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.
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Northwest Florida is a haven for beachgoers seeking the waters of Panama City Beach, Pensacola and Destin. But this region of Florida also has some extensive history, offering family travelers a great way to introduce young ones to Florida’s Spanish and indigenous past.
More than 1,000 miles from Spain’s capital city of Madrid, the seven Canary Islands are also part of Spain. They are the tallest peaks of ancient volcanoes rising out of the Atlantic, not far from the coast of North Africa. Two of these volcanoes, both still active, offer exciting adventures for families traveling to the islands.
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.
If you think you have to head into the wilderness just to get some hiking time in on your next vacation, rest assured. Cities across the country pride themselves on being great all-around family destinations, and that often includes fun urban hiking opportunities. These cities prove you don’t have to hike to a mountaintop to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. They are home to great parks and walking trails designed for easy walks that let you enjoy the fresh air, and get to know the personality, culture and history of the city you are visiting.