‘Tis the season to spread holiday cheer, and in my kids’ opinion, that typically involves sugar. Decorating gingerbread is a delightful tradition, but can also make quite a sticky mess. Whisk the kiddos out to these cool Chicagoland places to assemble their gingerbread creations and only take home the gingerbread and joyful memories.
This Bannockburn kitchen is big and bright, with plenty of elbow room for families to spread out and create. Classes encourage bonding, with parent and child pairs positioned at low tables with muffin tins full of goodies to decorate a gingerbread house together. Build your pretzel picket fence while sipping festive hot cocoa and giggling about the messy fun you are sharing. I know I’m a lot more carefree when I don’t have to clean up!
Taste Buds Kitchen is also a BYOB adult kitchen by night, which makes for fun gifts or girls nights out.
Dec. 1, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 2, 9 – 10 a.m.
Dec. 8, 5 – 6 p.m.
Dec. 9, 9 – 10 a.m.
Dec. 10, 9 – 10 a.m.
Dec. 16, 9 – 10 a.m.
Dec. 16, 5 – 6 p.m.
Dec. 17, 9 – 10 a.m.
Dec. 17, 4 – 5 p.m.
Dec. 20, 5 – 6 p.m.
Dec. 21, 5 – 7 p.m. (teens)
Dec. 22, 5 – 7 p.m. (ages 9+ and family)
Dec. 23, 9 – 10 a.m.
Cost: $45 per parent/child pair
Kids ages 8-12 can be dropped off to this gingerbread class so parents can run holiday errands, wrap presents in private or check some gifts off your list at the Give Me Some Sugar retail boutique, which features options from specialty baking ingredients and artisan soaps and adorable jewelry. Drop-off Kid’s Cookie Decorating classes are also available every Friday afternoon in December.
Dates: Dec. 9, 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Cost: $50 per child
Chicago Botanic Garden’s Joyful Gingerbread workshop is about cookies, not houses, but what I love about it are the plant connections. Families cut out and bake fresh cookies, while learning about the ingredients of gingerbread. Explore the five spices: cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger and cloves, by tasting and touching and even planting a ginger rhizome to take home. Frost and decorate your cookies together and take home some new knowledge along with your jolly sugar buzz. Make a day out of it and stop by Wonderland Express, the miniature Chicago holiday railroad garden.
Dec. 2, 9:30 – 11 a.m. or 1 – 2:30 p.m.
Dec. 10, 9:30 – 11 a.m. or 1 – 2:30 p.m.
Dec. 17, 9:30 – 11 a.m. or 1 – 2:30 p.m.
Cost: $24 per non-member or $19.20 per member child
Gather your inspiration walking the galleries of Chicago’s beloved Art Institute, then create your own dream gingerbread home while listening to holiday music in the Stock Exchange Trading Room. Families of four are given one gingerbread house kit, complete with frosting and candy. Purchase additional houses if each child or family member would like to create more.
Dec. 16, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Cost: $70 per 4-member family, 1 gingerbread house kit; $55 per 4-member family, 1 gingerbread house kit; $25 per additional gingerbread house kit
Museum admission required