Tiny homes are trending in the housing market this season, including decorative gingerbread houses. Here are some Hansel-and-Gretel-approved sweet spots where kids can create and decorate the gingerbread house of their dreams with gumdrops, licorice, pretzels, and other festive treats. And there are some spiced-up, adult-only gingerbread house workshops, too. (Translation: cocktails.) Tip: Reserve early; classes tend to sell out fast.
Seaglass Restaurant & Lounge
This oceanfront restaurant in Salisbury will host its annual Gingerbread Night Out, a ladies-night-out event, on Nov. 27 under the direction of Gingerbread Jim (a.k.a. Jim Shalkoski, assistant general manager and “extreme” cake baker). Shalkoski will share insider tips like how to use mini marshmallows and toothpicks to build a snowman, ribbon candy to make a sleigh or a chimney, gumdrops and pretzel sticks to design a picket fence, and Tootsie Rolls to build a campfire with orange ribbon candy for the flame. You’ll get a premade tabletop gingerbread house, icing (basically the “glue”), and about 15 candies — and holiday cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Cost: $45. www.seaglassoceanside.com
Manchester Arts Studio
Stacy Gates, owner of this Manchester Center, Vt., arts and crafts studio, has a passion for making the holidays more about experiences than gifts. “It is a time to slow down and enjoy creative time together,” says Gates. And she accomplishes this by hosting kid-friendly gingerbread workshops — this year on Dec. 9 and 11. You’ll get a handmade, assembled gingerbread house, a bowl of royal icing, and about two dozen types of candies, cereals, and cookies. Cost: $30 for one to two people to decorate one house — and holiday refreshments, too. www.manchesterartsvt.com
Chatham Bars Inn
An annual Gingerbread House Workshop ushers in the Cape Cod holiday season at this luxe resort, this year on Nov. 30 (there are four additional dates in December). The resort’s culinary team will bake and construct the house — and kids can decorate their imaginative Cape house with royal icing and gumdrops, licorice, peppermints, and other favorite candies. Cost: $60 for two. To reserve, call 508-945-0096. www.chathambarsinn.com/life-at-the-inn/holiday-happenings-chatham-bars-inn
Amy Knapp, a.k.a. Gingerbread Amy and author of “The Tao of Gingerbread House Design + Construction,” hosts private, two-hour gingerbread house classes at her 1800s red-painted barn on Main Street in Wolfeboro, N.H. — a festive addition to a weekend getaway or mother-daughter escape. You’ll get a homemade gingerbread house to decorate with candies and frosting, and leave with a giftworthy gingerbread cottage, says Knapp. “I’m a fan of Starlight roofs,” she says, so you can be sure there will be Starlight mint candies, too. Knapp will also divulge “big secrets” from her book about how to create a professional-looking gingerbread house. Private lessons are $125 for two to four people and include snacks, even Champy. To reserve, e-mail TheRealGingerbreadAmy@gmail.com.
Taste Buds Kitchen,
North Andover and Beverly
Kids as young as 2 are invited to decorate a gingerbread house in one-hour workshops at these kitchens in North Andover and Beverly. The kitchens are transformed into Winter Wonderlands with a fantasy of unlimited candy (spice drops, gumballs, etc.), royal icing, and hot chocolate. For older kids (9 and up), there are two-hour classes. And, adult BYOB classes are also offered — two hours of gingerbread house building, decorating, and beer and wine sipping. Classes start Nov. 24 and run to Dec. 23. Costs: $50 per parent/child and $64 per person for the Adult BYOB. Visit tastebudskitchen.com/northandover/gingerbread-house-workshops and tastebudskitchen.com/beverly/gingerbread-house-workshops.
Jennifer Lee’s Bakery
The holidays can be especially challenging for kids (and adults) with food allergies. This bakery is an allergy-friendly, vegan shop with a home in the Boston Public Market and is hosting a hands-on gingerbread workshop in the Market’s KITCHEN on Dec. 22 and 23. You’ll get kits that are “100 percent free of all top 10 major allergens” and candies and icing for decorating. Cost: $65 for one kit (for one child and up to two adults). Visit www.eventbrite.com/e/gingerbread-house-workshop-with-jennifer-lee-family-friendly-allergy-free-tickets-51143621950.
Fairmont Copley Plaza
This Boston Back Bay hotel will host a Gingerbread Houses for Grown-Ups workshop on Dec. 11 with the hotel’s OAK Long Bar + Kitchen pastry chef Lindsay Le Blanc sharing tips for decorating with gumdrops, candy canes, licorice, and other sweet treats. Guests will be treated to a complimentary glass of wine as well as a cash bar — the signature cocktail is a Santa Clausemopolitan. Cost: $85 includes glass of wine and canapes. Visit www.eventbrite.com/e/gingerbread-houses-for-grown-ups-tickets-51347918005.
Laurie Wilson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.