Approximately three hours northeast of Dayton, a relic of vintage holiday tidings remains standing just outside of downtown Cleveland.
Even if you’re not a fan of Christmas movies, it’s likely that you have at least watched “A Christmas Story” at least once in your lifetime (to help jog your memory, it contains a very famous scene in which one of the young boys gets his tongue stuck to an icy flagpole).
“A Christmas Story,” based on humorist Jean Shepherd’s stories about his ‘40s-era childhood in Hammond, Ind.
Though the movie takes place in the fictional town of Hohman, Ind., many of the scenes involving Ralphie Parker and his family are filmed at a historic home in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland.
Fans of “A Christmas Story” can now pay a visit to the home where all of the holiday action took place, still decorated to reflect the 1940s-era setting of the movie. In fact, each room nearly or exactly mirrors the setting laid out in the movie (complete with a leg lamp in the front window).
“The house in the classic holiday movie, A Christmas Story, was unknown to most of the public until purchased on eBay in 2004, site unseen, by Brian Jones for $150,000,” said Angela Dickerson, CEO. “He put an additional $240,000 into the property to restore it to its original movie splendor. The house opened to the public for tours Thanksgiving Weekend 2006.”
Now, more than a decade later, A Christmas Story House is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cleveland, boasting visits from 50,000 guests annually.
For a truly immersive experience, fans of the film also have the option of staying overnight at “A Christmas Story House” or at the Bumpus House, once home to Ralphie’s hillbilly neighbors, the Bumpuses, and their 785 smelly hound dogs. Each home can accommodate up to six guests and prices vary depending on the season. Those interested in sleeping in Raphie’s bed or reliving certain scenes from the movie can make their reservations at bumpushouse.com/reservations.
Directly across the street from the historic house is A Christmas Story Museum, featuring original props, costumes, memorabilia and hundreds of never-before-seen photographs from the filming of the movie. While you’re there, be sure to check out the the toys from the Higbee’s window, Randy’s snowsuit, the chalkboard from Miss Shields’ classroom and the family car.
Tours run every hour, starting at 10:15 a.m., with the last guided tour taking place an hour before closing. Tour times may vary slightly. Tickets can be purchased at the gift shop (located diagonally across the street from the house) or in advance through the online gift shop.
After your tour of the house and museum comes to a conclusion, stop in the gift shop to pick up your very own Major Award Leg Lamp and other great movie memorabilia.
If you can’t make the drive, the online gift shop offers much of the same memorabilia, including miniature replicas of the Parker home, the Bumpus home, and Higbee’s Department Store.
WANT TO GO?
What: A Christmas Story House and Museum
When: Holiday hours:
Sunday through Thursday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Dec. 24 and 31: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
Normal hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Sunday.
Where: A Christmas Story House, 3159 W. 11th St., Cleveland
Cost: General Admission is $13; children three to 12 are $10; seniors (60+) are $11.50, and children two and under can get in for free. Admission includes admittance to both the house and museum.