How To Plan A Ferris Bueller's Day Off Date: 24 Hours In Chicago

We recently went on a little babymoon trip to Chicago for a Ferris Beuller's Day Off date. We only stayed one night but we were able to do and see so much in the city. For the longest time, I have preferred longer trips when traveling and I never knew how fun one night away can be until now.

Our date technically lasted more than 24 hours (about 30 hours total, excluding flight time) but these are all things one could plausibly do in a 24 hour period if you plan it right. Although we didn't sing in a parade or drive a hot red Ferarri, we loved experiencing Chicago Ferris Beuller style. 


We had lunch at Francois Frankie as soon as we got into the city. Unfortunately, the restaurant Chez Quis from the movie does not exist, so I scoured Google Maps to find an upscale French restaurant that served lunch. Most of what I found was only open for breakfast and dinner, so our options were pretty limited.

But Francois did not disappoint. We tried bouillabaisse for the first time and it was wonderful. It's a French style seafood stew flavored with saffron and full of andouille sausage, mussels, and shrimp. The broth was so tasty.

We also tried oysters for our first time. Josiah was not impressed, but he didn't hate it. I was surprised that I actually enjoyed it, though I don't know how often I want to pay $3 for one oyster.

Francois Frankie is located at 222 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60606.

Some other French restaurants I looked into include:

The Brasserie
11 E Walton St, Chicago, IL 60611

Venteux Brasserie
224 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60601

Obviously, I can't truly recommend either of these, but it's somewhere to start if you want to plan your own Beuller adventure.

1060 W Addison St, Chicago, IL 60613 

Honestly, I'm not big into baseball. I usually prefer going to college footballs games, but we weren't about to pass up a chance to hang out at a Major League Baseball game. Besides, Ferris and friends do it in the movie so, of course, we just had to.

After our fancy lunch and a nap at the hotel, we took the "L" over to Wrigley Stadium. The Cubs lost against the Twins, but the atmosphere was fun and the last inning was especially intense.

My only disappointment was the food quality. The only other time I have had a ballpark dog was in Salt Lake City and it was really good, so I expected a Chicago brat to be even better. But it was just okay and definitely not worth the money. 

233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606 

When I confessed to my husband that I was just a little nervous to stand on the skydeck he said, "You've flown 4,000 up in a hot air balloon. You've been bungee jumping and skydiving. How could this possibly make you nervous?"

It's true I had done those things, but this felt a little different. I had never just stood still with what appeared to be nothing but over 1,000 feet of empty space beneath me. I'm glad I got passed the nervousness beforehand because when we stepped onto the skydeck a couple weeks later Josiah said, "Whoa, this is pretty trippy."

Don't worry. It wasn't nearly as scary as bungee jumping. And the skydeck ties with the Art Institute as our favorite part of the trip.

The view of the city from 103 floors up is truly spectacular! There is a plaque that marks where the iconic Sears Tower scene was filmed in "Ferris Beuller's Day Off," and it's fun to stand in the exact spot and look down. 

Formerly known as the Sears Tower, this was the tallest building in the world for 25 years from 1973 to 1998. You can book a 30 minutes session at the skydeck here. Admission is $30 per person and totally worth it for the thrill of standing on nothing but glass 1,353 feet above the streets of Chicago. 

We booked our visit ahead of time online and chose a 9:30 slot. They take your photo on the Skydeck for you and charge $31 for a print, but you can take your own pictures too. We didn't get a picture of me jumping on the glass floor but I dare you to try it too. It's a little nerve-wracking, but the skydeck is built to hold 10,000 pounds, so jumping is totally safe.

111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

My only regret from this trip is the fact that we didn't have two days dedicated to visiting the Art Institute. John Hughes (the writer and director of "Ferris Beuller's Day Off") said this museum was a safe haven for him in high school. Hughes would sometimes sit for hours among these masterpieces contemplating life, and this practice eventually inspired the museum scene in his 1986 film.

For me, this was one of the most beautiful museums I have ever visited. The Art Insitute of Chicago offers some of everything from contemporary art to ancient Roman sculpture. And the collections of cultural art from all the around the world are truly impressive.

One of my favorite exhibits displayed dozens of pottery pieces from East Asia, including some celadon glazed makeup pots from Korea that I particularly enjoyed.

This was my first time seeing medieval armor and weapons in person, but I also enjoyed the familiarity of Peublo pottery and other artifacts. There were so many ceremonial wooden carvings and headresses from various African nations and the ancient Mayan jewelry was fascinating too.

And of course, the museum boasts many works from painters such as Monet, van Gogh, Hopper, and Warhol.

