Are you ready to laugh and have a good time? After the year we’ve had, who isn’t?
Make a plan with friends and family to create lasting memories through a unique, immersive experience. Right now in the heart of Chicago, there’s an experience designed specifically for fans of the classic and legendary Warner Bros. show, Friends.
Grab your own friends, kids and family and get to The FRIENDS Experience, a wholly interactive new celebration of the beloved television series, right at 504 N. Michigan Avenue along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.
The FRIENDS Experience is a series of 12 unique rooms that recreate sets from the opening sequence fountain to a fully detailed Central Perk and lots in between. Fans can browse through each room and recreate their favorite scenes — even “PIVOT! PIVOT! PIVOT!” Ross’ sofa right up the staircase.
Authentic, immersive fun
“In The FRIENDS Experience, we have created exact replicas of sets and scenes. This makes it possible for guests to put themselves right into their favorite show moments and take pictures to post and share,” says Jonathan Mayers, CEO of Superfly X and creator of The FRIENDS Experience. “We even have some original costumes and props, so it’s just like being on set of your favorite show.”
Guests can also browse through their favorite Friends merchandise at the retail store on the main level and take in the art exhibit that commemorates the show — both are open to non-ticketed guests. The entire experience is carefully curated and designed to allow for physical distancing between parties, and larger groups — a maximum of six guests or 10 guests per group — can even reserve their own private entry. A Private Access ticket provides first-thing-in-the-morning entry and groups are checked in and allowed entry five minutes apart to allow for maximum social distancing between groups.
Not just clean, but “Monica Clean”
The FRIENDS Experience is dedicated to keeping everyone safe, so they have created cleanliness protocols that even Monica would approve of. In addition to limiting capacities, all surfaces will be UV sanitized and there will be plenty of touchless hand sanitizer stations throughout. All restroom facilities will be touchless, too. If a member of your group gets sick, The FRIENDS Experience will encourage you to reschedule.
The entire space will be deep cleaned, steam cleaned and sanitized each night. (We mentioned “Monica Clean,” right?)
Staff will being wearing masks, and masks are required for guests throughout the experience. “We take temperature checks at the beginning and it’s so seamless,” he says. “We are proud that we can operate safely for our guests at this time.”
Born from the desire to give fans the chance to engage with meticulously recreated studio sets for their favorite shows, The FRIENDS Experience is Mayers’ creative work. Superfly X is the production company behind similar experiences celebrating Seinfeld, Arrested Development and The Office.
“I saw how fans reacted and recognized how much we have a true relationship with these shows,” Mayers explains. “By engaging with the shows, we invite these characters into our homes and we consume them like comfort food.” Because the show is 26 years old, Mayers says multiple generations can appreciate and enjoy The FRIENDS Experience together. “Parents who are fans are bringing their kids who are fans,” he says. “It’s giving the show a whole new lease on life — and the range of ages who love it is so broad.”
Some very welcome joy and laughter
Mayers worked directly with Warner Bros. to create the event, so visitors can be assured that the experience will be authentic, right down to the last detail. Originally designed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Friends in 2019, The FRIENDS Experience lived in New York’s Soho for 30 days before moving along to Boston to delight fans for six weeks.
“I wondered how we could take what we learned and punch up the experience, and I knew Chicago would be the perfect destination for The FRIENDS Experience,” Mayers says. “My favorite thing is seeing people have a great time. Especially today, with so much going on in the world, we need to grab moments of joy and laughter.”
In Chicago, Superfly X is extending its presence to give back to one special nonprofit, My Block, My Hood, My City, to provide real-world mentoring in the entertainment industry to underserved kids. “This is such an inspiring thing,” Mayers says. “In addition to donating a portion of ticket proceeds to the nonprofit, we are hosting kids in the experience so they can learn what it takes to create these types of events, from marketing to operations to retail. It’s an amazing grassroots platform.”
Tickets for The FRIENDS Experience are on sale now. The FRIENDS Experience opens March 17 and welcomes guests Thursdays through Sundays. But it will only be in Chicago until May 31, so be sure to get tickets and go now. Learn more at friendstheexperience.com/chicago, and connect on Instagram @FriendsTheExperience.