Impressive Gingerbread Houses We Wish We Could Move Into This Holiday Season
Now that the holiday season is well underway, there’s one particular sweet treat that’s on our minds (and probably yours, too!). Although we’ve already got our favorite recipes ready for the cookie exchange party, we're not referring to Christmas cookies. Actually, the food-related item we’ve been waiting to bake all year long is equal parts spicy and sweet, but not necessarily something we enjoy eating. Yep, you guessed it—we’re talking about gingerbread houses.
It’s that time of year where bakers, Christmas enthusiasts, and even some luxury hotels pull out all the stops to decorate these masterful confectionery displays. Whether it’s to fill the home with an enveloping aroma of warm spices and Yuletide cheer, or simply to entice holiday travel-goers, gingerbread houses are the perfect creations to get anyone in the spirit—unless you’re the Grinch personified.
Adding to the list of hotels creating charming and edible gingerbread abodes is The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville. In its 25th year, the historic hotel accommodation hosted its annual National Gingerbread House Competition on November 20, 2017. And this year the participants raised the candy bar even higher. So if you’re headed through the Blue Ridge Mountains area this winter, venture inside the hotel to get a look (and a whiff) at these merry, sugar-laden behemoths. The winning creations will be on display through January 4, 2018. However, if you’re not a guest at the resort hotel, you can only view the gingerbread houses after 3:00 p.m. on Sundays or anytime Monday through Thursday. From carbon copies of existing structures to dreamy European escapes with intricate icing overlays, here are 19 awe-inspiring entries from the 2017 competition.
The Three Ghosts
Ann Bailey's attention to detail on this gingerbread house is scary good, which is why it earned the top prize for this year's competition.
In this beautiful creation, you can see the elves working around the clock to ensure all the boys and girls will be happy on Christmas Day. The North Pole's busiest workplace earned the second-place prize in the "teen" category.
The Venetian Experience
The only thing better than this makeshift gondola gliding down the Grand Canal in Venice is the adorable hand-crafted doggy steering the rowing boat and the pups on the balcony. Veni, vidi, vici, indeed.
At Water's Edge
This grandiose gingerbread house by Beatriz Muller was awarded third place in the "adult" category, and it's not hard to see why.
This beacon of light created by Cameron Tinker was deemed worthy enough to earn a top 10 spot in the competition.
Tell Me a Story
All the bookworms will love Linda Carney's top-10 creation!
Kingdom of Konfection
Feast your eyes on this sweet kingdom created by the aptly-named Team Jengerbread.
No ugly duckling here! This insanely beautiful masterpiece created by Billie Mochow secured its rightful spot in the top 10.
Cathy Christiansen really went to great lengths to decorate Santa's hideaway. From the chimney detail with brick pattern adorning the back of the stocking to all the glorious toys packed on the inside, this gingerbread display is a top 10 hit!
Christmas in the Clearing
A dancing circus bear and elf completes this festive gingerbread house created by Gail Oliver.
As indicated by Jessica Frost's gingerbread-filled work of art, it's almost time for Santa to check his list (twice).
Coble Adams's grand first-place winning production in the "child" category features two peppermint-covered gingerbread houses, a candy-haired baker, and Santa's reindeer fleet.
The Three Little Pigs
We certainly hope no one huffs, puffs, or blows this pretty gingerbread house down. Ms. May's kindergarten class took home second place for this fabled creation that showcases each house made out of three different building materials: sticky straw, crunchy pretzel sticks, and caramel and chocolate to mimic the bricks.
"X" marks the spot to find this treasure chest full of gingerbread loot. Mrs. Leatherwood's third-grade class won third place in the "child" category.
Gabriella Arthur's first-place gingerbread house is a hoot!
The Dog Daze of School
Giving new meaning to the popular children's excuse, "the dog ate my homework," Mrs. Choi's class won first place in the "youth" category for this classroom-themed gingerbread house.
A King's Retreat
Courtland High School won third place for this delicious castle.
The Balloon Poppers
Up, up and away with this nostalgic treat decorated by the Foral and Smith children. They won second place for this airy abode.
Christmas Over the Rainbow
Created by the Gumdrop Girls, this gingerbread house covered in gumdrops and colorful candies is a sensory overload. We love the added frosting detail that looks like snow. It rounds out the third spot in the "youth" category.