The 1983 holiday classic A Christmas Story is at the top of many people’s favorite movies list. It is played nonstop during the holiday season. I think we all remember the one line repeated throughout the movie when Ralphie said he wanted a BB gun for Christmas: “You’ll shoot your eye out.”
The movie was filmed in Cleveland, Ohio, and the house has been restored to mimic how it looked in the film. Visitors can tour the home and stay overnight. But this is not the only place fans of the film can go to relive some of their favorite memories from the movie. In Hammond, Indiana, the “A Christmas Story Goes Home” exhibit can be seen in mid-November and December.
Why Does Hammond, Indiana, Love A Christmas Story Almost More Than Cleveland?
Jean Shepherd, the co-writer of the film and voice of Ralphie, grew up in Hammond, Indiana. The northwest Indiana town is located right outside of Chicago, Illinois. Although the movie was filmed in Cleveland, the story is set in the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana, which is named after one of Hammond’s busiest streets. A Christmas Story is based on a couple of stories from Shepherd’s autobiographical novel In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash. In honor of the writer and comedian, a Hammond community center was named after him.
Pro Tip: To learn more about the Christmas Story house and things to do in Cleveland, check out Vanessa Chiasson’s article Weekend Getaway in Cleveland: The Best Things to See and Do.
A Christmas Story Goes Home Exhibit
The “A Christmas Story Goes Home” exhibit can be seen at the Indiana Welcome Center, located on Kennedy Avenue near the I-80 expressway exit. It has six animatronic window displays from Macy’s Department Store in New York, first showcased in 2003, and features some of the most famous scenes from the movie, including the one when Santa pushes Ralphie down the slide. TVs are set up next to each display, playing the Christmas Story scene it depicts.
This event is great for families of all ages to enjoy. There is a Santa’s workshop on-site, and you can take home your very own leg lamp and other movie memorabilia from the gift shop. Indiana Welcome Center also hosts a Christmas tree contest with trees decorated by local businesses, and you can vote for your favorite.
Plenty of parking is available at the Indiana Welcome Center. No appointment or tickets are required to see the exhibit. By the entrance of the building, there is a statue of the character Flick after Schwartz triple-dog-dared him into touching his tongue to a frozen metal flagpole. The statute can be seen all year round. The welcome center is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
For more information, hours of operation, and a calendar of events held at the Indiana Welcome Center, visit the South Shore Conventions & Visitors Authority website.
Pro Tip: To avoid the crowds, visit after Christmas when Santa has returned to the North Pole.