A Christmas Story House Tour

I’m going to say it…..A Christmas Story is the best Christmas

movie out there. I watch this movie on repeat every

single year and no matter how many times I see it

I cannot wait to watch it again. It is funny, it is

heartwarming, it is memorable, and it will always be my

favorite Christmas movie. So, knowing how I feel about

this movie, it comes as no surprise that when I was in

Cleveland, Ohio on a road trip I was definitely

making a stop at the infamous house. 

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How the House Came to Be

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While scouting locations for this movie, director Bob Clark

visited at least 20 cities before finally coming across one that

checked all of his movie boxes. The town had a steel plant

(where Ralphie’s dad worked in the movie), a department store

(Higbee’s) that was willing to keep their Christmas decorations up

longer for the movie’s parade and santa scene, and a house, located

at 3159 West 11th Street, that perfectly fit Clark’s vision. However, there

was one problem. This house was actually a private residence and

the owner of the house was not too keen on the idea of being kicked

out for the movie. However, after a few rounds at the bar across

the street and some sweet talking, Clark got his house.

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All the exterior shots of the movie were filmed in Cleveland

and a majority of the interior shots were filmed on a soundstage

in Toronto, Ontario due to the small size of the house’s interior.

However, there were a few interior shots that were filmed at

the house. If I remember correctly,  if you can see out the window

during a scene in the movie it was filmed at the house.

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In 2004 the house was purchased off eBay by a fan named Brian

Jones for $150,000. He renovated the entire house, inside and

out, to look like the famous house from the movie and turned

it into the attraction that it is today.

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Touring the House

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Eventually our tour group departed the gift shop and we walked

across the street to the front porch of the house where the

first thing I noticed was, of course, the infamous leg lamp.

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From the porch we stepped inside the house and directly into the living room. 

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“It’s a major award!”

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“Fra-gee-lay. It must be Italian.”

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After listening to our tour guide provide some backstory on the

house and the movie, we were given free reign to explore the

rest of the house. I decided to make my way up the stairs to

the second floor which housed a bathroom as well as Ralphie

and Randy’s room and another spare room.

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“Lifebuoy on the other hand…yuck!” 

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Ralphie’s comics in the bathroom along with “Orphan Annie” decoder and message. 

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Ralphie and Randy’s bedroom

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Of course this isn’t the real bedroom used in the movie

(no interior scenes were shot upstairs), however, I think Brian

Jones did a wonderful job of recreating this room to match

the time period and providing special movie touches like Raphie’s

class writing assignment and a Red Ryder comic book.

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After exploring the upstairs I walked back down the staircase and into the kitchen. 

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It is seriously hard for me to imagine any cooking getting done in this tiny kitchen.

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You can hide underneath the sick like Randy!

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They even had the heater vent! No black smoke rolling out of it though thankfully!

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Next the tour took a quick trip out into the backyard and then it was over to the museum!

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A Christmas Story Museum

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There are a ton of great facts throughout the museum as

well as many different costumes and keepsakes from the movie.

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“I can’t put my arms down!”
“You’ll shoot your eye out!”

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Next door to the museum is a little garage where you can see

a firetruck from the time period the movie was set in along

with the Parker family’s automobile.

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The Gift Shop

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Be sure to check out the gift shop while you are there. They

had a lot of really cool things for purchase including full size

leg lamps, bunny suits, and Red Ryder BB guns as well as some

A Nightmare Before Christmas themed items.

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After the tour I was feeling a little famished so I made my way

over to The Rowley Inn and ordered myself the biggest

and best poutine I have had to date.

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This was easily enough to feed like 3 people and so stinkin’ good!

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Know Before You Go:

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The house is located at 3159 West 11th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44109

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The house and museum are open all year round Sunday-Saturday 10am-5pm.

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There is plenty of free parking between the Bumpus house and

the Christmas Story house as well as along the street so don’t

get tricked into paying for parking when you visit!

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Tickets are needed to go inside the house and can be bought

either online (here) or in person at the huge gift shop across

the street from the house (this is what I did). Your tour tickets

are good for both a house tour and museum entrance and are $15 a piece. 

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If you really want to go all out with your visit you can book a stay

at the house (for ~$395/night) or in the Bumpus House next

door (for ~$195/night). More info on that can be found here.

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A Christmas Story House website

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