We spent only a couple hours at the institute, and although we saw a lot, I wish we'd had the time and energy to spend at least twice as much time there. Later, I how thought how awesome it would be to live in Chicago for just one semester and study at the Art Institute for a few months. Maybe then I would get my fill.

I didn't do much research beforehand which meant we were pleasantly surprised at all we could see there. However, if you are limited on time, I recommend you plan your visit at the Art Institute of Chicago website.

Admission is $25 for out of state residents. You can research current exhibits and buy tickets here. Be aware that the museum is closed every Tuesday and Wednesday, and large purses or bags are not permitted inside.


The subway system in Chicaco is great. Not pretty, but efficient and perfect for getting around town. We bought a 3-day pass at a kiosk (which is typically $20 per person) and it got us everywhere we needed to go for a 30 hour trip.

It was so nice to not have to deal with a rental car, taxi, or Uber. We took the subway straight from the airport into downtown which takes about 50 minutes. From there, pretty much everything from our hotel to Wrigley Stadium took about 15 minutes or less in travel time. And everything we wanted to see was accessible from the Red or Blue Line. We didn't even have to transfer to another line.

I don't usually plan a detailed itinerary when traveling but I did this time since the trip was so short, and it was nice to know exactly how long it would take to get around. 


We stayed one night at Claridge House. It was just a short walk from a Redline station and less expensive.

If we were to go all out, I would have chosen a hotel with a view of the East River. The Swissotel Chicago is supposed to be very nice, and the Hilton Garden Inn is right by the Chicago River Walk. 


Multiple Locations

This is like the AirBnB or Turo for bag storage. It's a relatively new type of storage that is available in several cities worldwide. You can leave your bag for several hours at a number of locations for very cheap.

This was very useful for us since The Art Institute will usually keep bags in a check room, but these have been closed due to Covid-19. Besides, carrying our stuff on the subway and around the city all day would not have been much fun.

We downloaded the app before our trip and stored our backpack at an Art & Frame store for a few hours. It was in the perfect location between the Art Institute and the Blue Line station we needed to take to get back to the airport.

400 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

For fresh smoothies and sushi. We got a mango & watermelon smoothie here which was delicious. We didn't try any sushi but the menu looked promising. It's very close to the Art Institute of Chicago and could make a great lunch spot after walking the museum for a few hours.

332 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60604

For sandwiches and pizza. This is also just down the street from the Art Institute. We didn't eat here, but the menu looked great and the food smelled so good.

Russian Tea Time Restaurant:
77 E Adams St, Chicago, IL 60603

Located almost directly across the street from the Art Institute, this was one place that made me wish we stayed more than one night in Chicago. We didn't have lunch here, but the menu looks so fun and I already knew I like Russian cuisine.

Good Stuff Eatery:
22 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

We discovered Good Stuff in Washington DC a few years ago. The burgers are great, so I highly recommend it for lunch or dinner. Unfortunately, they no longer serve their lemon meringue shakes I loved so much.

Do-Rite Donuts:
233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606

There are multiple Do-rite locations throughout the city, but we chose to treat ourselves to a cream cheese Danish donut on the lobby floor of Willis Tower. It was great and so was the lemonade. (To be honest, though, the lemon pistachio cake donut was just okay.)

Cloud Gate:
201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602

You'll find it on the east side of Millenium Park. It wasn't a must-see for me, but since we were in the area we decided to take a look. It was beautiful to see the Chicago skyline reflected in such a unique way.

This giant silver bean would be more fun to see without the crowds, but it was worth stopping by.

Buckingham Fountain:
301 S Columbus Dr, Chicago, IL 60605

This big fountain was very pretty and there were no crowds around. I imagine it would be cool to see it all lit up at night with glittery skyscrapers in the background. It's a nice place to sit and relax for a bit.

Exile In Bookville:
410 S Michigan Ave suite 210, Chicago, IL 60605

We found this bookstore to kill a little time. It was fun to talk books, especially thrillers with the owner. And it was a cozy little shop stacked high with books which is the perfect place for my husband to hangout.

Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier: 
600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

The first Ferris wheel was built in Chicago for the 1893 World Fair, and it was intended to compete with the Eiffel Tower as a grand feature of the fair.

I thought it would be fun to ride the Centennial Wheel, but it wasn't a priority on such a short trip. The ride stands nearly 200 feet high, overlooking Lake Michigan on one side and the Chicago skyline on the other. You can ride for $18 per ticket.

Hi! My name is Kait. Follow this link to learn more about me and my blog.


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