“You’ll shoot your eye out!” Everyone who has seen the movie, A Christmas Story, knows that line. And with the movie constantly in the top movie picks for the holiday season, who hasn’t seen it—at least once? The movie, released in 1983, is based on author Jean Shepherd’s childhood years in his hometown of Hammond, Indiana. Hammond is once again celebrating the movie during the Christmas season at the Indiana Welcome Center. The 2021 event runs from November 13 through January 2, 2022.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated for 2021.
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Macy’s A Christmas Story window displays
Six scenes from A Christmas Story are on display in the welcome center. Five of the displays first appeared in the New York Macy’s windows. In one scene, Ralphie first lays his eyes on the Red Ryder air rifle in the Higbee’s Department Store Christmas window. The fictional Higbee’s was modeled after the former Goldblatt’s department store in Hammond. I grew up in the town just across the state line from Hammond, and as a kid, Goldblatt’s was the place to ooh and aah over the Christmas window displays.
Other displays include the triple-dog-dare scene, flagpole scene, leg lamp scene, and Christmas Mountain, where Ralphie asks Santa for the Red Ryder air rifle. And who can forget the dogs that run through the house and devour the Christmas turkey, leaving the family with no choice for dinner but a Chinese restaurant?
Photos with Santa
Photos with Santa (for a fee) this year are by appointment only, on weekends from Thanksgiving to just before Christmas. Photos will be done in the theater instead of at “Santa’s Mountain” like in the past.
A free photo op
Before you leave (or before you enter), be sure to get a photo with the bronze statue of Flick with his tongue stuck to the flagpole.
All visitors to the Welcome Center must be masked. Masks can be removed for photos with Santa (Santa will be separated from guests with a glass partition). Masks must be put back on before leaving the theater.
Buy a Red Ryder air rifle
Browse the gift shop to purchase your very own leg lamp and other movie memorabilia perfect for holiday decorating or gift giving. Or, if you have your own “Ralphie,” what would be better gift than a Red Ryder air rifle?
If you go to A Christmas Story Comes Home
The Indiana Welcome Center is located at 7770 Corinne Drive, off of Kennedy Avenue just south of the I-80/94 Exit 3. For hours, event schedule and other details, visit the Indiana South Shore CVA web site.
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