Chicago architecture set a standard and influenced the industry. Chicagoans, big and small, can make their mark on their own holidays with gingerbread architecture and decorating classes throughout the area all season long.
When: Daily through Dec. 24
Where: The Peninsula Chicago, 108 E. Superior St., Chicago
Cost: $695 family of 4, reservations required.
The 90-minute private gingerbread decorating class begins with a kitchen tour followed by the chance to decorate your own gingerbread cookies with instruction from The Peninsula Chicago’s pastry team, while enjoying festive Afternoon Tea.
When: Weekends through Dec. 22
Where: Taste Buds Kitchen, 2521 Waukegan Road, Bannockburn
Cost: $39 per pair
Parent and child pairs work together to design and decorate their very own Gingerbread House. Enjoy the endless decorating options, from frosted candy roofs to pretzel picket fences, and cheerful holiday tunes while sipping hot chocolate. Recommended for children ages 2 and up.
When: Dec. 8
Where: Impact Field, 9850 Balmoral Ave., Rosemont
Cost: $15 adults, $12 kids
Guests can enjoy gingerbread house decorating alongside hot chocolate, coffee and cookies. Santa Claus, along with Chicago Dogs mascots Squeeze and Ketchup, will make special appearances for holiday photos with fans.
When: Dec. 13
Where: Bolingbrook Park District, 200 S. Lindsey Lane, Bolingbrook
Cost: $22 first child, $15 resident first child, $15 second child, $8 resident second child.
Decorate a gingerbread train and gingerbread cookies with children ages 3-6. Make a gingerbread man craft, hear the story of the Gingerbread Man, and go on a gingerbread man hunt. Each team of a child and parent will have one gingerbread train to decorate and take home.
When: Dec. 14-15
Where: Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle
Cost: $13 (Gingerbread house costs $7)
Take a winter walk, find out what sweet treats grow on trees, then decorate a keepsake, light-up, chipboard gingerbread house with natural materials to take home. This unique, crafty experience is fun for a pair or the whole family.
When: Dec. 14
Where: Art Institute of Chicago, 159 E. Monroe St., Chicago
Cost: $80 family of four, $65 members
Create an edible dream home with your family while listening to classic holiday tunes and enjoying sweet and savory bites. Gingerbread kits, frosting, and decorating candies are included.
When: Dec. 14 and 21
Where: The Clubhouse, 298 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook
Parents are encouraged to join their children as one of Santa’s helpers walks kids through the steps to decorate the perfect gingerbread house. The little decorator’s Junior Member lunch is included.
When: Dec. 15
Where: Westfield Old Orchard, 4999 Old Orchard Center, Skokie
Start a new holiday tradition for your whole family decorating gingerbread houses. Everyone will enjoy adding tasty and colorful goodies to the gingerbread house to make it the most unique house on the block. Together, we will also bake and decorate a variety of ornaments for you to bring home some of that holiday spirit.
When: Dec. 17
Where: Stony Creek Restaurant & Banquet Facility, 5850 W. 103rd St., Oak Lawn
Create a gingerbread house with your child. Recommended for ages 2 and older; instructions and materials are included. There will be one gingerbread house per child.
When: Dec. 21
Where: Cakewalk Chicago, 1741 West 99th St., Chicago
Build an edible dream home or jump right in and decorate a pre-built beauty. The buffet of sweet decorating treats to adorn your mansion is unrivaled. We know that gingerbread building is hard work and each family registration includes a hot cocoa bar. A holiday movie “theater” with family classics will keep you in the spirit.
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This article originally published Nov. 14, 2018 on ChicagoParent.com. It has been updated with the most recent information.