Bueller... Bueller... Ferris Fest Celebrates the 30th Anniversary of 'Ferris Bueller’s Day Off'

By Celia Shatzman
March 16, 2016
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Paramount/Everett Collection

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." —Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Talk about travel inspiration! That was the only reason '80s icon Ferris Bueller needed to devise the coolest staycation in movie history: ditching high school with pals one last time before graduation for an epic day in the city of Chicago, from cheering on the Cubs at Wrigley Field to having an existential moment at the Art Institute of Chicago.

And now you have the best excuse ever to visit the Windy City from May 20–22: Ferris Fest: A 30th Anniversary Leisure Weekend, three days of fun celebrating the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off's 30th anniversary (tickets $10 and up,

What can you expect? A series of events that'll have you following in the footsteps of Ferris, Sloane, and Cameron. These attractions are only the tip of the iceberg:

• A live re-creation of the film’s “Twist and Shout” parade.

• A replica of Ferris’s room by artists Sarah Keenlyside and Joe Clement that you can step inside.

• A two-day, two-part bus tour of the filming locations, including Cameron’s house, Glenbrook North High School, the Art Institute of Chicago, Northbrook Water Tower, and Wrigley Field.

• A screening of the movie at the John and Nancy Hughes Theater in Chicago suburb Lake Forest. Stars from the film will participate in a Q&A, and the superfans organizing the event have confirmed appearances from a few cast members, including Cindy Pickett and Lyman Ward, who played Ferris’s parents, and Jonathan Schmock, the French restaurant maitre d'. Who knows who else might show up?

Ticket prices range from $10 for to see the parade and Ferris's room all the way to $300 for a full three-day package. Reserve yours ASAP, because they're going fast. The priciest package is already sold out, but the event organizer says tickets for individual days and attractions are still up for grabs, with "more to come soon." Keep an eye on for more info—or try your luck persuading someone in charge that you're Abe Froman, Sausage King of Chicago, and you need a ticket pronto.*

One thing is sure: This is not the time to pull a Cameron and pretend you're sick so you can bail. And if you can’t get off work, in the spirit of Ferris Bueller, play hooky!

*We don't actually suggest doing this.

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Editor’s Pick: Luxe Montreal Hotel for Just $144 Per Night

There’s no need to fly across the pond for Francophiles to get their fix—now a taste of the City of Lights can be had right here in North America. Montreal has always been an alternative to Paris when it comes to French flavors at slashed prices (that’s why we’ve celebrated it in the past), and the new Renaissance Montreal is offering quite a deal. To celebrate its debut, now through April 23, they’re offering a special discovery rate of $144, compared to the regular $210. Located in the heart of downtown Montreal, the 142-room hotel has major perks that belie its price point. The design is an intriguing blend of art deco architecture, modern furnishings, street art by local artist Alexandre Veilleux, and contemporary art by other local artists as well, playing off of the unique aesthetic of Montreal. A DJ booth—complete with swinging benches—delivers live entertainment in style, while master mixologist Lawrence Piccard dreamed up a creative cocktail menu at East, the hotel’s contemporary Pan-Asian restaurant, located just off the lobby. And starting in April, they’ll have the bragging rights to the only rooftop terrace in downtown Montreal, when the 12th-floor oasis opens its doors to panoramic views. It also boasts a full bar, bistro kitchen, and a stainless steel plunge pool. The deal doesn’t end when you walk out the doors—there are plenty of free things to do the in city. Here are just a few: • Take a free walking tour of Old Town, courtesy of Free Montreal Tours, and learn all about the city’s history, architecture, culture, and more. • Check out modern urban and street art at the Station 16 Gallery, which features new artists from around the globe. • For a dose of history, visit Mount Royal Cemetery—one of the first rural cemeteries in North America, making it an official National Historic Site—and take a self-guided walking tour. Nature lovers should pick up the tree brochure that outlines the cemetery’s arboretum with more than 100 species of tree on 165 acres, and there are more than 145 bird species too. • During the warm months, enjoy complimentary dance, music, and film performances at Parc Lafontaine, and in winter, it’s popular for ice skating. • The Segal Centre for Performing Arts offers many free lectures, including its Sundays @ The Segal series.


