For those of you who are big fans of Christmas and/or are movie buffs, there is a “must-see” Christmas season attraction that you do not want to miss. Just plan a visit to Castle Noel in Medina, Ohio and experience the ultimate Christmas wonderland.
Located in a former church, Castle Noel is billed as America’s largest year-round indoor Christmas entertainment attraction and taking a guided tour at this spectacular attraction will fill you with the Christmas spirit and for a lot of visitors, bring back lots of fond memories of Christmases from their childhoods.
Founded by Mark and Dana Klaus, Castle Noel is filled with lots and lots of holiday movie memorabilia (including authentic costumes and props). Among some of the prized memorabilia is the real RV used by Eddie and his family in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” ( an outside exhibit), the original green elf costume worn by Will Ferrell in “Elf,” the sparkly elf costume worn by Dudley Moore in “Santa Claus” and the mini sleigh and reindeer used in the flying sequences, a miniature house that lights up with 80,000 Christmas lights from “Deck the Halls” with Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito, costumes and a huge fake snowman from “Christmas with the Kranks” (Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtiss) and costumes from “Fred Claus” (Vince Vaughn) and from “A Christmas Carol” starting Patrick Stewart as Ebenezer Scrooge.
One of the biggest collections of holiday movie memorabilia at Castle Noel is from “The Grinch” starring Jim Carrey which includes numerous costumes and hats, props, posters, photos, Cindy Lou’s actual bedroom movie set and even the sleigh with its bulging bag of gifts.
And be sure to check out one of the newest attractions at Castle Noel — gigantic fiberglass figures of the Mouse King and a Nutcracker soldier in battle that were formerly used by the Cleveland Ballet for their productions of “The Nutcracker.” The two figurines can be seen next to the RV from “Christmas Vacation” in Castle Noel’s only outdoor display. Castle Noel also features a huge collection of vintage toys from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s that Baby Boomer visitors will especially enjoy. Anybody remember “Cootie?” As visitors stroll past the toy memorabilia, classic 50’s and 60’s classic TV commercials play on small screens.
Be sure you don’t miss the “Planes and Automobiles” room with several running model trains and hanging overhead are two World War I planes representing Snoopy and the Red Baron. Another “must-see” exhibit features Castle Noel’s more than $2 million dollars’ worth of exquisite and opulent Christmas window displays from department stores like Bloomingdale’s and Saks and even Cleveland’s own Higbee’s. One hallway is filled with windows depicting the story of “The Nutcracker” and another hallway shows scenes from around the world including Italy, China, England, France, India and Russia. And don’t miss the shoes conveyor belt and shoes Christmas tree window.
Along the way, visitors will encounter the Blizzard Vortex tunnel (You’ll feel like you are in a Fun House) and the Santa Squeeze (see what it feels like for Santa to try to squeeze down all those chimneys. As you go through the Santa Squeeze be sure to look up to see the hundreds of ornaments that adorn the ceiling. Also on the tour is a stop at Castle Noel’s behind-the-screens warehouse-style renovation area where items acquired by Mark Klaus are being refurbished and restored before they become part of the tour.
The tour culminates in the Grand Hall that features items from “The Santa Clause” (including a Tim Allen head) and “Jingle All the Way” in addition to tons of “The Grinch” memorabilia. Be sure to take a look at the incredibly tall decorated Christmas tree in the Hall (a tribute to Cleveland’s Sterling Linder Tree from the past). The big attraction in the Grand Hall is Santa Claus Mountain, a 2-story replica of the Santa Summit complete with the slide from “A Christmas Story” (shot right here in Cleveland at Higbee’s). Visitors can have their photos taken with Santa Claus and then can take a ride down the winding slide (on a burlap bag) just like Ralphie did. All ages are welcome to have a visit with Santa and ride the slide.
Holiday hours for Castle Noel are 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. Tuesday – Thursday, noon – 8 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Sunday. Castle Noel is closed on Mondays (except for December 21 and December 28), Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Admission is $17 for adults and children 3 and up. Children under 3 are free. There is a $1 discount for seniors and military. Parking is free.
For more information about Castle Noel or to make reservations, call 330-721-NOEL or get online at www.castlenoel.com. Castle Noel is located at 260 South Court St. in Medina, Ohio. Medina is 33 miles from Cleveland and it is approximately a 35 minute drive.