Since 1983, families have spent their holidays around the television, watching A Christmas Story and joining in the triumphs and failures of 9-year-old Ralphie as he struggles to secure a Red Ryder BB gun from Santa's bag. Although the cult-classic film showed Ralphie living in Indiana, the house in which the movie took place rests in Cleveland?and is now a museum. When MSNBC interviewed lifelong fan and A Christmas Story House & Museum owner Brian Jones, they profiled the story of how he found the house on eBay and jumped at the chance to own it. Today, he?s turned it into a year-round place of pilgrimage for fans and the site of an occasionally-held convention for Ralphies.
Jones?s restoration has returned rooms to exactly how they were in the film, letting guests gaze at the tinsel-strewn tree with its star falling off and explore the bathroom where Ralphie?s mouth was washed out with soap?a time-tested method for cavity prevention. Visitors can even attempt to hide like little Randy in the cabinet under the sink. After seeing the backyard that still houses the original shed, where Ralphie defended his family against Black Bart, fans head across the street to the A Christmas Story House & Museum. Here, original props such as the toys from the Higbee?s department-store window, Randy?s snowsuit, and Miss Shields?s classroom chalkboard join other memorabilia and hundreds of behind-the-scenes photos. Before leaving, guests drop into the gift shop to pick up a leg lamp just like the one Ralphie's old man cherished so dearly.
Pump It Up's indoor inflatable arenas launch children into the air with kid-friendly bounce pads. Staffers supervise visits, during which kids can leap through bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and crawl through an inflated obstacle course. The colorful venue also hosts custom birthday parties and private team parties, each themed to please the partygoers with a schedule of interactive activities. Relying on the staffers' vigilant, watchful eyes, parents can rest assured that their children will stay safe.
The factory-trained sleep experts at Mattress Matters strive to help customers get up on the right side of the bed with a wide range of mattress brands and types. Clients count fewer sheep than ever before on a Simmons Beautyrest queen set, whose motion-separating, pocketed coil springs and highly trained shepherds fill nights with uninterrupted REM cycles ($699+). Developed by NASA, the Tempur-Pedic bed conforms to every nook and cranny of the body, supporting perfect spinal alignment and comfort ($1,199+). Media mogul Donald Trump's line of luxury slumber vehicles boasts KoolComfort memory foam and a top-layer quilt to caress bodies and minds into dreamland ($849+), and the Sealy Posturpedic's orthopedically correct support aids in creating ache-free days and z-filled nights ($579+).
For more than 60 years, Bloom Bros. Supply has helped patrons tackle a slew of refurbishment projects with its expansive inventory of home-improvement supplies. For a better salsa-dance partner, fixer-uppers can utilize the inventory of power tools ($21+) and nails ($2+/lb.) to attach wooden limbs to a new broom or mop ($5–$15). Customers can treat thirsty friends to a half-full glass of water from a brand-new faucet ($12+) and thirsty enemies to a painting of a faucet brushed onto a wall with the store’s large collection of paints ($11+/gal.). The knowledgeable staff at Bloom Bros. Supply can also repair windows and screens, custom fit pipes, and re-key locks.
Colonic Center of America's team of therapists attends to clogged interiors in a comfortable setting with its gentle, FDA-approved cleansing-hydrotherapy treatment. The center uses the LIBBE system, which can be operated privately or with the assistance of a therapist. Sessions take place in private rooms, and clients don appropriate draping to maintain comfort and peace of mind. The filtration system removes all traces of offensive odors, ensuring a sanitary experience. Before treatments, clients are advised to drink plenty of filtered water, eat organic vegetables and fruits, and avoid swallowing marbles. See Colonic Center of America's complete list of pre- and post-session guidelines for additional instructions and information.
A spring cleanup from Picture Perfect is like a day at a grass spa for lawns bedraggled by ever-abusive Old Man Winter. Let the landscaping staff gut leaves and debris from lawns and flowerbeds with the enthusiasm of a hazelnut fiend scraping the last sweet smidge from a Nutella jar. They'll trim bushes and shrubs of split ends and hibernation beards, and cut down the morbid, skeletal remains of last year's perennials and plants to make way for freshly formed, infantile plant life. All debris generated by the cleanup will be hauled away by the Picture Perfect staff as well, lest it attract curious raccoons or nest-hunting sandworms. Click here for a list of services and prices.