Woodstock, Illinois: Groundhog Day Movie TownThe town that was used for location exteriors in "Groundhog Day" relives that same day every year. Walking tour to movie sites -- see the "Bill Murray Stepped Here" sidewalk plaque.
Visitor Tips and News About Groundhog Day Movie Town
Woodstock, IL celebrates Groundhog Day and the making of the Bill Murray movie. Woodstock was transformed to play the part of Punxsutawney, PA. Each year we have a festival with a dinner dance, free showings of the movie and walking tour of some of the sites used in the filming back in 1992. The climax is the prognostication of our own groundhog - Woodstock Willie at 7am February 2nd in the park on the town square. Join us.[Rick Bellairs, 07/25/2009]
You can visit many of the locations where scenes from "Groundhog Day" were filmed. You can visit the opera house on the south side of the town square (exterior of the Pennsylvania Hotel where Rita was dropped off), Woodstock City Lanes on Church Street (bowling scene exterior), Woodstock Theatre (movie theatre exterior).
The interior of Moose Lodge (north-east corner of Clay Street and Newell Street) is where the dance scene was set. The private residential houses that were the exteriors of the Cherry Street Inn (the B&B where Phil Connors stayed) and the piano teacher's house are at the very south end of Madison Street and 348 Madison Street, respectively. Many scenes were shot in and around the town square. For example, the introduction shot showed the van driving south along Main Street, turning right and going around the square. I had a spare weekend on a trip to Chicago, and drove up to Woodstock. All of the above sites are within short walking distance of the town centre. However, the residential houses are further out and would require a car (or a long walk).
The town has changed in many small ways since the movie was filmed. It was fun spotting the changes. Although the DVD commentary said the Tip Top Cafe had closed down, a new Tip Top Bistro has opened in its place. The Jailhouse Restaurant has closed, so no longer can you see the interior of the bar scenes, but you can visit the pottery shop that is in its place or eat at the creperie above it.
Other attractions include the Chester Gould Museum; for Dick Tracy fans the side street near the police station (Lake Avenue) is even called "Dick Tracy Way."[Hoylen Sue, 11/12/2006]
The movie Groundhog Day was released in 1993. There is a free map at the Woodstock chamber of commerce that shows all the local attractions of the Groundhog Day filming. The Jailhouse Restaurant was a site for one of the scenes that is often missed. You an eat in a jail cell of the old town hall in this restaurant. Tip Top Bistro is now in place of one of the filming sites in the movie which is also located on the square.
There is much more that Woodstock, IL offers. They have an amazing waterpark and public library that people often miss. Their first-run movie theater has a stamp card program that goes towards perks and the shows are 5 dollars for evening show and cheaper before that. Free Refills on Popcorn and Pop.[Mark Whitehorse, 11/12/2005]
The movie "Groundhog Day" was filmed in Woodstock, IL because they have a very quaint, old-fashioned town square. If you visit Woodstock, you can not only see the actual town square and pavilion where the Groundhog Day festivities were filmed, but other outdoor scenes were filmed there as well. When Bill Murray stepped into the huge hole in the street, they actually had to remove bricks from the street to create the hole. When they repaired the street, the town put a plaque in the spot on the sidewalk that says "Bill Murray Stepped Here". Also, the scene where Bill Murray's character meets Ned Ryerson (the insurance salesman) was filmed here. There is a plaque on the building wall at the corner that says "Ned's Corner." If you like the movie, it's very cool to see this![Janel, 07/10/2005]
A couple of Februaries ago, we were passing through the quaint town square and were puzzled to note wooden traffic sawhorse barriers stenciled "Property of Punxsutawney Twsp." all around the block, despite the fact that Punxsutawney is some 600 mile away in Pennsylvania. Inside the gazebo were several large ice sculptures of chunky rodents rearing up on their hind legs. Somebody (rather, somebody other than Punxsutawney, PA) clearly was taking Groundhog Day WAY too seriously. Even stranger, I felt like I'd seen the place before, over and over again.
As it turns out, Woodstock was the location for the filming of the movie "Groundhog Day" with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. The town was standing in for Punxsutawney, and just hasn't been able to let go of its incognito brush with fame. They're still celebrating, as evidenced by a February 2, 2000 news story in the Woodstock Independent bemoaning the search for a substitute groundhog for Woodstock Willie, their stand-in for Punxsutawney Phil. They wound up with Warner the Woodchuck, which somehow seems appropriate for a faux Groundhog Day celebration.[Brad DeVries, 04/12/2000]