Back in the early 1980s, producers of the classic holiday film "A Christmas Story" — based on a story written by author Jean Shepherd — were seeking filming locations for what was supposed to look like an Indiana steel town in the '40s. They found their answer in a home located in the Cleveland neighborhood of Tremont.
Originally built in 1895, the house underwent a series of facelifts both before and after filming. In 2004, San Diego-based entrepreneur Brian Jones — a longtime fan of the film — bought the home on eBay and renovated it to once again match the scenes from the movie. He used profits from his own business (selling replicas of the movie’s iconic leg lamp) for the down payment.
This means the 1983 holiday classic has become as much a part of our city as pierogies and craft beer. While you can see the Parkers' two-story Victorian on a continuous loop on TBS every Christmas, people from all over can come to Cleveland and visit it year-round.
And boy, do they.
What You'll See:
- Walk through an exact replica of the Parker family home. Admire the leg lamp's "soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window." Take a selfie next to the Christmas tree. Grimace in a pink bunny suit. Hide under the kitchen sink. And, of course, hold the Red Ryder BB gun. But resist the temptation to fire it — you might shoot your eye out.
What Else to Do?
- Two other homes across the street have been renovated into a gift shop and museum. The museum showcases behind-the-scenes photos and original props and costumes, including the original leg lamp, Ralphie’s bunny suit and the famous Red Ryder BB gun.
- In December, visitors can run in the A Christmas Story 5k/10k, which routes between Public Square in Downtown Cleveland and the house in Tremont. Hundreds of participants — from serious runners to stroller brigades — come out to enjoy this ridiculous winter fun-run where folks dress up like the movie’s characters (some even run wearing Leg Lamp costumes).
Where to Stay?
- So, you're already at the house, why not just stay there? Up to six guests can stay overnight in the Parkers' third floor loft and have the entire house to themselves from an hour after closing until 9 a.m. the next morning. In addition, the house of Ralphie's old man's eternal nemeses, the Bumpuses, is also available for rent and accommodates as many as 10 classic holiday film lovers.