Editor’s Note: Last year, I went to Castle Noel with family after Thanksgiving. I heard that they may be moving, so if you want to see the museum in its original location, this could very well be the last year to do that. Don’t miss it!
Recently, I joined my sister, Randi, my parents, Bud and Dolores, my niece, Ashley and her sons, De’Aveon and Noah for a trip into Christmas. Well it was actually a visit to Castle Noel in Medina, Ohio, but it was all things Christmas.
Mark Klaus, the owner and restorer of the exhibits, gave our group a brief introduction to what we would see.
He has acquired costumes and sets from many Christmas movies including Elf, The Grinch, Christmas Vacation, Jingle All the Way, Christmas with the Kranks, and my brother-in-law’s favorite Christmas movie, The Christmas Story. There is even a replica of the slide Ralphie goes down after telling Santa what he wanted for Christmas.
Not only were there different props and costumes from movies, but Mr. Klaus has been able to get some of the holiday windows from the major department stores in New York. He is obviously a talented artist, because he also restores the exhibits. We even got to go into his workshop. It is where Mr. Klaus makes magic happen. He uses his great talents to restore the exhibits to their original luster.
We saw store windows from Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s and the old Higgbee’s in Cleveland that he restored.
Everywhere you look, each room you walk through it is Christmas. But it isn’t just a museum that you look at things. Mr. Klaus also created some interactive features including the winter vortex, where if I hadn’t been holding onto the railings, I might have fallen over. There is the chimney squeeze (at least that is what I call it). This is where you get a sense of what Santa Claus might experience trying to squeeze down chimneys on Christmas Eve.
Or take your picture wearing Ralphie’s bunny suit!
Then there is a room where you watch a little music video that pulls you in with a surprise ending. The icing on the cake is actually getting to talk to Santa, having your picture taken and then sliding down the big red slide, just like in the movie! Look, I haven’t been on a slide in I don’t know how many years. It was so much fun. Even my dad went down!
Castle Noel is open year round, but obviously busier during the Christmas season. I would suggest if you go (which I would suggest you go!) you buy tickets ahead of time. You can just walk in and purchase tickets, but the wait is quite long. Those with reservations have priority over those who walk-in.
Going to Castle Noel really got me into the Christmas spirit. I can’t imagine how anyone could go without feeling a little bit more jolly. And the ride down the slide…well it was like being a kid again…and isn’t that part of the fun of Christmas?