I've never been able to get it together enough to bake and construct a gingerbread house at home so I love any opportunity to turn up and decorate a pre-constructed house. There are a few places nearby that offer this option and Chef Central is one that comes to mind. When we were in Brooklyn, we discovered the Gingerbread Decorating workshop at the Church Street School in Tribeca (it is a fundraiser for the school) and went for several years until we moved out to NJ. We decided to give it a try again this year and everyone was so glad we did. You start out with a large house and a pot of icing for each child:
The candy shown on the plate is just the tip of the candyberg. Elves come out constantly offering up more candy: M&M's, Skittles, gummy rings, gummy penguins, marshmallows (big and small) and the list goes on and on. Be prepared as more than a few pieces wind up in mouths rather than on the house!
If the kids are a little older like ours, you can sit back, hum along to the live piano player playing holiday tunes and enjoy a coffee. Smaller kids will obviously need more hands-on help but even then the whole event is very low-key and a refreshing break from the holiday chaos.
Once the house is completed and all the requisite pictures have been taken, they wrap it up nicely for you to transport home. We spent about 1 1/2 hours here and then headed off for lunch and our yearly picture with Santa at ABC.
Pictures from our first time: