One of our favorite things to do around Christmas time is to curl up with a hot beverage and watch our top merriest movies. You too, huh? From A Christmas Story to It’s a Wonderful Life, there are so many wintry flicks that’ll never get old (no matter how many times we watch it!). For those of you who want to take your obsession off-screen by actually visiting the destinations where those Christmas films took place, we’ve got just the list for you. That’s right — a lot of these films were located in actual places scattered around the US, not just some sound stage in Los Angeles.
Here are five filming locations of holiday classics to get you started!
The House from A Christmas Story (Cleveland, Ohio)
Travel back in time to the early 1940s (via 1983 Hollywood) as you visit the Parkers’ house from A Christmas Story. The house, which stands in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood, is open for self-guided or guided tours year-round…by the actor who played Randy, no less! When you finish, head across the street to the A Christmas Story Museum to see original props, costumes, and memorabilia from the movie, as well as a collection of behind-the-scenes pictures. An don’t forget to swing by the gift shop, where you can even snag your own leg lamp!.
Bedford Falls from It’s a Wonderful Life (Seneca Falls, New York)
Every year, New York’s Seneca Falls (aka The Real Bedford Falls) hosts a 2-day It’s a Wonderful Life festival. Most events take place at the It’s a Wonderful Life Museum, which is open year-round. Highlights include autograph signings by cast members, a radio show performed by a local theater company, roasted chestnuts, a local craft show, and raffles. The movie was actually shot on a sound stage in Hollywood, but many people believe that Seneca Falls was the real inspiration for the layout and vibe of Bedford Falls. If you want to visit an actual shoot location from It’s a Wonderful Life, the Martini house (one of the two remaining landmarks from the film) is located at 4587 Viro Road in La Canada Flintridge, California.
The Mall from Jingle All The Way (Bloomington, Minnesota)
Many of the scenes from this hilarious 1996 film were shot at the U.S.’s biggest mall, the Mall of America. Located just outside of Minneapolis, this retail behemoth boasts an indoor amusement park, countless restaurants, and pretty much any chain store you could think of. It’s close to the MSP airport too, which makes it a great first stop after you touch down since there are plenty of hotels nearby.
The Biggest Christmas Tree from Elf (Manhattan, New York)
In the 2003 hit Elf, Buddy tries to find the biggest Christmas tree. He eventually ends up at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in front of NYC’s iconic and massive spruce. You, too, can be as awed as Buddy was while gazing up at the 60-100ft glowing tree. A truly magical sight, especially when it’s lit up a night, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is always a great spot to take an impressive holiday photo.
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The Griswold House from Christmas Vacation (Burbank, California)
Although we can’t guarantee it will be as lit up as when Clark was in charge of the Christmas decorations, you can still book some cheap flights in December and visit the Griswold’s house during a tour of Blondie Street at the Warner Bros. Ranch (formally known as the Columbia Ranch) in Burbank, California. Just so you know, other notable movie houses on this street are the Bewitched house, the Lethal Weapon house, and The Partridge Family house.