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Destinations & Day Trips

4 CT Gingerbread House Festivals You Must Visit

Ginger Bread House
Written by Noel Lorde

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is making gingerbread houses. The smell is overwhelmingly amazing and the taste is even better. In elementary school, I remember making gingerbread houses on paper plates and milk cartons. We used graham crackers, frosting, and candy to decorate them and I loved every minute of it. Once I got home, I begged my mom to go to the store so we could make the real thing.

Some of the work in these local festivals would put my elementary arts and crafts projects to shame. People with all different skill levels come together to display their gingerbread creations. Viewing the different houses and designs is the perfect way to get you in the holiday spirits. Here’s a list of 4 gingerbread houses you have to visit during this holiday season.

1. Kent Gingerbread Festival – Kent, CT


The gingerbread house festival in Kent takes you on a journey. Instead of just wandering around a room full of gingerbread houses, this festival makes you work for it. The entire town is involved in this event. Participating businesses in Kent volunteer to display the gingerbread houses for visitors to see.

Throughout the month of December, people will get to see creativity at work. During the gingerbread walk, you’ll be provided a map. The map will tell you all the different locations displaying the gingerbread masterpieces. You get to see a person’s imagination and creativity run wild in some of these designs. The patterns and shapes that they make with candy, sprinkles, and icing are really impressive.

Over the years, they’ve displayed gingerbread houses in restaurants, cafes, antique shops, and ice cream parlors. You may discover a new restaurant or store you want to visit along the way.

At the end of your gingerbread journey, you get to vote on which creation was your favorite. If you’re looking to participate in this event, then take a look at their website. They have gingerbread, icing, and marzipan recipes for a novice looking to practice their skills. They also have tips for constructing the perfect gingerbread house.

2. Gingerbread Village & Christmas Bazaar – Middlebury, CT


The Gingerbread Village and Christmas Bazaar in Middlebury, CT has been hosted every holiday season for the past 50 years. It began as a very modest display of gingerbread houses in the corner of ST. George’s Episcopal Church. Over the years, the village has grown larger and larger.

The event is now a week long. Admission and parking for this event are completely free. Families are welcome to come and explore the gingerbread houses on display. People get very crafty with the designs and houses are made out of a variety of materials. Some of the houses in the village have pretzels, gum, peppermints, gumdrops, breakfast cereals, and so much more.

During your exploration through the Gingerbread Village, you can visit the bake sale or stop by the gingerbread cookie decorating station. There will also be a room with activities for the kids and a raffle to win cool prizes. Gingerbread House kits will be on sale for those of you looking to create a house of your own.

3. GingerBread Lane – West Hartford, CT


There’s a gingerbread exhibit in the Children’s Museum in West Hartford that’s offered during the holiday season. On November 10th, the exhibit is open for visitors to tour. Chef Jon Lovitch is the designer of this exhibit. It’s a three-layered display which took 10 months to create. All of the houses are made out of real ingredients. In order to create this exhibit, there was more than 200 lbs of dough, 700 lbs of icing, 300 lbs of candy, and of course 20 lbs of ginger.

The candy on display isn’t just your average candy from the local grocery store either. There’s candy from 14 countries on display in GingerBread Lane. This village is massive and takes up almost 300 square feet of space. There are 320 houses, 3 storefronts, 4 cable cars, and a train.

4. Wood Memorial Gingerbread House Festival – South Windsor, CT


This festival in the Wood Memorial Library and Museum begins on Friday, November 23rd. There will be rows and rows of gingerbread houses on display for you to see. The display is a collection of work from many different people in the community. Artists, bakers, students, and families all work on houses to submit to the festival.

Throughout the festival, there will be different events that you can visit. There will be Holiday Story Hour with Santa, musical performances, and so much more.

Submissions for the festival are welcome and you don’t have to have a long history of making gingerbread houses. All skill levels are welcome. If you would like to submit a gingerbread house of your own, you can take a class to perfect your skills.

The workshops will be held on November 15th and November 16th. They will be taught by Linda Stevenson, a professional cake decorator. She’s been in the baking industry for over thirty years and she’ll provide you with the necessary information to walk away with a beautiful gingerbread house just in time for the festival.

Gingerbread House Workshops

If you need a little more time to sharpen your constructing skills or maybe you want to test out some design ideas, you may want to visit a gingerbread house workshop.  Lyman Orchards, in Middlefield, offers classes for children and adults.

Classes for the kids begin November 24th and run all the way till December 23rd. Inside the Apple Barrel Bakery, the little ones will be able to perfect their architecture and design skills. They can get crafty with icing, gumdrops, cookies, peppermints, sprinkles and so much more.

Classes for adults begin November 29th and run through December 20th. The workshops will be held inside the Lyman Homestead. You will be able to explore your imagination and create gingerbread masterpieces. There will be appetizers served throughout the class and you can also take advantage of the cash bar. There will be a variety of beer, wine, and hard ciders for you to choose from. It’s the perfect activity for family and friends that are in town for the holidays.

How’d We Do?

Did we miss any of your favorite gingerbread house Festivals? Let us know down in the comments.

About the author

Noel Lorde

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