Home Alone 2 is the sequel to the massive Christmas Classic, Home Alone. In the sequel, all the main cast return, and see Kevin set loose on his own in New York City. This movie gives us a whole new list of classic locations to check out.
Home Alone House
The McCallister house from the first film is featured again in Home Alone 2. It isn’t used nearly as much, but is the exact same house. Once again the McCallister’s sleep in and nearly miss their flight.
Near the start of the film, a scene takes place at a school Christmas concert. This was filmed at an actual school in the same area of Chicago. The school hasn’t changed at all from filming.
Much like in the first film, Chicago’s O’Hare Airport was used to film scenes of the family rushing through the airport, trying to get to their flight. This is where Kevin gets separated and ends up on a flight to New York.
The Plaza Hotel
Once Kevin arrives in New York and realizes he’s on his own, he makes a reservation at The Plaza Hotel using his father’s credit card. As someone who works in the travel industry, I can tell you they took a lot of liberties in how the reservation was made. Kevin didn’t even mention what dates he wanted to stay. But based on movie magic, he did enough to check into the famous Plaza Hotel. The hotel’s exterior, lobby, and suite are all featured in the film.
Many movies and TV shows have filmed at the Plaza over the years. The I can’t think of any other hotel featured as often as this one. If you’d like to read more about the history of the Plaza in films, there is an excellent book called “Starring The Plaza”. You can read more about it on my Books page.
The interior of the hotel was also used in the film. The front entrance area is scene as Kevin enters the hotel and get directions towards the lobby.
The original lobby of the hotel is featured heavily in the film, as Kevin checks-in and also interacts with the hotel staff in numerous scenes. This lobby is no longer open to the public. Part of the hotel has been modified to be private residences, and this lobby area is now their private entrance. Suite 411 where Kevin stayed is also a private residence, so it isn’t available to book for the night.
I’d like to express my thanks to the staff for assisting me with getting several photos of the lobby.
The Gapstow Bridge
In exploring New York, Kevin makes friends with the Pigeon Lady, who spends her days in the Central Park feeding birds. Many of the scenes with her and Kevin were filmed just inside the park, near the Gapstow Bridge. If you stand on the bridge, you get an excellent view of The Plaza Hotel, where Kevin stayed.
In the climax of the film, as Kevin is captured by the Sticky Bandits, they bring him to the Inscope Arch. The Arch tunnel is in Central Park, just steps away from the Gapstow Bridge. This is where the Pigeon Lady ends up saving Kevin, as the police converge on the Bandits.
From my research, the bridge was actually recreated on a soundstage, presumably to help filming with the pigeons. The set was nearly identical, except for adding a staircase to the left of the tunnel.
As the Sticky Bandits chase Kevin, he ends up running onto Bethesda Terrace and hides in the chest of a carriage. The Bandits run into the Terrace and search around the fountain, but can’t find Kevin.
When Kevin asks the Pigeon Lady if they can go somewhere warm, she takes him to the attic of Carnegie Hall. The movie doesn’t explain how she has access to the famous concert venue, but it does make for a nice moment.
Fish Market at the South Street Seaport
When Kevin is first exploring the city, he walks through the Fish Market at the South Street Seaport. This is where we first see the Wet Bandits, now the Sticky Bandits. They are hiding in a fish delivery truck.
The Twin Towers
During the Home Alone 2 montage of Kevin visiting famous New York landmarks, Kevin visits the twin towers.
Sadly destroyed on Sept 11th, 2001, you can no longer see these famous towers. You can still visit the site, which is now home to the Freedom Tower, as well as the 9/11 memorial.
Radio City Music Hall
Another landmark that Kevin visits is Radio City Music Hall. The famous theatre is part of the Rockefeller Center complex in Midtown Manhattan.
Duncan’s Toy Chest
Despite being depicted as being quite close to the Plaza Hotel, Duncan’s Toy Chest takes a big geographical liberty. The building is actually located in Chicago. Known as the Rookery Building, the exterior became the grand toy store.
The interiors of the store were actually filmed in the lobby of the Uptown Theater, also located in Chicago. The theatre is currently boarded up and not in use.
The Childrens Hospital
During the film, Kevin notices the Childrens Hospital, and tries to protect the charity money meant for the hospital. As Kevin spots the hospital (and it’s bright star on top) across Central Park, this was digitally added to the skyline. However later in the film, Kevin walks by the hospital and waves at one of the children in the window. This building is not a hospital, but part of the Columbia University campus in Morningside Heights. It is actually located right near the areas used for filming Ghostbusters.
In the montage of Kevin exploring New York City, he meets a Santa Claus on stilts. This was filmed outside the Empire Diner, which is still an operating restaurant in the Chelsea Neighbourhood.
When Kevin is exploring New York City, he visits a shop in Chinatown and buys some firecrackers. The shop didn’t appear to be open when I visited, so I wouldn’t look to buy any firecrackers here.
In the closing shots of the film, Kevin is reunited with his mom at Rockefeller Center, overlooking the famous Christmas Tree. This famous tree is set up every holiday season, usually debuting in late November. This is the only time you’ll ever see only 2 people in the Rockefeller Plaza.
If you have any questions or thoughts about Home Alone or the filming locations, please share with me in the comment section below.