Editor’s Note: As of Wednesday, November 18, the FRIENDS Experience is closed due to increased Covid-19 cases and government mandates. Slated to be open through Jan. 3, they hope to re-open March 17, 2021 at its current location.
Ever wondered what it would be like to pull up a chair in Monica’s spotless kitchen, grab a coffee at Central Perk, or kick back a recliner with Chandler and Joey? Now’s your moment: The FRIENDS Experience is giving “Friends” fans in Chicago a chance to step inside the beloved TV sit-com and laugh your way through your favorite scenes. Created by Superfly in partnership with Warner Bros., the immersive experience, opening Oct. 1 at The Shops at North Bridge on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, features sets, original props, merchandise, and those all-important, uber-Instagrammable photo ops (because you can’t plop down on that iconic orange couch and not Instagram it, right?!).
Masks are required and guests undergo a temperature screening and pass through a physically distanced queue before entering the walk-through FRIENDS experience. Painstakingly recreated sets include Monica’s and Rachel’s kitchen, Central Perk, Joey and Chandler’s apartment, and even Monica and Rachel’s balcony, where a hilarious photo op lets guests take their turn at poking Ugly Naked Guy to make sure he’s OK.
Original props like clothing and scripts and displays like a series of Magna Doodle messages from the back of Chandler and Joey’s door and an homage to Rachel’s VERY LONG letter to Ross (“18 pages! Front and back!”) will have diehard fans channeling their inner Janice and yelling “Oh. My. Gawd!!!”
It’s Not Just Clean… It’s ‘Monica Clean’
Guests are encourage to take advantage of the many photo ops, and anything that’s hands-on gets swiftly sanitized afterwards, so you can rest assured you’re touching a clean surface when you recreate the famous “Pivot!” scene in the stairwell.
Even the sanitation measures get a fun Friends spin: It’s not just clean, it’s “Monica Clean.”
Plan Your Visit
General admission tickets are $35 per person and are sold by date and time to safely control capacity. Private Access tickets are also available to groups starting at $350/group and give groups access to the experience before it opens to the public. A portion of ticket proceeds will be donated to My Block, My Hood, My City, a nonprofit giving opportunities to Chicago’s underprivileged youth.
Don’t have time for a visit? You can still check out The FRIENDS Experience Store for official merchandise from T-shirts and Spirit Jerseys to a “Crap Bag” tote and Hugsy plush. In other words, consider your holiday shopping sorted for all the Friends fans in your life. Admission isn’t required to visit the store.