When we started making our Canadian vacation plans, I put my foot down and insisted that since we would be going through Ohio on our drive, we were stopping at the house. No if. No ands. No buts. It was happening!
My mom went last year on a weekend and said that it was packed. The streets were jammed with cars lining both sides of the road, making it very difficult to drive down. We went on a Tuesday, arriving at about 9am, and we were the first people there. I was thrilled since it made for some great photo opps without extra people in the background. I would recommend a week day visit when school is still in session unless you like dealing with crowds. (Warning- this is a photo heavy post!)
The house doesn't open for tours until 10am, and you do have to go across the street to the gift shop to purchase entrance tickets. I believe the price was $10 for adults and $8 for children. You'll end up touring in small groups. There were about 30 people in ours, so it didn't feel too crowded in the house.
Once inside, the tour guide will give you a brief update on the history of the house, as well as some fun movie facts. Afterwards, you are free to roam around on your own for about 20 minutes.
Since everyone was milling around downstairs trying to get snaps next to that iconic leg lamp, we started from the upstairs and worked our way back down. Our first stop was the bathroom where we thought it would be fun to recreate that famous soap scene and I tried my hand at the decoder ring.
When Ralphie said the Queen Mother of All Dirty Words and blamed Schwarz in the movie, you could hear his mother screaming on the other end of the phone. If you pick up the phone in the hallway at the house, you can her Schwarz's mom screaming at him about saying that "oh, fudge" word.
Allison had a grand time in the boy's room, lounging around on the beds.
Next, we explored the kitchen, where the table was getting ready to be set for the neighbor's dogs to come steal the Thanksgiving turkey.
Mariah loved having her photo taken with the Red Ryder B.B. Gun! Thankfully, she didn't shoot her eye out ;)
Between the museum and the gift shop, you can see the dad's car and the firetruck that were used in the movie.
What made the trip even more special for me, was we realized that we would be driving right by the schoolhouse with the famous flagpole scene on our way to Toronto. The school is located in Canada and has since been turned into a women's shelter, so it was closed off to visitors, but I did stop outside to grab a quick photo.
For any fan of A Christmas Story, I highly recommend making a trip to Cleveland for a tour of the house! It's worth the drive. I promise!
Do you watch A Christmas Story each year? What's your favorite holiday movie?