Admit it: one of the best parts of the holiday season is the movies. There’s nothing quite like curling up on the couch with your loved ones (or a giant bowl of popcorn) and relaxing to a classic seasonal flick. But if you’re a bit more adventurous, you can take this holiday tradition and turn it into an amazing excursion. Why not visit some of the locations from your favorite festive films? Here are some must-see spots that gave life to some classic holiday movies. Now you can relive the magic firsthand, and create some truly unforgettable holiday memories with your whole family.
A Christmas Story – Cleveland, Ohio
Who can forget the classic Christmas adventures of Ralphie and his family? Now you can experience them up close and personal with the amazingly immersive A Christmas Story House. Restored to its original, unforgettable glory, fans of the movie can tour the house and view hundreds of behind-the-scenes props from the film (including the iconic leg lamp). Hardcore fans can go a step further and spend a night in the house, where you can dream of a perfect Christmas from the comfort of Ralphie and Frank’s beds.
Elf – New York City, NY
While a lot of this modern-day classic was filmed in Canada, the cast and crew of Elf were sure to hit the Big Apple for some on-location filming. From Buddy’s father’s office at the Empire State Building to Central Park, the film is a veritable goldmine of must-visit New York locales. But our personal pick for a holiday trip is the ever-popular Rockefeller Center. You can ice skate with your loved ones, take in the giant Christmas tree, and recapture some of the holiday magic that makes Elf such a beloved family film.
Love, Actually – London, UK
We have to confess, we’re utter suckers for this Christmas-themed romantic movie. And if you’re heading overseas, you can experience some of the charm that made people fall head over heels for Love, Actually. While it might be a challenge to get to Downing Street (and if you do, Hugh Grant probably won’t be dancing through the halls), anyone can make the pilgrimage to Somerset House. It’s got beautiful Christmas decorations, an ice skating rink, and enough delights that even non-hardcore fans will have a jolly time.
Miracle on 34th Street – Chicago, IL
You read that right: the classic Christmas movie remake was actually primarily filmed in Chicago, as opposed to New York City. While that may be a surprise for fans of the 1994 film, this gives you a great excuse to check out the fun and excitement that Chicago has to offer. While there are numerous great places from the movie for fans to check out (including the same art gallery featured in another John Hughes’ classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), our pick has to be the Lincoln Park Zoo. It may have subbed for the Central Park Zoo in the movie, but this amazing zoo stands on its own. With tons of gorgeous animals and plenty of fun holiday-themed events for fans of all ages, it combines movie magic and holiday fun in equal amounts.