Updated for 2011.
Creating and designing gingerbread houses is a fun and classic holiday activity. It can also — let’s face it — be messy and time-consuming, what with baking the pieces for and constructing the house, gathering all the needed supplies, and having an area in your home that you don’t mind getting a little frosting-spackled.
The clever solution for would-be gingerbread architects who are a little short on time and materials? Find a spot that supplies all the needed ingredients and merely requires you to show up, be creative and pay for what you use.
One such spot is San Francisco and Mill Valley, CA’s Gingerbread Builders, which offers standard and custom houses and everything you need to create stunning ones, including catalogs for inspiration, staff assistance, plenty of time and all manner of frosting and candy decorations. And best? It’s open every day on a drop-in basis.
Other Bay Area spots offer gingerbread house workshops at specific times. These include the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito, Cake Art in San Rafael, Autumn Express in San Francisco, and Spun Sugar in Berkeley.
Across the country, in Lexington, MA, Wilson Farm offers a gingerbread house workshop on a historic farm that features lots of other fun activities. In Newton, MA, Create a Cook has a two-part gingerbread house workshop, in addition to other kids’ cooking classes.
New York City’s Taste Buds offers lots of gingerbread house and holiday cookie workshops.
The Creative Discovery Museum in Chatanooga, TN, has gingerbread house workshops.
In Camano Island, WA, you can decorate a gingerbread house at the Cama Beach Nature Preserve with Gingerbread Lady Alice Blandin.
Seeking a larger project? This person in my town transforms their house into a lifesize gingerbread house each year!
So, whatever your taste, time allotment, budget and desire, there’s a gingerbread house project for you, and a place to create it!
For more ideas and how-tos, see my earlier post about Constructing and Decorating a Gingerbread House. Have fun!
Photos: Top Three – Gingerbread Builders, Kyla Eaglesham, Susan Sachs Lipman