Saturday, January 9, 2016

Cleveland's "A Christmas Story" House

Photos by OHventures

A Christmas Story House & Museum
3159 W 11th Street
Cleveland, OH 44109
(216) 298-4919

Do you still have that Christmas itch? Did you find it hard to get into the holiday spirit due to the unusually warm winter Oho has had so far? Are you sad that all the festivities have come and gone so quickly?

Even though Christmas has technically passed, there is one place in Ohio where the sun never sets on Christmas: the “A Christmas Story” House & Museum located in the Tremont neighborhood in Cleveland.

Everyone is familiar with this insanely popular holiday film, in part due to the 24-hour marathon of the movie every Christmas season on TBS! Who could forget the film's central character, Ralphie - the boy who wanted nothing more for Christmas than a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle, but was repeatedly denied of his request by Santa, his teacher, and his parents - all warning him by retorting, "you'll shoot your eye out!"

The movie is iconic in so many ways. The movie scared me into not swearing so that I didn't get my mouth washed out with a bar of red soap, and to this day I still get freaked out when I watch the "tongue stuck to a flagpole" scene.

You may recall me participating in the annual A Christmas Story Run around this time last year. This was a 5K with a finish line at the unmistakable yellow and green house (pictured above) that appeared in the 1983 cult classic movie. It's such a popular movie that hundreds and hundreds of people run each year, many dressed in pink bunny suits and evil elf costumes to represent the colorful cinematic characters.

Goofing around in the gift shop!

This Christmas season, I visited the house once again (this time not in any running attire) with my friend from Toledo, Steve. Steve is a huge movie buff and so I knew this would be right up his alley when he visited Cleveland. The A Christmas Story House is open all year-long, 7 days a week! So even if it's not Christmas time, you can still get a taste of the holidays. Admission is just $10 for adults, and it gives you entry to the house itself, as well as the museum located directly across the street.

Tickets are purchased in the gift shop (also across the street from the house), and tours run every half hour, beginning at 10:15 AM. Tickets never expire, so you can bring it back again and again in order to visit the house over and over! 

Steve in front of THE house!

Steve and I easily found free street parking, but nearby houses also charge small fees if the streets are filled. Be prepared for standing in line outside, because this place is super popular! We had to wait in line about 15-20 minutes, but this gave us time to pose for photos in front of the house, and hear a few tidbits of trivia from one of the tour guides who was on the porch.

It's A Major Award!

The house was used for filming all exterior shots of the movie (including when The Old Man put the infamous leg lamp in the front window, and the backyard scenes with Ralphie fighting the robbers and shooting his gun). However, interior shots were filmed on a sound stage. Therefore, the inside of the house is merely a replica of what the film contained. The leg lamps found inside are also replicas (in fact, the original no longer exists, as it was broken after filming). The furniture, props, and Christmas decorations are all recreated to make it look like Ralphie's house. It's fun to walk around and feel like you are in the movie. We had a kick posing with the BB gun and leg lamp!

Steve and I inside the A Christmas Story House

Immediately after our self-guided tour, we went to the museum across the street where we saw some really awesome memorabilia from A Christmas Story. This included actual costumes (such as the maroon winter coat worn by Ralphie's little brother), vehicles (like the fire truck that came to help during the flagpole scene), scripts, photos, and memorable props (such as a piece of the classroom chalkboard and the actual BB gun)!

Before we left, I of course had to buy a miniature leg lamp Christmas ornament (which was just $11, versus the $500 for a large leg-size leg lamp)! Our visit to this landmark was one for the books. It's great to have such an important piece of American pop culture right here in Cleveland, Ohio! 

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