[This is an archived post. Please check out our more recent articles on Holiday Events and Winter Activities in NYC]
Gingerbread. A delicious & warmth-inspiring holiday staple. The long and fascinating history of gingerbread is far too massive to cover in just one measly post. In fact, there are entire books written JUST about the delicious lineage of this Christmas treat. Want a sample?
The first known recipe dates back to 2400 B.C. but it wasn’t until the 16th Century that the cookies were shaped and decorated to resemble people. Queen Elizabeth I is actually credited with this idea because she had cookies decorated to resemble visiting dignitaries when they visited her court. Building off the idea of decorative gingerbread presentations, elaborate gingerbread houses started to become popular in Germany during the same time period. As demand for the confectionary construction grew, gingerbread houses became centerpieces at holiday gatherings and eventually became an annual Christmas tradition.
A more recent gingerbread tradition is the record-breaking seasonal display by master cookie architect, Jon Lovitch. Since 1994, Mr. Lovitch has been constructing a winter village every year for various museums around the country. Using only gingerbread, royal icing, and other edibles treats, he constructs an entirely new village each year. Although he is already the current Guinness World Record holder for largest gingerbread village, Jon Lovitch makes each year’s display just a little bigger to top his previous year’s record.
For the last few holiday seasons, the New York Hall of Science has been the official home to GingerBread Lane. This year’s exhibit opens on November 23, 2019 and your standard admission will gain you entry. The exhibit runs until January 12, 2020, when the village is dismantled and given away to visitors for free on a first-come, first-served basis. Jon Lovitch will also be hosting several gingerbread workshops during the exhibit, so you can learn some tips from the gingerbread master himself!
The Elf Squad is already planning a trip to GingerBread Lane this November. In fact, one of the Elves (ironically, Kookie the Elf, our Head Creative Elfess) was so excited that she attempted to start her own gingerbread village. As you can see below, we think it’s best for her to stick with decorating real houses for now! But A for effort, Kookie!