We played hooky from school just like Ferris Bueller and his friends did in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and went to the Willis Tower last week. My tween girls thought I was the coolest mom ever for giving them a free day out on the Ledge. But, unlike Ferris Bueller, who didn't get to stand on the Ledge, we were able to go out on a ledge at the Willis Tower skydeck.
We are fortunate to live so close to an amazing city, Chicago. We hop on the tollway and zip down regularly to take in sights and exhibits. The Willis Tower is the first building we look for each and every time we drive into the city. My daughters are always craning their necks to catch the first glimpse of home. I have to admit that I myself still, after over 30 years of living here, do the exact same thing. It makes my heart beat a little faster just looking out for the Willis Tower.
The Willis Tower Skydeck
The Ledges were added to the Willis Tower’s Skydeck viewing floor in 2005 and have added to the appeal of this Chicago attraction. The Ledges extend four feet out into the air and make a perfect spot for my tweens. They loved standing out there posing for me.
My daughters have been working hard to finish out the end of the school year. There were loads of tests to complete the end of the semester and even more tests for placement for next school year. They needed some down time. I thought it important to dedicate some time with my tween daughters to simply having fun together.
The Ledge Experience
At 1,353 feet up, the Ledge’s glass boxes extend out from the skyscraper’s Skydeck, on the 103rd floor. We visited on a super clear day and were able to see amazing views of the city.
The tower is a Chicago icon and stands 1,450 feet and 110 stories tall. The Willis Tower is the 8th tallest building in the world and the tallest in the Western Hemisphere, how's that for living near history and culture!
Your tweens can step out onto the ledge at the Willis Tower Skydeck any day of the week. Open daily, the Skydeck offers spectacular views of the city and if it is spectacularly clear day you might ever see up to four different states(Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan). The Ledge is simply, a glass box, that let’s you step four feet outside the walls of the The Willis Tower.
When you step out on the ledge for the very first time, your first reaction is to look down and automatically your arms come out as if to balance yourself. I highly recommend you do not do this as it might make you dizzy or light-headed. Simply keep your eyes up and look forward and take in the city views. In your glass box, you are in your own little world.
After you have finished with the ledge, walk all around the entire skydeck and take in the city views from all directions. Even though we were taking a break from schooling that day, I still had my tweens look for historic Chicago attractions.
Be sure to take the elevator down to the lower level. A new theater presentation, Reaching for the Sky, tells the story of how the the building and Chicago’s well-known landmarks set architectural standards after the Great Chicago Fire and beyond. Additionally, there are new museum-quality exhibits that highlight this iconic tower, and celebrate Chicago’s rich history and culture through captivating visuals. When you have out-of-town guests, these exhibits are perfect.
The Willis Tower Skydeck
The Skydeck is open 365 days a year. April through September from 9am-10pm and October through March from 10am-8pm. Admission is $22.00 for Adults(ages 12 and up) and $14.00 for children. Children three and under are free. Also available are express passes for $49.00. This allows you to bypass all the crowds, perfect for busy days when the lines tend to be very long.
The Skydeck also hosts special occasions such a breakfast, lunch OR dinner right on the ledge! Advance reservations are required for this treat and can be booked online.
Disclosure: Some photos are courtesy of Willis Tower and used with permission. I received entrance passes. As always, my opinions are my own. I was not compensated in any manner.