Where is the Griswold house from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation?

Draped in 25,000 twinkling incandescent lights, the Christmas-ready Griswold house is etched into our collective memory and synonymous with the holiday season. But does the home featured in the 1989 holiday classic exist in real life?

Jenny Schafer
6 Min Read
The Griswold house in National-lampoons Christmas Vacation. Image credit: Warner Bros.

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It’s not Christmas until the holiday classics start hitting our TV screens.

No amount of eggnog or Mariah Carrey hits will put you in the holiday spirit until you’ve watched one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Starring Chevy Chase (Clark), Beverly D’Angelo (Ellen), Juliette Lewis (Audrey), Johnny Galecki (Russ), and Randy Quaid (cousin Eddie), the 1989 classic comedy offers audiences a look inside the Griswold family-of-four spending Christmas vacation at home with their visiting relatives and the chaos that ensues.

Where, exactly, is this classic family home? And did the neighbors truly experience that epic power outage?

Continue reading all about the Griswold family home (and we’ve thrown in a few details about cousin Eddie’s beloved RV too).

The Griswold house in middle America

Cinematically set in the snowy suburbs of Chicago, Clark W. Griswold and his wife Ellen live in a modest family home with their two children: daughter Audrey and son Russ.

Featuring white shutters on the exterior windows, a paved walkway to the front door, and lovely landscaping in the front yard, the home seems perfectly fit for middle America.

She’s a beaut, Clark!

Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo as the Griswolds in front of their house in 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. 
Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo as the Griswolds in front of their house in ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’. Photo credit: Hughes Entertainment/Warner Brothers

And of course, the 25,000 Christmas lights on the exterior of the house made the family home that much more memorable.

But can you go and visit the Griswold home just like Ralphie’s house from ‘A Christmas Story’?

The actual location of the Griswold house

As it turns out, Clark’s impressive light display isn’t the only magical component of the Griswold family house. 

While the story takes place in Chicago amid the snow and chill, the Griswold house is actually located in Los Angeles and is part of the Warner Brothers studio.

Except for a few exterior shots taken in Colorado, the classic Christmas movie was shot almost entirely in sunny California.

Embracing the magic of movies, the set of the Griswold family house is located on the backlot of the Warner Brothers Ranch facility in Burbank.

Formerly called the Columbia Ranch, the Warner Bros. Ranch where National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was filmed is set at 411 North Hollywood Way in Burbank, California.

Can you visit the house?

Not that we condone canceling Christmas bonuses, but we can’t allow for public visitations to the house. 

The Warner Bros. Ranch where National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was filmed is closed to the public since the made-for-the-screen Blondie Street and the surrounding area is used for filming on a regular basis.

Gate 12 of the Warner Bros. Ranch backlot in Burbank, California, where National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation was filmed, among others.
Gate 12 of the Warner Bros. Ranch backlot in Burbank, California, where National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was filmed, among others. Photo credit: Junkyardsparkle, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Griswold house of lights along with its charming neighboring family homes, have appeared in several other productions, such as American Beauty, ER, Moonlight, Pleasantville, Bewitched, The Partridge Family, The Middle, Small Soldiers, and a series of 2012 Christmas Vacation-themed Old Navy commercials, to name a few.

Most recently, the street made its way into the Marvel Universe, with the Disney+ series WandaVision being filmed on the same street where the Griswold house is located.

Unfortunately, the memorable movie house isn’t included in the Warner Brothers Studio tour, but you can check out other real sets, backlots, and sound stages (including the set of Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls).

This being said, not a year goes by without an over-eager fan of the movie recreating the Christmas magic in their own house.

So while we can’t actually visit the Griswold house during the holiday season, the memorable movie home — and its blinding light display — have certainly left a lasting legacy, with thousands of people all over the world going ‘full Griswold’ with their Christmas decorations.

And a word on cousin Eddie’s RV

All hope is not lost.

If you’re a die-hard fan of the funny festive film, you might want to visit Ohio to see cousin Eddie’s sweet ride.

“The shi**er’s full, Clark!”

The 1973 Ford Condor II motorhome is the marquee attraction at the Castle Noel Christmas movie museum on South Court Street in Medina, Ohio.

Your own Griswold house for Christmas

Power outages and septic issues aside, you too can join Clark W. Griswold’s determination to have a “fun old-fashioned family Christmas.” 

Fans of the movie who don’t want to drape their homes in Christmas lights, but still want to add some holiday movie magic can turn to Department 56’s beautiful Christmas Vacation Village collection.

Including everything from the Griswold house (fully decorated and lit), to the family car — with the Christmas tree in tow — to cousin Eddie’s RV, the collection makes for a great Christmas gift for National Lampoon Christmas Vacation fans.

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Jenny Schafer is the former senior editor of a high-profile celebrity blog she ran for 10+ years. A proud mom-of-three and resident of Vancouver, B.C., Jenny writes with a keen social consciousness and passion to keep things positive. She has been interviewed by various news sources such as CNN, Zimbio, Mom Spark and was a regular contributor for HerSay.