while Sloane’s a junior. However, the real name of this high school is Glenbrook North High School. What’s more, this is the same high school that director John Hughes went to as a teenager. In “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, Sloane leaves the front entrance early to be met by her “father” (Ferris) waiting by the Ferrari. But this entrance is actually the Performing Arts Center on campus. On a side note, Shermer High School is also the high school in another John Hughes classic “The Breakfast Club”. That film was largely made inside Maine North High School, in Des Plaines, another Chicago suburb.
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160 Hazel Ave.
Glencoe, IL 60022
Howard CTA Station Route 213: Green Bay Road and Park Avenue
One last stop before you complete your Ferris Bueller journey may be at Glencoe Beach. However, the spot where the trio stops is at a stone wall overlooking the beach and Lake Michigan. If that’s the case, you should venture over to Lakefront Park, perched above Glencoe Beach. It’s here where Ferris and Sloane attempt to revive a seemingly catatonic Cameron. Furthermore, if you go to Lakefront Park at 99 Park Avenue, you will see the narrow stone wall that lines the pathway. In a final side note, the where Ferris and Sloane revive Cameron is at the Bueller home swimming pool (in Long Beach, California).
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About The Author
Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS websites, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, Randy had a reported digital audience reach of 489 million and 5.5 million monthly visitors. Additionally, his stories have appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS News, CBS Radio, Engadget and Radio.com. He earned a Media Fellowship from Stanford University in 2012.