When it comes to the holidays, one of the festive ways to decorate is with gingerbread houses. Plenty of families’ traditions include baking and decorating small houses at home, but it’s fun to go and see what the pros can do. Here, we take a look at eight places to see life-sized gingerbread houses for inspiration when you go home to create your own.
The oversized gingerbread house in the shape of the Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina itself provides terrific inspiration for kids who participate in the resort’s gingerbread house decorating programs during the holiday season.
The Washington Monument made out of gingerbread? That’s just what you’ll find at The Ritz-Carlton, Washington D.C. ! At 30 feet tall, the Gingerbread Monument rises through the grand staircase in all its 251 layers of 900 pounds of icing and 600 pounds of gingerbread sugar dough.
It may be tempting, but don’t lick the 480 pounds of icing that cover the life-sized gingerbread house in the lobby of The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee. Pastry Chef David Campbell and his culinary team make it hard to resist, especially when you catch a glimpse of the 180 pounds of candy used to decorate that icing.
Beware of pirates when you check into The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island this holiday season. More than 600 pieces of gingerbread are decorated with sculpted pirates and chocolate cannons and cannonballs to create the S.S. Amelia Gingerbread Pirate Ship, the world’s largest gingerbread pirate ship.
More than 6,000 gingerbread bricks and 60,000 pieces of candy are used to build and decorate the life-sized house found in the lobby The Ritz-Carlton, Naples on Florida’s west coast. What a welcome to Southwest Florida.
Another ship not to miss in Florida is the life-sized gingerbread ship featuring sea turtles at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. The sea turtles that adorn the ship are a tribute to the marine animals that nest each year on the area’s beaches. More than 300 hours are devoted to taking hundreds of pounds of sugar, chocolate and candy to make the gingerbread ship set sail.
The Wedding Cake House on St. Charles Avenue served as the inspiration for this year’s life-sized gingerbread house found in the lobby of The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans. What’s really fun about this house is you can actually walk through its 750 square feet of gingerbread goodness.
In the Windy City, the Hilton Chicago adorned its lobby with a life-sized gingerbread hotel with city skyline. It took three pastry chefs more than 270 hours and 380 pounds of flour, 280 pounds of powdered sugar, 40 pounds of egg whites, 16 pounds of ginger and cinnamon each and 16,000 gingerbread bricks to build the more-than-six-foot hotel. And in the Chicago skyline you’ll easily spot gingerbread replicas of the John Hancock building, Willis Tower, The Bean, CNA Building, Aon Building and Prudential Plaza.
Pastry chef Margaret Carvallo builds the life-sized gingerbread house that fills the lobby each holiday season at Rancho Bernardo Inn. More than 4,000 pounds of ingredients — including sugars, flours, spices and eggs — come together to create the delectable domicile.
If you’re more a fan of chocolate than gingerbread, head to Keystone Lodge & Spa and marvel at the Chocolate Village created by executive pastry chef Ned Archibald and his team. Imagine, 2.5 tons of chocolate melted and molded and chiseled into mountains, trees, buildings, trains, gondolas and a waterfall. It’s no wonder it takes two months to create.
What better setting for grandparents and granddaughters to connect and share than a fairy-tale château set beside a fabulous forest? The Gramping Getaway at Chateau Mcely Spa Hotel & Forest Retreat in Mcely, Czech Republic, offers a themed adventure centering around the charming story of the château’s Princess Nely and her magical cheetah friend Pralinka. The character of the princess is based on the children’s book Nely, the Princess of Chateau Mcely written by château owner Inez Cusumano.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
This October, take the whole family to London and take time to not only enjoy the classic sites but also these scary fun Halloween events and experiences. Whether it’s a spooky-filled trip to the London Zoo or a step into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, here are the three can’t-miss experiences:
It’s time to start dreaming of your next family trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Medellín, Colombia, with us.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Make your family trip to Orlando so much more than just visiting the theme parks. Thanks to new vacation bundles from luxury hotels in Orlando, available as of Sept. 1, you can enjoy exclusive boating experiences during your trip.