The 1983 holiday classic A Christmas story it tops many people’s list of favorite movies. It is played continuously throughout the holiday season. I think we all remember the one line repeated throughout the film when Ralphie said he wanted a blowgun for Christmas: “You’re going to shoot yourself in the eye.”
The film was shot in Cleveland, Ohio, and the house was restored to mimic the look it had in the film. Visitors can tour the house and stay overnight. But that’s not the only place movie fans can go to relive some of their favorite movie memories. In Hammond, Indiana, the “A Christmas Story Goes Home” exhibit can be viewed in mid-November and December.
Why does Hammond, Indiana love a Christmas story almost more than Cleveland?
Jean Shepherd, the film’s co-writer and voice actor for Ralphie, was raised in Hammond, Indiana. The northwestern Indiana city is located just outside of Chicago, Illinois. Although the film was shot in Cleveland, the story is set in the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana, 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: Everyone else pays in cash. In honor of the writer and comedian, a Hammond community center is named after him.
Pro tip: Read more about Christmas story home and things to do in Cleveland, check out Vanessa Chiasson’s article Weekend Getaway in Cleveland: The Best Things to See and Do.
Show A Christmas Story Comes Home
The “A Christmas Story Goes Home” exhibit can be viewed at the Indiana Welcome Center, located on Kennedy Avenue near the I-80 freeway exit. It has six animatronic windows from Macy’s Department Store in New York, which premiered in 2003, and features some of the most famous scenes from the film, including the one in which Santa Claus pushes Ralphie down the slide. TVs are installed next to each display, playing the Christmas story scene it depicts.
This event is great for families of all ages. There is a Santa’s workshop on site and you can take home your own leg lamp and other movie memorabilia from the gift shop. The Indiana Welcome Center is also hosting a Christmas tree contest featuring trees decorated by local businesses, and you can vote for your favorite.
Ample parking is available at the Indiana Welcome Center. No appointments or tickets are required to see the exhibit. At the entrance to the building, there is a statue of the character Flick after Schwartz dared him to tongue a frozen metal flagpole. The statute can be viewed all year round. The Welcome Center is closed on Thanksgiving Day, 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.