CLEVELAND, OHIO – Christmas in July, anyone? Yes, it’s SUMMER, but the warmer months are the best time to visit Ralphie’s restored home. During holiday break, tour buses crowd the tiny street and the lines extend around the block from this film location. And if you were a true fan you’d be INSIDE watching the 24-hour A Christmas Story marathon on TBS anyway.
Unless you’re a die-hard fan, a photo outside the property and a stop in the gift shop will probably be enough for you. The gift shop has just about everything a fan could dream of. Pink bunny suit? Check. Leg lamp? Check. Red Ryder B.B. Gun? Check. If you want to fork over the $8 admission, you’ll get a few photo opps: a pink bunny suit cut-out, a leg lamp in the living room window, and the infamous backyard. (Don’t shoot your eye out!)
Drive into downtown Cleveland to see the town square where the family watched the parade and the building where the department store Santa scene was filmed. (Sadly, the department store closed and it’s now the Cleveland visitor’s bureau. But it’s not open on weekends. Nice, Cleveland. Nice.) Whatever you do, don’t get conned into visiting the Chinese restaurant. It’s in Toronto, not Cleveland! It’s OK to be a stupid tourist sometimes, but we don’t want to be THAT stupid, right? Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra Ra-ra-ra-ra!