‘Tis the season for cheesy Christmas movies.
Whether you’re a diehard Hallmark fan or a Diehard fan who is adamant that the movie is, in fact, a Christmas movie (here at Pack Up + Go we say it is), this list will make you want to visit the real-life locations of your favorite holiday films.
Photo courtesy of Realtor.com
Although set in the snowy suburbs of Chicago, the Griswold house in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) was actually filmed in Burbank, California at Warner Brothers Studio.
According to the Warner Brothers website, the set was filmed on a ranch facility location called Blondie Street and was created to model a suburban neighborhood.
You can’t visit the actual house, so the closest we have to visiting the location is this virtual tour of Blondie Street!
Photo courtesy of A Christmas Story House + Museum
Head up to Cleveland, Ohio to see, and possibly stay at, the iconic filming locations of A Christmas Story (1983) located in the Tremont neighborhood, just 5 minutes from downtown.
Set in the 1940s Cleveland, the story follows Raphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) and his attempts to convince his parents, teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun is a perfect Christmas gift (all while dodging neighborhood bullies).
The house in the film has been restored to mimic its set and is open year round to the public for tours and even overnight visits! Across the street lives A Christmas Story museum which houses memorabilia and behind-the-scenes photographs from the film. Additionally, The Bumpus House, home of Ralphie’s “hillbilly neighbors, the Bumpuses, and their 785 smelly hound dogs” is also open for overnight stays!
Photo courtesy of movielocations.com
Filmed in its entirety in Chicago, Illinois (also where the film takes place), Home Alone (1990) follows the story of Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) and his adventures fighting off burglars in his family’s suburban home.
The house is located in a Chicago suburb, Winnetka, and is a private home.
Photo curtesy of Amos Zhang via Flickr
Today, Fox Plaza is the set of the famous Nakatomi Plaza from the film Die Hard (1988). The movie follows John McClane (Bruce Willis) who saves a Los Angeles Christmas party from a bunch of terrorists.
Located at 2121 Avenue of the Stars, the Fox Plaza building is part of the Century City complex.
Die Hard celebrated its 30th anniversary in July with an outdoor screening of the film at the foot of Fox Plaza.
Photo courtesy of Dawn Villela via NPR
Arnold Schwarzenegger plays workaholic Howard Langston who promises to get his son the hottest toy of the season on Christmas Eve - Turbo Man in Jingle All the Way (1996). The movie was set and filmed in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Filmed just outside Minneapolis in Bloomington, Minnesota, some of the film takes place in the real-life Mall of America, a huge shopping complex and accompanying amusement park.
Photo courtesy of The Real Bedford Falls photo gallery
Although Bedford Falls doesn't actually exist, the town in the Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), is based on Seneca Falls (in New York’s finger lakes region) and the town of Bedford, also in New York.
The story follows a depressed and suicidal George Bailey (James Stewart) who is saved by a guardian angel. The angel shows him what his town would have looked like without his good deeds throughout the years.
Seneca Falls claims to be “The Real Bedford Falls” and hosts a festival each year to celebrate the movie and the town.
Despite being based on these towns, the actual filming of It’s a Wonderful Life took place on a massive studio in the San Fernando Valley.
Photo courtesy of Paramount Studios
Pine Tree, Vermont is the fictional town in the 1954 holiday classic, White Christmas. The town is nestled in the mountains amid tree tops glistening and children listening to hear sleigh bells in the snow.
Although imaginary, the setting of Pine Tree paints Vermont to be cozy and simple, a viewpoint that stills lives today. White Christmas is centered around the story of singers Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) who join sisters Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen) to perform a Christmas show in rural Vermont.
The movie was actually filmed entirely in Southern California (surprise!) at Paramount Studios.
Photo courtesy of On the Set of New York