Indiana Welcome Center Celebrates ‘A Christmas Story’

You’ll shoot your eye out!” cries everyone with whom little Ralphie Parker shares his dream of Santa bringing him “an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two hundred shot range model air rifle.” A Christmas Story, released in 1983 and based on author Jean Shepherd’s childhood years, has become an American holiday movie classic. Shepherd grew up in Hammond, Indiana, the model city for the movie’s fictitious town of Hohman. Hammond celebrates the movie every Christmas season at the Indiana Welcome Center with fun displays and special events. The 2017 event runs from November 11 through January 7, 2018.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated for 2017.

Christmas Story flagpole

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Outside the Welcome Center, a bronze statue of Flick with his tongue stuck to the flagpole makes for a great photo op.

Flick_n_me

Macy’s A Christmas Story window displays

Inside, six scenes from A Christmas Story, five of which first appeared in the New York Macy’s windows, are on display, with a nearby monitor playing the movie scene that is being depicted. The first display is of the department store Christmas window in which Ralphie first lays his eyes on the Red Ryder air rifle. The fictional, Higbee’s, was modeled after the real Goldblatt’s, the store to see Santa in Hammond in the 1930s.

store_window

You’ll also see displays of the triple-dog-dare flagpole scene, the leg lamp scene, and Christmas Mountain where Ralphie asks Santa for the Red Ryder air rifle. 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—complete with slide

On weekends from Thanksgiving through Christmas, have your kids’ or grandkids’ photos taken with Santa. Afterwards, they will slide down the big red slide on Santa’s Mountain, just like Ralphie did in the movie.

A Christmas Story Comes Home
Photo provided by the South Shore CVA

Write to Santa

Kids can drop letters with their Christmas wishes into Santa’s Mailbox.

mailbox

Buy a Red Ryder air rifle

Browse the gift shop, where you can purchase your very own leg lamp and other movie memorabilia perfect for holiday decorating or gift giving. And if you have your own “Ralphie,” what would be better gift than a Red Ryder air rifle?

rifle

2017 A Christmas Story Comes Home Special Events:

Check the website for event times.

  • December 2: A Major Event. Train rides for kids, bingo, movie showings, scavenger hunt, holiday market, more.
  • December 7: Holiday for Heroes. This event is open exclusively to all of the region’s police, firefighters, EMS, military forces, and Hoosier Helpers.
  • December 9: “Oh Fuuudge!” Tire Changing Relay. Parent/child teams run through an obstacle course. Entry fee: Canned foods/non-perishable items for the Northwest Indiana Food Bank.
  • December 17: “Mommy’s Little Piggy” Mashed Potato Eating Contest. Entry fee: Canned foods/non-perishable items for the Northwest Indiana Food Bank.
  • Write a Theme: Entries due by December 15.
  • Wag Your Tail Wednesdays: Have your pet’s photo taken with Santa, Wednesdays 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Ugly Lamp Contest: Check out the entries in the Ugly Lamp Contest, a nod to the leg lamp featured in the movie.

If you go

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.  Ask at the Welcome Center counter for a map to the self-guided “A Christmas Story” tour in Hammond.

Accommodations

Check Hammond hotel rates via TripAdvisor

 

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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.

    Reply
    • 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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