“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it,” said Ferris Bueller as he treated the streets of Chicago as his personal playground while ditching a dull day of suburban high school.
Life does move pretty fast, so you probably haven’t realized that 30 years have passed since that iconic movie was released.
The John Hughes flick hit theaters in 1986 and few at the time probably had any inkling that the teen comedy would become a timeless classic that would inspire a festival in its honor 3 decades later.
But that is exactly what happened – Chicago, as the backdrop of the film, will be hosting Ferris Fest May 20-22. Super fans will have the chance to attend a special screening with cast members, go on a bus tour of filming locations and attend a re-creation of the famous Twist and Shout parade.
To pay real tribute to the movie though, you ought to do a stylish, grownup version of a ditch day. Basically, this is what Ferris, Cameron & Sloane would do if they reunited as adults to relive their glory days…
Step 1: Play Hooky
The first step is crucial – to truly respect the spirit of Ferris and company, you can’t fake it by following this itinerary on a Saturday, Sunday or any other sanctioned day off from work. What you must do is cultivate a fake sick voice and claim a believable illness. Don’t overdo it though; just sound a little tired and sniffly and say that you must have caught that bug that’s been going around. But no one’s stopping you from going big and busting your friend with some fake story or other.
Step 2: Dress the Part
You shouldn’t go full-on costume here, but you may want to draw a bit of style inspiration from your favorite character. If you’re the wild ringleader of the group, go for a preppy look with an edge. For those who vehemently resist foregoing work in favor of fun, take notes from Cameron, who brings together the best of business and casual in one killer outfit. And, of course, for the Sloane Petersons of the world, it’s all about effortless cool with a touch of rocker attitude. On a personal note, Sloane is my 80s style icon, and to this day, I don’t think there’s anyone who rocks fringe like she does
If you lack the pieces to make these looks work, just include a shopping spree in your itinerary. Splash out on Oak Street, sometimes known as the “Rodeo Drive of Chicago” and stage your own shopping movie montage at upscale shops like Barneys, Scoop NYC and Lanvin, just to name a few.
Step 3: Borrow a Ferrari
OK so maybe your friend’s dad doesn’t have a mint Ferrari sitting in the garage just begging to be taken out for an adventure… but if you have the means, we highly suggest picking up a very sweet rental car just for the day. The fancier the better, but any convertible will do.
Step 4: Fancy Lunch
As wily teens, Ferris’s crew had to sneak into a fancy restaurant by stealing someone else’s reservation (none other than Abe Froman, Sausage King of Chicago), but since you’re a classy grownup, you and your friends can just walk right into a fancy joint like Spiaggia, Gibson’s or Del Frisco’s.
Step 5: The Modern Wing
Some of the most memorable scenes in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off were shot at Chicago’s own Art Institute. You may want to take a turn around the classic collections in the Michigan Avenue building so that you can stand in front of works that were in the movie, like A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat and American Windows by Marc Chagall. But for an updated take on the characters’ tour of the museum, be sure to head to the Modern Wing.
This beautiful building was designed by award-winning architect, Renzo Piano and contains a stunning collection of works in all media from the 20th and 21st centuries. For posterity, consider choosing a row of modern paintings and posing in front of them like Ferris, Cameron and Sloane for an homage photo.
Step 6: Cocktails with a View
End the day by taking in the almost overwhelming magnificence of the city from on high. But instead of simply standing on the Skydeck of the Willis Tower with your nose pressed against the glass, go grownup style and enjoy the view with an adult beverage at The Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the Hancock Tower or on the at NoMI Lounge rooftop deck at the Park Hyatt.
The best part of celebrating the 30th anniversary of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off as a classy grownup is that you won’t have to worry about getting busted by your parents or having your evil boss come knocking at your door.
However you decide to commemorate the occasion, just be sure to look around once in a while so you don’t miss a thing.