Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Day Trip: A Christmas Story House & Museum

"You'll shoot your eye out!", "Aaah! 'Fra-GEE-leh!' It must be Italian!", "Naddafinga!"... I'm sure you know the movie - it only plays for 24 hours every Christmas Eve! Yes, we're talking about the holiday classic, A Christmas Story!

If you're not familiar with this 1983 film (how can you not be though?!), it tells the story of nine-year-old Ralphie Parker and his one Christmas desire - to receive a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. Much of A Christmas Story was shot in Cleveland, OH - a two hour drive from Pittsburgh. The Parker's house is located in the Tremont section of Cleveland's west side and was used for exterior and some interior scenes in the film. In 2004, the house was purchased by a private developer and restored to appear as it does in the movie. The house and an additional museum across the street are now open year-round for public tours.

This past weekend Nick and I were visited by my best friend, Juli, and I thought a quick day trip to visit the Christmas Story house would be the perfect way to start off the holiday season! For $10, you receive admission to the house, museum, and a huge gift shop packed with all of the leg lamps you can dream of! Here are a few photos from our trip!

Being able to explore the movie house was a lot of fun. Not only was it cool to feel like we were in their actual home from the film, but it was also great to check out all the awesome vintage-y decor. It is crazy to think about how much of the those same decorating trends are being revived today, and how inspiring much of the props were. (It gave us lots of new ideas of things to look for in thrift shops!)

If you live in the Western PA/Ohio area, this is a fun and unique way to spend a Saturday afternoon, especially around the holidays! I imagine that we visited during a pretty busy weekend (Saturday after Thanksgiving), but it did not at all feel overwhelming like some museums can. Both the house and museum are very small, so it doesn't take long to look at everything, but the staff are very talkative and eager to chat or answer any questions you may have! You can also take as many photos as you like, play around with the props, you name it!

On the day we visited, the actress who played the grouchy elf, Patty Johnson, was at the museum, talking to patrons about the film! We didn't stop to talk with her because there was a pretty big crowd around, but it was still pretty cool. You can see more photos and get more information about the A Christmas Story House here!

All in all, this was a super fun little day trip! I love that we live in an area where there are so many awesome places to visit that are just a drive away (next weekend we're visiting NYC!) Not only did we get to visit the filming location of one of our favorite Christmas movies, it was also cheap and really easy to do! And to top it all off, the Christmas Story house is only 1.8 miles from the Great Lakes Brewing Company! After an afternoon of fun exploring the house and museum, we were ready for refreshments and some delicious grub!

I hope this helps everyone get excited for the upcoming holidays! I know we are!

Sarah & Nick


  1. Aww, that's really fun and cool! Of course I've seen the movie, but I didn't know you could tour the house!

    1. I only found out recently and definitely wanted to go this year! I'm so glad we did - such a unique experience!

  2. I had no idea you could tour the house. This sounds like such a fun day trip. I might try to talk my husband into going this year...he may agree if I tell him that Great Lakes Brewing is super close to it. lol

    1. Haha, you should definitely go! We made a super fun day out of it. We're big beer fans, so adding in the trip to Great Lakes was an awesome perk :)

  3. I've been wanting to tour this place for ages! My partner and I went to Cleveland over the summer, but didn't get a chance to stop here. He was never a fan of the movie, though, so I think he was relieved.

    Definitely seems cool that they give you pretty unrestricted access here with photos, etc.

    And hope you guys had fun in NYC. I've always wanted to go there during Christmastime too, but alas, it's another thing I haven't gotten around to doing yet.

    1. Nick isn't a huge fan of the movie either, but it's definitely a cool experience regardless! I'm so excited to visit NYC - I've only ever been on a high school field trip and I can't wait to explore the places I actually want to visit! It'll be my first time in Times Square and seeing a Broadway play. Can't wait!