Nothing is more festive than the family friendly fun of making a gingerbread house together.
This December, we invite you to add some spice to the museum by taking part in our Gingerbread House Contest.
Register Online Nov. 5 – Dec. 1
Drop-Off Dec. 1 – Dec. 2
People’s Choice Voting Dec. 3 – Dec. 9
Judging Dec. 9
Pick-up Dec. 15 – Dec. 16
Contestants may enter in the following categories:
- Individual Youth 10 & under
- Individual Youth 11 – 17
- Individual Adult 18+
- Small Group (e.g., Scout group, church group, etc.)
Online registrations are required and will be accepted until Dec. 1.
In support of the Acord Food Panty in Hamilton, food donations will be accepted as part of this event. The pantry is looking specifically for the following types of donations this season:
- Baking Mixes
- Hot/Cold Cereals
- Canned Meals (Beef Stew, Chef Boyardee, Chili)
- Canned Hearty Soups
- For canned goods, please note that cans with pull tabs are easier for those in need to open if they do not have a can opener.
Download a printer friendly PDF copy.
2023 Gingerbread Contest Rules
The museum reserves the right to reject entries that do not abide by the official contest rules.
2023 Wenham Museum Gingerbread House Contest Official Rules and Guidelines
- All entrants agree to these rules and guidelines when submitting an entry.
- There is no entry fee, however an optional donation to support museum programs is appreciated.
- Physical entries may be dropped off during regular museum hours on Friday, December 1, 2023 and Saturday December 2, 2023. No entries will be accepted after December 2, 2023. Pre-registration opens on November 5, 2023. No physical entries will be accepted without a pre-registration form having been completed.
- The contest is open to all ages, as well as small groups and businesses. Please indicate which submission category best represents your entry.
- The main components of all entries must be constructed of Gingerbread.
- The term “house” is open to interpretation. Be imaginative, be creative, and stretch the boundaries of what you can construct. For example, “houses” can also be barns, birdhouses, lighthouses, airplanes, ships, or other dwellings.
- Design, bake and decorate a gingerbread creation. Gingerbread kits are allowed as a starter, but it is highly encouraged that kits are transformed to make your entry unique.
- All entries must be submitted on a sturdy 18” x 18” base. Heavy cardboard, foam core or wood are suitable materials. The base needs to support the weight of your entry without any bowing to allow for transport and display.
- The entire design, except for the base and other than noted exceptions, must be made of edible materials. The main structure should be mostly constructed of gingerbread and icing; unwrapped candy, cookies, crackers, cereal, pasta, and any other food items may be used for details and embellishments. Lollipops may have plastic, wood or paper stems or sticks. Toothpicks and small dowels may be used for structural integrity if fully concealed. Styrofoam and other support materials are not permitted.
- Use Royal Icing only (no buttercream). Buttercream will turn rancid. All materials used in the assembly and design much be able to be kept on display at room temperature for at least 2.5 weeks.
- How you use the 18” x 18” base is up to you. Your structure may take up the entire space or you may choose to have “landscape” or “environmental” elements with a smaller structure. Do not add any decorations or icing to the outer edges of the base. The edges must be kept clean for handling during transport and display.
- Please give your entry a name/title. The museum will display your name/group, entry title, and submission category alongside your entry.
- Entries will be judged on December 9th, allowing one week for People’s Choice votes to be cast. People’s Choice votes may be submitted via in-person ballot only. Award categories, excluding People’s Choice, will be judged on originality, imagination, cohesive design, construction, baking, and overall design. Winners will be announced on December 9th. Entrants do not need to be present to win.
- Winners will receive award ribbons and bragging rights.
- All entries need to be picked up during regular museum hours on Friday, December 15, 2023, and on Saturday, December 16, 2023. Entries not picked up by 4pm on December 16th with be discarded.
- By submitting an entry to this contest, permission is granted to the Wenham Museum to use your name, likeness, and entry in photographic or video form in a newsletter, website, social media, or other promotional purpose.
Carol Harlow-Carlson, owner of Treat Cakes & Confections, graduated from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. Carol has harnessed her creative spirit and talent as an accomplished personal chef, pastry chef, recipe writer, tester and food stylist.
Nicholas Curtis, architectural designer at Wilson Butler Architects, received two master’s degrees from the Savannah College of Art and Design where he studied both architecture and historical preservation. Nicholas is the designer behind our recent lobby renovation.
Margaurita Spear, Massachusetts licensed art educator, holds a B.F.A. in Fine Art and Art Education from Montserrat College of Art. Margaurita serves as the Museum Educator for the Wenham Museum.
Our panel of three expert judges will consider originality, imagination, cohesive design, construction, baking, and overall design when awarding prizes in several award categories.
The People’s Choice Award is given for one entry across all submissions and is voted on by museum visitors in-person. Be sure to visit the display of houses between Dec. 3 and Dec. 9 to vote for your favorite.