Just because Christmas is over and the holiday season is quickly fading away doesn't mean you have to pack away the spirit of the season. After all, in Miracle on 34th Street, Kris Kringle states, "Christmas is not just a day - it's a state of mind."
For many, it's another Christmas movie that they love most: A Christmas Story. This beloved holiday classic from 1983 was filmed at some Cleveland locations, and the original house is now a museum open year-round for enthusiasts.
Ralphie and is iconic movie family made their home at what is now 3159 W 11th Street in Cleveland. This location played host to the famous scenes including the leg lamp, Randy hiding under the kitchen sink, the dogs stealing Christmas dinner, and Ralphie shooting his Red Rider BB gun in the backyard.
Across the street from the house is an official museum with original props and memorabilia from the movie. With the house restored to movie set fashion, visitors can immerse themselves in the house to feel more a part of the movie experience, and then take home a souvenir. Proceeds from the gift shop help support and maintain A Christmas Story House and Museum.
The house is open to visitors Thursday - Saturday from 10am - 5pm and Sundays 12pm - 5pm. It is closed Monday - Wednesday. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for children 7-12 and free for children 6 and under. Group tours and rates are also available. For more information, visit www.achristmasstoryhouse.com.
Movie lovers will also find it interesting that the Higbee's department store from the movie was a real Cleveland icon. Located in downtown Cleveland, Higbee's later became Dillard's before closing in 2002. An area of the building later reopened as a visitors center and headquarters for the Positively Cleveland Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Diehard Christmas Story fans can also live like Ralphie's family after stopping at the house by enjoying some dining at local Asian restaurant Bac. Bac Asian American Bistro is the offical Chinese restaurant of A Christmas Story House and Museum (although not the same location as in the movie, which was filmed in Ontario, Canada along with the school in the movie). Visitors to Bac will receive 10% off their bill with a ticket stub from the museum.
To get to A Christmas Story House and Museum, take I-71 north, exit at W 14th exit, follow signs for 14th north around the traffic circle, then turn right onto Rowley Avenue.
From I-77, travel north to I-90 West. Exit at W 14th and head south on 14th. Turn left onto Clark Avenue and right onto W 11th.