Three-Day Weekend: Berlin

I was still in a pleasant, gauzy, art-induced haze after laying eyes on the Nefertiti Bust in Berlin’s Neues Museum when the November rain pelting Museum Island stopped for a few blissful minutes. I seized the chance to lower my umbrella and linger in the middle of Friedrichsbrücke footbridge, on the Spree river. Above, the sky was damp, hazy, and green-gray; reflections from yellow streetlights glowed warm in the rippling water. I ran my fingers along antique German script etched in the bridge’s concrete, the lettering like medieval calligraphy. The 18th-century Berlin Cathedral presided over it all, its tarnished sea-green dome stately and gothic. This view, I remember thinking, this dramatic vignette, is like a woodcut from an Edgar Allan Poe novel.  As I turned to continue down the cobblestoned path, a murder of crows began to swirl and scream overhead. It couldn’t have been more appropriate. It couldn’t have been more bizarre. And it couldn’t have been more magical. This was the Berlin I’d hoped to experience: the fiercely authentic, austere, urbane city that I’d read about in newspapers’ style sections and seen on TV in 1989, when the Wall fell.  Witnessing the crows was one of many far-out moments I had in the city’s bubbling cauldron of rich history, modern art, addictive street food, avant-garde design, and friendly people. I did it all on a budget in one long weekend, with the trendy Mitte district as a home base. And I didn’t want to leave. Stay in hip, surprisingly affordable Mitte. After my redeye on Airberlin, direct from New York City’s JFK airport to Tegel in Berlin, it was morning when I arrived in the trendy Mitte district—known for its café scene, galleries, and cool shops—and checked into the design-forward, you-won’t-believe-these-low-rates Circus Hotel (from about $95 per night, The hotel isn’t whisper-quiet or plush, but its decor is youthful and energetic—silhouettes of birds on a bright-green background were painted on my room’s walls—and the Rosenthaler-Platz U-bahn subway stop is steps from the front door. I stowed my suitcase and waited for my room to open at the adjoining restaurant, Fabisch. Alongside heaping spreads of German wurst, cheeses, eggs, and breads, its 9-euro breakfast buffet offered nine kinds of hearty cereals, like “choco muesli” and rye “roggen flocken,” lined up neatly, waiting to be spooned into bowls. Lodging rates across the street, at the similarly named Circus Hostel, dip even lower (from about $21 per night for a shared dorm room, from about $62 per night for a private room, Generator Berlin Mitte hostel, with its hip, warm, wood-heavy décor is close by too (from about $21 for a shared room, from about $58 for a private room,  Shop local, drink cheap, take a throwback selfie. When I ventured out that first morning, the streets were abandoned until about noon, when Berliners began to stream past wearing understated parkas, dark skinny jeans, and delicate nose rings—and exuding an effortless cool. The city is a night owl.  “Where should I go out tonight?” I had asked the hotel’s front-desk clerk. His buddy next to him, exuberant with a half-shaved head and ponytail, grabbed a red Post-It note and scrawled the best places to go clubbing: “Berghain, Tresor, Kater Blau, Watergate.” “Go early,” he urged me. “Go before 2 a.m., because from 2 to 6 a.m. it gets really crazy. Also, people might be having intercourse next to you, but it’s normal.”  After living in a sanitized New York City for years, sanctioned public intercourse seemed like a breath of fresh air. I was disappointed when, after my redeye, I couldn’t stay awake past midnight. But before the clock struck 12, I found the perfect bar. A smoky, red-lit dive with psychedelic toile wallpaper, Muschi Obermaier has vintage memorabilia shellacked to the walls: print advertisements from the 1960s, band posters, photos of nude models, and film stills ( A giant bottle of Augustiner Lagerbier Hell cost less than $4; a small glass of Berliner Luft peppermint schnapps was under $3. Reclining on overstuffed leather couches or standing three deep at the bar, the men resembled Sting or Jack Antonoff; the women were petite, brunette versions of Brigitte Bardot, touseled bangs included. I lingered as long as I could. The next day, it was pouring rain when I reached Mauerpark, in Prenzlauer Berg near Mitte, for a Sunday-only flea market where incense and mellow German tunes filter through the air, its stalls selling kitschy T-shirts; jewelry; clothing patches for 3 euros, some depicting the German flag; and vintage finery ( Twentysomethings haggled for chunky knit sweaters, furry coats, silk shirts, and Vanna White–style sequined shells or sat, sheltered from the rain, at picnic-style tables drinking cold beer. Afterward, I ducked into one of Berlin’s Photoautomat booths—an art project started in 2004—and dropped 2 euro coins into the slot ( The light flashed four times, and I waited as the machine churned and groaned and finally spit out a strip of vintage-cool black-and-white photographs that smelled of darkroom fluid. I waved it