Indiana Welcome Center Celebrates ‘A Christmas Story’

“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.

Christmas Story flagpole

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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.

store_window

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?

hounds

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.

Flick_n_me

Covid-19 precautions

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?

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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A Christmas Story Comes Home

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7 thoughts on “Indiana Welcome Center Celebrates ‘A Christmas Story’

  • December 1, 2013 at 8:22 pm
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    This is a must see for the Holiday Season

    Reply
  • November 25, 2017 at 6:57 am
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    This is wonderful. How many people actually put their tongue on that pole? Ewwwwww. Ha. I should triple dog dare myself to visit it. Funness!

    Reply
    • November 25, 2017 at 8:03 am
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      Hahaha…For the record, I didn’t actually touch my tongue to the pole, but now that you mention it, I wonder how many do. Ewwwww.

      Reply
  • November 29, 2017 at 7:24 pm
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    OMG… This is just awesome! I love the interactive picture opportunities.

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    • November 29, 2017 at 8:40 pm
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      Yes, it’s a lot of fun! The Saturday activities sound like a lot of fun, too. I’m hoping to take the grandkids on at least one Saturday this year.

      Reply
  • November 30, 2017 at 2:27 pm
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    I love A Christmas Story – this sounds like a great place to take the kids after we watch it.

    Reply
    • November 30, 2017 at 3:49 pm
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      Absolutely! In fact, this Saturday, December 2, there will be two showings of “A Christmas Story” at the welcome center.

      Reply

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