Reviews / Special events

A Sweet Stop (without the sugar rush)

bighouseWildly outstripping my expectations of a “gingerbread house competition”, Gingerbread Lane is more than a lane; it’s a classic village, carnival, coral reef, movie set, and Vancouver street scene rolled into one. The display begins with a nearly life-sized gingerbread house that would make any child’s (or adult’s) mouth water. As you breathe in the overwhelming aroma of gingerbread and icing, there are more than 40 scenes to feast your eyes upon from professional bakers and culinary students across Vancouver. Everything used is edible, and thankfully out of the questing reach of toddlers. I was stunned at what you can create with a mix of dough, sugar and food colouring. There are some classic winter scenes alongside Nemo, everyone’s favourite clownfish, the cast of “Up” and a scene from The Nutcracker. Some of the displays are even animated and many include candy “glass” windows revealing scenes inside the houses. The top prize in the professional category, a “gingerbread bakery”, features gingerbread men and women cooking everything from croissants to rustic french breads. It’s a chaotic scene with a stunning amount of detail, slowly revealing the foibles of the bakers as you look on.

Although my little one was pretty drowsy after an afternoon of excitement at the Santa Claus parade, I had a blast excitedly pointing out things for her to see. Whatever the reason you’re heading downtown, it’s worth a look and bound to be fun for kids of all ages. You can breeze a few highlights in a few minutes or stay and linger over all the displays for half an hour or more. While you’re there, vote for your favourite display and make a donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of BC, if you can. Of all the Holiday events you can pop into for free, this is my favourite so far. You might even say it takes the (gingerbread) cake…

Where and when: Lobby of the Hyatt Regency Hotel at Burrard and Georgia (655 Burrard St., map). On til Dec 28, everyday, all day. Free!rowhouses

To see a few more photos, click the images below. There are many more to see at Gingerbread Lane…

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