in the wind to dry it, like an old Polaroid, later tucking it into a book for safekeeping. Prioritize the art—especially the free stuff. Art in Berlin stretches far beyond gallery walls, the city’s creativity spilling onto brick buildings, into alleyways, and coating the Berlin Wall itself. Street art rises high and bold in the up-and-coming Kreuzberg neighborhood. Richard Ash’s “Astronaut Cosmonaut” floats above Skalitzer Street. “Pink Man,” made of small, writhing wormlike humans, dangles his prey close to his mouth near Oberbaum Bridge. Back in Mitte, the alleyway next to Haus Schwarzenberg museum is covered with art, including a portrait of Anne Frank by artist Jimmy C and images of Little Lucy, a cartoon character continually finding creative ways to kill her pet cat. Intrigued? Take a free three-hour tour with Alternative Tours Berlin to see important works and hear an elegant explanation of the difference between street art, tagging, and graffiti (free, Outside Haus Schwarzenberg, note the “stumbling blocks” on the sidewalk, one of many clusters of gilded stones in Berlin that serve as tributes to Jewish families who were forced out of their homes during the Holocaust. Nearby, Museum Island—five museums on a stretch of land in the Spree River—is a treasure trove of ancient art and modern works. The best deal is to buy a one-day area ticket for access to all five (about $20, I was crunched for time but determined to see the Egyptian antiquities, including Nefertiti’s Bust, at the Neues Museum (admission about $13). An architectural wonder of old and new, the building was bombed during WWII and built up again on the ruins; inside, the brick foundation rises and collides with new, clean lines. As for Nefertiti, she was was even more regal than I had hoped: so reverentially lit she glowed, encased in glass at the center of a room all her own. I followed the Spree River south to the Berlin Wall, with the murals of the East Side Gallery painted on its side (free, They’re alternately jarring and dreamlike: “The Kiss” between socialist leaders Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev; a Trabant car bursting through the Berlin Wall; vibrant Batman characters populating “Sonic Malade.” Between art-gazing, culture-lovers should take a mandatory spin through the ultra-modern Mitte bookstore Do You Read Me?! ( Bathed in white neon light, its streamlined shelves are stocked with mesmerizing avant-garde fashion magazines, quarterly literary 'zines. One evening, I wandered into Me Collectors Room, a combination café/gallery showcasing both a Cindy Sherman photography exhibit and a long hallway filled with ancient curiosities, such as a narwhal tusk once thought to be a unicorn horn (admission about $8, For food, think high/low. Street food like currywurst (sliced sausage the consistency of an American hot dog, doused in curry ketchup and sprinkled with curry powder) and fine dining are within reach in Berlin. Near Circus Hotel, Curry Mitte dishes out an entire currywurst meal for about $5, including French fries and a beer or soft drink, like local citrus-flavored soda Mezzo Mix ( I ate currywurst twice in three days: Once for lunch, sitting in the window, people-watching at the busy corner, and once after a pilsner at Z-Bar, a bar/cinema with red glitter–laquered tables and bottomless bowls of “peanut flips”—puffed corn chips with a sweet, peanut-butter-like coating ( The flavor was reminiscent of E.T. Cereal, sold back in the ’80s. In other words, just like heaven.  In Kreuzberg, eats are cheap and clustered together: Four pieces of baklava are about $1 at Salut Backwaren bakery (49/30-6182405). Not far away, Burgermeister, a former public restroom converted into a snack bar, grills up burgers and cheese fries doused with sauces like peanut butter and mango curry (burgers from about $5, The doner kebab was supposedly invented in Berlin, so it’s only right to grab one at Baghdad Bistro—it does brisk business after 2 a.m. (less than $4, With the money you’ve saved, treat yourself to weinerschnitzel and apple streudel at South German restaurant Alpenstueck, where a chic crowd wearing dark sweaters and black spectacles befitting an architect sit at shiny gray tables arranged in neat lines (generous entrées from about $17, Catch a boho vibe while sipping wine and sitting on homey, tapestried pillows at farm-to-table resto Katz Orange (glasses of wine from less than $4, entrées from about $19, The lavender sausages, delivered in a cocotte on a bed of greens, were the best links I’ve ever had ($7). For further savings, split a slow-roasted “candy on the bone” short rib, melted pork belly, lamb, or Duroc pork entrée for two, with second helpings and sides in little terra-cotta crocks.  Value-wise, though, it’s hard to beat the Vietnamese cuisine at Chén Chè tea house, where a heaping tray with bowls of red coconut chicken curry, fried chicken, jasmine rice, soup, and salad costs less than $12 (  As you leave the tea house, look up, to your right. The Fernsehturm television tower is glittering like a disco ball, and your night is just beginning.


6 Unbeatable Spring Hotel Deals

There's no better way to shake off a long winter than taking a spring trip. Plus, springtime is shoulder season, which means your wanderlust dreams can come true at slashed prices, some with savings of more than 50 percent. Before the crowds descend for the summer, beat the rush—and the high-season surge pricing—with these six spots during the month of May. Sea Crest Beach Hotel: Cape Cod, Massachusetts The deal: Score a room for $134 per night before the summer rates kick in, from $266, Why go: Think classic Cape: long walks on the hotel’s private Old Silver Beach, a spin on two wheels on the trails of Shining Sea Bikeway, and keeping the kids busy on rainy days at the indoor swimming pool. Nearby, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and Marine Biological Laboratory and Nobska Lighthouse make for great educational excursions. Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort and Spa: Fort Lauderdale, Florida The deal: Rates drop as much as 38 percent to just $143 per night, Why go: The boutique-style resort calls Pompano Beach home. The up-and-coming locale boasts some of Florida’s best diving, offering prime views of sea creatures, reefs, and wrecks. The nearby South Florida Diving Headquarters offers training for beginners, so it's ideal for all levels. After a dive, chow down and kick back with a craft cocktail at the property's Prohibition era–themed McCoy’s Oceanfront. Harbor View Hotel: Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts The deal: Snag a room for $159 per night, compared with $319 in the summer, Why go: Join the storied property in celebrating its 125th anniversary. You’ll feel like an insider on Martha’s Vineyard before the summer crowds set in, since that’s when you can get the best access to the top beaches, boutiques, galleries, and restaurants, including the hotel’s new eatery, Lighthouse Grill, serving contemporary New England fare. 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel: Clayton, New York The deal: Rates start at $129 per night in May, which is 24 percent off the June rate, Why go: A boater’s dream, the hotel is in the Thousand Islands region, right next to the newly completed 49-slip Transient Dock Facility. For a nautical adventure, charter a yacht for a private cruise down the St. Lawrence, or rent a fishing charter or boat. Once you’re back on dry land, the river village offers quaint shops, museums, vineyards, and plenty of outdoor activities to keep you entertained.  Kelley House: Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts The deal: The typical $252 starting summer rate is slashed to $117 per night, Why go: Location, location, location. Kelley House is tucked into an historic home right in the heart of Edgartown, one of the most elegant and charming towns in Martha’s Vineyard, and houses Wave Pool Bar, a hot spot on the island. Take a rental bike to explore, go golfing at one of the nearby clubs, or visit the Kelley House Gallery to see local artists' work. Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort and Spa: Palm Beach, Florida The deal: Prices drop up to 58 percent to $207 per night, Why go: Private beach. Need we say more? The luxury all-suite resort features condo-style rooms with kitchens and a washer/dryer, so it’s perfect for families. While Mom and Dad are at the beach, at SiSpa, or relaxing poolside in a cabana, the little ones can have fun at the Kids Club. They also offer Parent’s Night Out on Fridays and Saturdays, with a long dinner at 3800 Ocean.


