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Eater's Guide to Houses Made of Gingerbread

Where to take build-your-own gingerbread classes and also where to gawk at ornate gingerbread houses made by pastry chefs.

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Courtesy of the Fairmont

It's that time of year when it's totally acceptable to play with dessert and build epic homes out of gingerbread. Eater rounded up a few classes around the area where kids and adults can learn from the best candy architects out there. And for those who'd rather just admire fancy gingerbread houses than make their own, here's where to go.

Build Your Own Gingerbread House Events:

The Fairmont Washington, D.C.'s executive pastry chef D’Oyen Christie will host gingerbread house making classes for both children and adults. The children's class will be on Saturday, December 6 at 10:30 a.m. The class includes all materials, instruction and holiday refreshments. The children's class is $50 per child, and adults may accompany children at no cost. On Tuesday, December 9 at 6:00 p.m., Chef Christie will host a gingerbread building class for adults. The $85 fee will cover all materials and holiday hors d’oeuvres and libations. Call (202) 457-5020 to reserve a spot for either class.

Brabo's pastry chef Erin Reed is hosting a gingerbread house workshop on Sunday, Dec. 14 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Gingerbread kits, frosting and decorating candy are included, as well as light refreshments. Tickets are $30 for a family of three and $40 for a family of four, and can be purchased here.

The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner’s pastry team will host gingerbread house decorating classes for children on Saturdays and Sundays this month. On December 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, and 21 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., classes will lead kids through the hotel's life-size gingerbread house and then teach them how to make their own gingerbread houses. The class is $75 per child, including tax and gratuity and a special souvenir. To make reservations, call (703) 506-4300.

Cork is hosting their fifth annual community gingerbread house decorating party on Saturday, December 13. The party will have two sessions, one at 11:30 a.m. and one at 3:30 p.m. The cost is $40 per house, and there is a limit of 2 adults per house or 2 adults plus 1 child per house. Email events@corkdc.com to reserve a spot, and hurry, because it often sells out.

It's not a class, but Buzz Bakery is offering a Gingerbread Washington Monument kit this year. For $18, the kit comes with eight gingerbread cookie panels to build the sides, triangle top and base, one bag of assorted candies, one sealed piping bag of egg-free royal icing and two gingerbread men cookies.

Gingerbread House Displays to Visit:

The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner will display their life-sized gingerbread house from now until January 2. The house is large enough for people to walk inside and explore.

The Fairmont Washington, D.C.'s gingerbread fireplace display (pictured above) is approximately 10 feet high and consists of 180 pounds of gingerbread and 60 pounds of fondant. It took the Fairmont's pastry team 140 hours to complete. It will be on display until January 2.

The Loews Madison Hotel's pastry chef Tamara Tomas created a custom gingerbread house inspired by the Montpelier Mansion, home to President James Madison. The 4-foot-long Montpelier gingerbread house is displayed in the lobby of the hotel throughout the holiday season, and is surrounded by a village of smaller gingerbread houses.

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