During the month of December, more than 45,000 people will traipse through the Christmas Story House in Cleveland, just like the Bumpuses hound dogs, many of them hiding under the kitchen sink or sitting in the bathroom with a bar of Lifebuoy Soap in their mouths.
Of course, that’s just a fraction of the millions of people who watch the holiday classic in the 24-hour loop on TV each holiday season.
Visiting A Christmas Story House
Ralphie’s house is located on 11th Street in the Tremont neighborhood on Cleveland’s Westside. Built in 1895, the house reflects the working class neighborhood that was once home to German immigrants.
When the house came up for sale on e-bay, the current owner, Brian Jones, got into a bidding war with a guy named Zack Ward, AKA Scut Farkus. As cool as the house is now, wouldn’t it have been fun for Scut Farkus to win that bid?
My only disappointment is that I visited in the daytime, so the leg lamp did not light up the street as it does in the movie. The Bumpus house was rather neat and tidy with no barking dogs. And the furnace was working. Gosh, maybe it was disappointing after all.
Across the street from the house is a museum that showcases movie props, including an official Red Ryder carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle. Mom’s bathrobe is on display, as is Randy’s snowsuit and the chalkboard from Warren G. Harding Elementary, along with lots of other fun stuff.
The Leg Lamp – A Major Award
And then there are the leg lamps – the major award. Those are not original. Our guide told us that there were only three made for the movie and Mom broke all three of them in production. It was an accident, I’m sure.
A number of homes and businesses in Tremont have a leg lamp in their windows and I was told that the city is considering replacing the street lights with leg lamps. If accomplished, that would make Tremont officially the coolest neighborhood ever.
The week before Christmas, 11th Street shuts down for a watch party on two big screens. Lots of games and fun food. The official drink is Rich Chocolatey Ovaltine, of course. I’m quite sure more than a few attendees will show up in a pink bunny jammies (adult sizes available at the gift shop for $99.99)
I would wear one if I was going. And if I had an extra $2,000, I would spend Christmas night at this fabulous place in Cleveland. But as it is, I’ll be happy snuggled in front of my own fireplace in my own jammies at our little house in Kansas City where I won’t have to worry about shooting my eye out.