It’s Christmas time once again, and you know what that means…yes, the tree is decorated, the presents are wrapped, the cookies are out, Norad Santa tracker is running non-stop, and 24 hours of A Christmas Story is rerunning on my TV. I find that every year I can fall asleep to one point in the film and wake up the next morning in the exact same place without skipping a beat.
I call it the true Christmas Miracle.
If you have never seen the movie (Check it out here if you haven’t…I’ll wait), it is about young Ralphie Parker, a boy whose only Christmas wish is to receive a BB gun. More specifically, an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. Of course, his family, teachers, and even the department-store Santa are against it, famously proclaiming “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out.” In the end he finally gets his wish and his gun…and only manages to prove everyone right.
(Maybe he should have asked for a Radio Flyer wagon instead.)
It’s a Christmas classic.
While the movie itself takes place in the fictional town of Hulman, Indiana (based off of Hammond), the Christmas Story House actually resides in Cleveland, Ohio and is open for tours.
The house itself was only used for exterior shots, but the owner has done a spectacular job of transforming the property both inside and out. Back in 2004 a Californian names Brian Jones won the house on eBay. He had been a fan of A Christmas Story since childhood and even created the Red Rider Leg Lamp Company to manufacture replicas of the famous A Christmas Story Leg Lamps (major award) used in the film. The property wasn’t in movie-form when he bought it, with newer windows and siding, but Jones took intricate notes and fixed it up to transform the property back into film-condition. Although the inside wasn’t used in the movie, he also fixed that up (as best as possible as the interior wasn’t the exact layout) to reflect the family home: from portraits over the mantle, a turkey in the oven, comic books on the bed, and, of course, a leg lamp in the window.
Across the street, Jones bought another property that was converted into a gift shop and mini-museum that showcases movie merchandise and costumes.
If you love the movie it’s a great place to tour since every nook of the home contains something you’ll recognize. But even if you don’t love the movie you have to admit, this is one silly American abode.
Site: A Christmas Story House
Location: 3159 W 11th St, Cleveland, OH 44109
Cost: Adults/$7, Children 7 to 12/$5, Children 6 & under/FREE, Seniors/$6
Hours: Thursday–Saturday: 10am–5pm; Sundays 12pm–5pm (closed, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, New Years Day, and all other Major Holidays.)
Date: August 18, 2007
Looking for more roadside attractions in Cleveland, Ohio? Check out the World’s Largest Rubber Stamp in nearby Willard Park!