Why I Took a Road Trip for My Honeymoon

Despite what Pinterest would have us believe, weddings are stressful. Even “carefree” moments are scheduled with military precision. In travel and in life, I don’t love that kind of structure. So when it came to my honeymoon, I wasn’t inspired to race around airports, making connections. All I wanted was to unwind, wear hoodies, and eat carbs. My husband, Andrew, and I have always shared a love of road trips: the flexibility, the spontaneity—the simple pleasure of serendipity. California makes an especially good backdrop for such an easygoing journey, with its dramatic shifts in landscape; drive a few hours and you’ve crossed from desert into lush greenery, from the shore into mountains. Andrew and I took our time getting hitched, exclusively dating in L.A. for years beforehand. By our wedding, we had driven as far south as Rosarito, Mexico, and as far north as Portland, Oregon. So, for us, there was an implicit romance to this honeymoon concept: As anyone who has ever driven cross-country knows, road trips represent a kind of shared freedom. We decided to do this one like the “adults” we suddenly felt we must be. This wouldn’t be some haphazard slog to worn-down shacks labeled “cottages.” We’d still hold fast to our money by eating inexpensive snacks on the road—albeit high-end Kettle Chips and coconut water this time around—but since we were saving on airfare, we would splurge on the high-end hotels I’d always fantasized about visiting. On a crisp fall day in early November, with The Clash blaring, we rode that tailwind of change up the 5 freeway, away from the past year’s stresses.  As is often the case with memories, when I look back on the trip, I am rewarded with ephemeral impressions: crisp breezes carrying scents of salty sea and rosemary, bucolic walks through what felt like enchanted forests, strolls in impossibly quaint towns sampling olive oil and coconut sorbet, a perfect song erupting from the radio, laughter as we relived our wedding or happened upon a pen of adorable baby fainting goats. Still, one experience from each leg of the journey stands out—four in total. They are the chapters of my storybook dream trip, hard-won with budgeting, and savored to this day, the edges gilded in my mind. I. Sausalito We landed first on the other side of the bridge from San Francisco in lesser-known Sausalito at Cavallo Point Lodge, a hotel converted from a onetime U.S. Army post, Fort Baker ( To me, it was the embodiment of the Golden State’s signature relaxed luxury: at once historic and contemporary, organic and geometric, pampering and utilitarian. I have gauzy memories of enjoying our spa treatments and nature hikes. But the moment that crystallized for me was just after we arrived: Alone in our impeccable, earth-toned room, we peeled off our jackets and looked, spellbound, out the large windows. The Golden Gate bridge loomed orange above us; its lights twinkled as the sun went down. II. Point Reyes Our next stop was Point Reyes, where oyster farms line the foggy, protected shoreline. At Manka’s Inverness Lodge, high-end log cabins sit nestled among redwoods and firs ( Open since 1917, the hotel had recently lost their lauded restaurant to a fire. As a result, simple yet transcendent meals were brought to our room. The kitchen culled all their ingredients from within a couple of miles, and you could taste it. One morning, we opened our front door to find a tray waiting. We carried it to our dining nook, where we unwrapped impossibly fresh yogurt, homemade granola, local apples, and hot cinnamon buns made from scratch, served straight from the oven. It was the best breakfast of my life. III. Napa Valley At Calistoga Ranch, the Napa Valley wine country stop on our journey, our room felt like the world’s most lavish treehouse ( Tucked amidst greenery, an actual oak grew through the sun deck beside an indoor/outdoor fireplace. We adored the bathroom: Beyond two distinct sleek sink areas opposite each other (what Andrew and I consider “living the dream”), an outdoor shower and garden awaited. We hardly wanted to leave the room, but eventually, we made it outside, accidentally happening upon quirky Prager Winery and Port Works ( My only previous experience with the sweet drink involved stealing it from a friend’s parents’ liquor cabinet when I was a teenager. But here we swirled it, inhaled it, really tasted it. Andrew ended up falling hard for a tawny port, tucking it into our trunk before continuing to our final destination. IV. Big Sur We had spent enough time in Big Sur in years past to hear buzz about Post Ranch Inn ( We couldn’t wait to try it for ourselves. The rumors were true: Our room was extraordinary, massively windowed and overlooking rolling hillsides where wild turkeys roamed. In the brisk fall evening, Andrew suggested that we throw on plush robes, grab wine, and hustle to one of the hot plunges embedded in the cliffside. I was initially resistant because of the chill, but as soon as we climbed into the warm water, I knew he’d been right. The moon was full and bright. Gazing out over the dramatic cliffs, we passed the ambrosial wine back and forth, swigging from the bottle. Just when it seemed like the moment couldn’t get more idyllic, we turned to find a deer regarding us calmly from just feet away. It was as though a fairy godmother herself were designing our own personal fable. When the sun rose on the final morning of our honeymoon, we were melancholy, of course. The afterglow of a hotly anticipated journey is bittersweet. But as we wound through peaks and valleys on our way home, luckily we weren’t on anyone else’s schedule…and we took our sweet time. Nora Zelevansky is the author of Will You Won’t You Want Me? (out April 19) and Semi-Charmed Life.