Enjoying a bit of holiday film nostalgia and wondering what it would be like to live in the sprawling, brick house featured in the 1990s holiday classic Home Alone? Good news, ya filthy animal - you can still view the house's impressive exterior today! It's the perfect place to reminisce on the more than 30-year-old movie that depicts 8-year-old Kevin McCallister's adventures defending his home against a pair of burglars after his family mistakenly leaves on vacation without him.
The striking red brick home that housed all eight of the McCallister kids and their parents is located at 671 Lincoln Ave., in the Chicago suburb Winnetka, about 16 miles from the city. While the home was available for a one-night stay on Airbnb hosted by Big Brother Buzz (Devin Ratray) back in 2021, it is currently a private residence that should be observed from the street to avoid disturbing the residents and honor their privacy.
The film's director, Chris Columbus, has been quoted saying he wanted the house to be both warm and menacing, and this Chicago-area home is exactly that, with its many windows, decorative transom, and dormer roofs. The team was reported to have spent several weeks driving through the Chicago suburbs looking for the perfect setting for the family holiday film before finding the perfect house. The beautiful home is now one of the most iconic movie houses of all time, as important a character in the film as any member of the McCallister family.
The Iconic McCallister Family Home
However, many movie fans might not know that much of the interior of the home - outside of the grand staircase - never actually appeared in the film. Instead, the interior of the home seen in the film was built inside a nearby gym. It was constructed at the abandoned New Trier Township School in Northfield, located at 7 Happ Road, just ten minutes away from the house. 1980s movie enthusiasts might know that this high school also happens to be the same place other iconic John Hughes movies such as Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Uncle Buck were filmed!
In fact, Hughes was known for his movies being filmed in the Chicago suburbs, having also filmed Sixteen Candles and She's Having a Baby nearby. As a born and bred Midwesterner, Hughes had a soft spot for the Windy City burbs, which always provided a homey backdrop in his projects.
While the iconic Home Alone family home is massive at more than 4,000 square feet - it was still too small for the crew to get in the door for the perfect shots, hence the filming being moved to the school gym, where the crew built a two-story set replicating a family home and then decorated the fabricated house with all the stunning holiday décor that's become well recognized from the opening scenes of the movie. No doubt all of Kevin's booby traps needed plenty of space for the film crew to set up as he expertly protected his home from bumbling burglars Harry and Marv.
Other Chicago Filming Locations
If you're in the area looking for famous filming spots, you can see several other Home Alone filming locations around Chicago. The pharmacy where Kevin takes a toothbrush and flees was a Panera Bread located at 940 Green Bay Road, just a mile away from the home. Today, it's an ice cream shop, but at the time of filming, it was a fast-casual café.
Then, just three miles away from the house, movie enthusiasts can see the exterior of the church where Kevin hides from Harry and Marv. Trinity United Methodist Church is located at 1024 West Lake Avenue in Wilmette. However, the impressive interior shots of a church where Kevin has a sweet heart-to-heart with his (not so scary) neighbor, Mr. Marley, were filmed nearly an hour away at Grace Episcopal Church at 924 Lake Street in Oak Park.
Of course, travel lovers might recognize Chicago's O'Hare International Airport from the film as well when Kevin's family departs for Paris in a chaotic frenzy. However, what they might find surprising is that the airport depicted as the Paris airport when the family lands isn't filmed at Charles-de-Gaulle airport, but instead was also filmed at O'Hare International Airport.
For a fun holiday outing in Chicago, enjoy a day of Home Alone sightseeing, checking out the house, the high school that housed the house's interior, the pharmacy and church sites, followed by a rewatch of the funny and festive feel-good film.
Home Alone is currently streaming on Disney+.