Is there anything sweeter than decorating a gingerbread house with your kidlet during the holidays? We think not. But beyond the lickably sticky fingers and gooey frosting faces, that you just can’t get enough of, comes a serious mess. Outsource this seasonal kitchen chaos to maximize your return on those memorable moments by signing up for a gingerbread house class. We’ve got the sweet details on six that will add ease to your holi-daze.
photo: Tacoma Children’s Museum
Classes for the Whole Family
Gingerbread House Day
After last year’s success, the Country Village in Bothell will be hosting its second annual Gingerbread House Workshop for families. Get a sneak peak, on November 14th at the annual Taste of the Holiday celebration. Here, families can greet Santa’s reindeer as they make their holiday debut, check out demos and enjoy holiday refreshments, including fresh roasted chestnuts (starting at 4 p.m.) before heading over to Santa’s Cottage to get their build on.
The following weekend, Nov. 21st, is the official Gingerbread House Day. Expect lots of holiday cheer, train rides, pony rides and photo ops with the wandering gingerbread man and woman at this lively celebration. But no matter what workshop date you choose, you’ll find everything you need to sit down with the kidlets and create a messy masterpiece with all the sticky frosting and gooey treats provided. Take your creation home or enter it in the Gingerbread House Competition that will make your holiday shopping sting a little less if you win 1st place, a $200 gift certificate to the Country Village. Remember to register in advance for these workshops; they fill up fast! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the list.
photo: Bothell Country Village’s website
Country Village Shops
814 238th St. S.E.
Bothell, Wa 98021
Dates: Nov. 14 & 21, 2015
Time: 11 a.m., 1 p.m. or 3 p.m.
Take your little pastry chef down to the Burien Eat Local location to decorate a rustic gingerbread house in their spacious kitchen workshop. As with all the Eat Local classes this one is taught by an expert gingerbread house maker (read: pastry chef) and includes all the sticky, gooey sweets needed to make your house worthy of display. Plus, you’ll get to test run some of the Eat Local fare while you and your littlest decorator put on the finishing touches. Plan on decorating for about two hours and bring your appetite paired with some holiday cheer. Bon appétit!
photo: Eat Local
810 S.W. 151st St.
Burien, Wa 98166
Date: Dec. 12, 2015
Time: Noon & 6 p.m.
This T-town family tradition is a great post turkey, pre putting-up-the-Christmas-tree event for the whole fam. Head down to the Hotel Murano to decorate pre-fabbed gingerbread houses with other area families and enjoy some special guests too. Santa will make a special appearance at one of the sessions to sit down with little decorators and make sure their special wishes are on his list. But don’t worry if you miss out on Santa, each session has an added extra (like music and special guests) that add a sprinkling of magic to an otherwise already magical day. Pre-registration is required (sessions are filling up quickly!) and museum members receive a 10% discount.
photo: Tacoma Children’s Museum
Good to know: If you can’t make it to the party, you can host your own Jamboree during the month of December for your friends, family or group. Find out how online.
1320 Broadway Plaza
Tacoma, Wa 98402
253-627-6031 ext. 221 for reservations
Dates: Nov. 28-29, 2015
Time: 10 a.m.-noon & 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. (both days)
Cost: $40/family of four; $5/additional guest; $25/additional house; 10% discount for museum members
KidsQuest Children’s Museum: Family Gingerbread House Workshops
The Kid’s Quest Gingerbread House Workshop is the perfect way to kick the winter holiday season into high gear and take advantage of a long, post-Thanksgiving weekend with all the fixings. We love this workshop for families (the registration cost includes up to 6 people!), but it’s also a no-brainer if you’re thinking about gathering a big group, like neighbors or a parent group, because this year a VIP package is available ($250) for the first time. It includes seating for up to 10 people and four houses just waiting for frosting and sweets to make it complete. Plus, the special VIP seating is close to the candy buffet, which is totally worth it. Bring just the fam or the whole gang for this festive afternoon!
photo: KidsQuest Children’s Museum
Hyatt Regency Bellevue
900 Bellevue Way
Bellevue, Wa 98004
Dates: Nov. 27-28, 2015
Time: Noon-2 p.m. & 5 p.m.-7 p.m. on Nov. 27; 10 a.m.-noon & 2 p.m.-4 p.m. on Nov. 28
Cost: $45/family for members (up to 6); $50/family for non-members; $25/additional house; $250/VIP Table Package
Hot Stove Society
Join the Hot Stove Elves and work alongside other area families to transform a plain gingerbread house into a culinary masterpiece that’s good enough to eat, but will do much better sprucing up a mantle this holiday season. Families will gather in the Hot Stove Society cooking space, located inside the Hotel Andra, where they’ll find plenty of space to create and get messy while they work. Plus, the Littles get to munch on grilled cheese sandwiches washed down with hot cocoa or apple cider while decorating, and parents can do the same, but with holiday-spiced wine. Yum! The registration cost covers one parent, one helper and the house. And that’s how you do the holidays right!
photo: Hot Stove Society’s website
Good to know: The afternoon class is sold out, and spaces are filling up quickly for the morning session. Book ASAP if this one’s on your wish list!
2000 4th Ave.
Seattle, Wa 98121
Date: Dec. 12, 2015
Time: 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Classes for Kids Only
Frog Legs Kids Culinary Academy
Drop your tiny bakers off at Candy Land (i.e. Frog Leg’s Kids Culinary Academy) for a whole lotta holiday cooking with Mrs. Frog Legs herself, Laura Vida. Frosting, houses and all the fixings are included in these just-for-kids classes. Mrs. Frog Legs offers a few different variations, so families can find one that’s just right for them. Here’s the breakdown of this season’s three workshops. It’s dinner and decorating for little bakers ages 6-13 on December 11th, featuring soup and grilled cheese dunkers to fill up hungry tummies. December 19th is a similar version, but for the tot lot. Kiddos ages 3-10 will munch on homemade mac and cheese with roasted broccoli after decorating their home sweet home. And on the 21st, a build your own pizza party will follow decorating and Christmas crafting for kids ages 4 and up. If you’re thinking drop and shop, we’re right there with you. Ho ho ho!
photo: Laura Vida
3217 33rd Ave. S.
Seattle, Wa 98144
Dates: Dec. 11, 19 & 21, 2015
Time: Dec. 11 from 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; Dec. 19 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Dec. 21 from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Cost: $65-$70, depending on the class
Where to See Ah-mazing Houses
The 23rd Annual Gingerbread Village
After decorating a house as a family, take a trip to the downtown Sheraton Seattle, where an ogle-worthy display of gingerbread creations, designed collaboratively by local architecture firms and the Sheraton’s own culinary team, will be on display from the week of Thanksgiving through the new year.
Jedis of all ages will cheer for this year’s oh-so-timely theme, May the Holidays Be With You, featuring fantastic gingerbread creations inspired by the Star Wars movies. No Jedi mind trick here, just plenty of scene stealing creations, photo ops for your littlest lightsaber wielding fan and a chance to finally find those droids you were looking for (we hope!). Plan for a bit of a wait before you can see the houses if you go on the weekends, but don’t let that discourage you. This is one line that’s worth waiting through!
photo: Allison Sutcliffe
1400 6th Ave.
Date: Nov. 24, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016
Time: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Cost: Free, donations accepted to benefit JDRF
Do you plan on making gingerbread houses at one of these classes? Have you made one in the past? Tell others about your experience in the Comments below.
— Allison Sutcliffe