Your holidays are full of making merry. Up the sweet factor for your sweeties by making some delicious gingerbread house memories. Head to one of these local destinations that provide plenty of opportunities to take a class, participate in a contest and feast upon the handiwork of others. The best part? Someone else does the cleanup!

kid-gingerbread-house

Photo: Melissa Hillier via Flickr

Cute Cakes: Christmas Gingerbread Workshop
This cute bakery and café provides all the needed materials for budding gingerbread architects. Plan a day with your kids and learn the best decorating tips! Their workshop consists of a 2-hour session and is suitable for both adults and children. Children ages 12 and up may attend the workshop, but little builders are also welcome with a parent assistant. 10% of the proceeds will be donated to San Diego Rescue Mission to help San Diego’s homeless this holiday season.

When: December 16, 17, 18, 21, 24
Where: 3455 West Grand Ave., Escondido, CA
Cost: $35-50
Online: cutecakes-sd.com

omni-gingerbread

Photo: Jon Lebkowsky via Flickr

Omni La Costa Resort
If you’ve got young toddlers who aren’t quite up to making their own gingerbread house yet, they can feast their eyes upon some of the spectacular ones made by locals in the community. These gingerbread houses are created by San Diego bakers, area school students and holiday enthusiasts. Head to the lobby and stroll through the impressive selection of culinary masterpieces. Don’t forget to check out the display of poinsettias while you’re there – it’s the largest one in California!

When: Now until December 30
Where: 2100 Costa Del Mar Rd, Carlsbad, Ca
Online: lacosta.com

queenstown-public

Photo Credit: Nancy V. via Yelp

Queenstown Public House
This popular restaurant in Little Italy is literally transforming into a real life gingerbread house! Check out the charming exterior, with frosting around the windows as well as chocolate kisses, lollipops, lights, candy canes and more. The interior is a dreamy Christmas wonderland that’s sure to bring out the holiday cheer in your kiddos. Kids who bring a new, unwrapped toy for donation from December 1-20, will receive a gingerbread house to decorate at home! Kids can also receive a gingerbread house by dining in the life-size gingerbread house during the month of the December.

Queenstown Public House will also host a gingerbread house contest. Come to their “Kid at Heart” decorating party and bring a toy in exchange for a gingerbread house to decorate on-site. The winner will receive a special prize from Queenstown Public House.

When: Whole month of December
Where: 1557 Columbia St., San Diego, CA
Online: queenstownpublichouse.com

wiki-gingerbread

Photo: Wiki Commons

Your Local San Diego Library
Don’t forget about your local library! We find these events to be more low-key and an especially great way to introduce young children to festive gingerbread house-making. Best for children ages 3 and up to attend with an adult, all library events require advance registration (read: they’re super popular!). Most ask you to please bring an unopened bag of candy per child attending to share with the entire group for decorating. Holiday bonus: all of the events are free of charge!

Click here: sdpl.bwcs-hosting.com and type in “gingerbread” in the advanced search bar to see an up to date list of all the gingerbread house decorating events being offered. Below is a current list, but more events are being added daily.

Dec. 6: Gingerbread House Decorating at Rancho Peñasquitos

Dec. 8: Decorate Your Own Gingerbread House at Carmel Mountain Ranch

Dec. 9: Gingerbread Houses at Mira Mesa

Dec. 10: Gingerbread House Activity at Otay Mesa-Nestor

Dec. 13: Make Your Own Gingerbread House! at Clairemont

Dec. 20: Gingerbread House Decorating at City Heights

Dec. 20: Crafty Creations: Gingerbread House at Tierrasanta

Where is your favorite place to build or see gingerbread houses?

— Marissa Mullen