We were not initially going to do a tour of the Christmas Story House, but…when in Cleveland! And it turned out to be SO FREAKING COOL! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
We had no idea what to expect. We just kinda did it on a whim. It turns out that (almost) the entire house is interactive, meaning you can touch things and pick up props…
- Touch the leg lamp
- Hide in the same cupboard as Randy “Daddy’s gonna kill Ralphie!”
- Pick up the phone in the hallway upstairs to hear Ralphie’s mom call Mrs. Schwartz
- Pose with the Red Ryder BB Gun
The options are endless, and every little detail is PERFECT.
I was so impressed, that I made a blog post about it. So you know it was good!
The Christmas Story House is located in Cleveland, OH in the Tremont Neighborhood.
Don’t make the same mistake we did. We saw the sign that said, “Open Year Round!” So we just walked up to the front door and tried to go in. All of the entrances were locked, but we saw people inside and were so confused for a minute…LOL.
You have to go to the “A Christmas Story” Gift Shop across the street and buy a ticket for the tour. (You can buy them in advance online and have them mailed to you too, but I don’t really see a reason to do that.)
Tickets & Hours
Ticket prices were:
General Admission: $15
Seniors (60+): $14
Children (3-12 years): $11
Children under 3 are free
Tours start at 10:15 and run every half hour. You get about a half hour in the house and a half hour in the museum.
They are open everyday from 10am-5pm (current at the time of posting).
There are a few dates that they are closed each year: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. In addition, they are closed January 24th – February 4th for yearly maintenance. (Also current at the time of posting.)
You can see all the details on their website HERE.
Keep in mind that you are in a residential area, so please be courteous! There are two free parking lots (they are small), and there is free street parking too. Please do not block any driveways!
Other Noteworthy Details
I get the impression that the Christmas Story people own a large chunk of the block. There’s the Christmas Story House (did you know you can stay the night?!?!) and the Bumpus House too (where you can also stay the night)! No dogs included…sorry. They have the Museum, Gift Shop, & the Rowley Inn as well.
You can rent bunny pajama costumes for the tour. At first we were like, “No, why would we do that?” It wasn’t until afterwards that we realized we made a grave error. DEFINITELY rent the bunny costume. The pictures will be epic!
There’s a live feed on the house too that you can watch online! You might catch some people taking selfies with the leg lamp outside on the porch!
Next time, I would grab a bite to eat and drink at The Rowley Inn too because of the story of how the producer and the writer found the house. The Rowley Inn is kitty-corner from the house!
The film is based off of the book, “In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash,” by Jean Shepherd. Bob Clark was the director of the film.
They picked Cleveland because Higbee’s (a real department store at the time) was the only department store out of TWO HUNDRED to reply to their request to leave their Christmas decorations up so they could film a movie there. (The Higbee building is still standing, but it is now a casino.)
The story goes that Shepherd and Clark got lost in Cleveland. While lost, they came across the house and decided it was PERFECT for the movie.
They knocked on the door and were really disappointed when no one was home. They went across the street to The Rowley Inn and started drinking because what else would you do?
They were asking around the bar to see if anyone knew who owned the house with no luck.
A few hours later the second shift steel workers got off of work. The owner of the house ended up at The Rowley Inn and overheard them talking about his house. So it was meant to be!
Unfortunately, the inside of the house was too small to film many of the scenes. All of the outside scenes are filmed there. You can also tell that a scene was filmed there if you can see out any of the windows. The scene at the end with the Bumpus’ dogs was definitely filmed there!
The rest of the movie was filmed in Canada because of the house being too small, but also they needed SNOW! The movie was filmed in 1983, and the city of Cleveland recorded absolutely ZERO snow that winter! Crazy!
Did you know that there were three original leg lamps? One was broken during the initial scene when the mom knocks it over. Then, it was thrown out. So they had to break the second one so the dad could tape it back together. “You used up all the glue ON PURPOSE!” The third lamp disappeared…
We went over to The South Side (about a 4 minute drive) after our tour for an AMAZING lunch. We got this crispy chicken sandwich that was out of this world! So if you’re looking for an option other than The Rowley Inn, head over there! (The back of your ticket does have a coupon for The Rowley Inn too though.)
If you have any more questions, please leave me a comment below!
You can also follow along on Instagram too!
I need to do this! What a fun adventure…