Looking for something to do this weekend that’s safe and fun? Turn on the oven, roll out the gingerbread, and decorate a festive gingerbread house. The traditional yuletide baking project is a great way to teach kids about cooking and boost their creativity at the same time. And while you can use their masterpiece as a decoration, you can also snap a photo and enter it into one of these virtual contests below for prizes and awards. So get ready, set, and build—you might just have the winner in the house.
Here are 5 NJ Virtual Gingerbread House Contests to enter:
LVJWC Annual Gingerbread House Contest
Categories: Kids 7-12; kids 12-17; adults; families
Deadline: December 5 at 5PM
Enter your gingerbread house creations in this Long Valley Junior Women’s Club competition. All of the decorations for all entries have to be edible (you can click here for the full list of rules), and winners will be chosen based on originality, best use of candy, overall appearance, and design difficulty. The winners will get a ribbon, prizes from local vendors, and the house will be on display at Racks Valley Boutique (20 Schooley’s Mtn Road) until December 20.
Jefferson Arts Committee’s Annual Gingerbread House Contest
Categories: Ages 4-5; ages 6-8; ages 9-12; ages 13-16; ages 17+
Cost: $5 per entry (used to buy the medals)
Deadline: December 4th, limited to first 30 entries
Everyone in the fam can make their own gingerbread house for this contest. Your creations can be entirely homemade or from a supermarket kit—just make sure that the house is designed with this year’s theme, “Home for Christmas.” After you’re done, mail in the entry form and the $5, and send an email with four photos of your gingerbread house. Official judges will decide the winners based on creativity, originality, variety of materials, and connection to the theme. The winners—first, second, third place, and an honorable mention—will be notified on December 18.
Frelinghuysen Arboretum’s Gingerbread Wonderland
Categories: Children; adults; families; school groups; scout groups; special needs
Cost: Donation to the Frelinghuysen Arboretum
Deadline: November 30 at midnight
While they aren’t doing the traditional gingerbread wonderland this year, Frelinghuysen Arboretum’s 29th Annual Gingerbread Contest is still happening—virtually. For adults’ entries, the entire structure must be made out of gingerbread—all other groups can use cardboard. You’ll submit four photos as your entry along with an application. Voting runs from December 5-28 on the website, and anyone can participate with a small donation that goes towards the Frelinghuysen Arboretum programs and activities. The winners will be announced on December 31 (winners each receive a gift card), and everyone who enters will get an official participation certificate.
Westfield Gingerbread Display & Competition
Categories: Kids-only (14 years old and younger)
Deadline: Register online by November 29. Entries must be dropped off at Savory Spice Shop (138 East Broad St) between November 30 and December 3.
This kids-only competition isn’t limited to the classic gingerbread house—this competition is also accepting iconic Westfield buildings, villages, and other structures. (Pro tip: build on top of a cake board or other wooden board—it makes it easier to bring to the shop.) The gingerbread creations will be displayed in businesses all around Westfield, although everyone will vote using an online voting booth—check the Westfield website and Facebook page for details. The winners will be announced on January 1, and they’ll receive prizes and trophies.
Rutherford’s Holiday 2020 Gingerbread House Contest
Categories: Children; adults (must be a Rutherford resident to enter)
Deadline: December 14 at midnight
Do you live in Rutherford? If so, this gingerbread contest is for your family. Your creation doesn’t have to be a gingerbread house—the flyer encourages creativity—but it does have to be made of gingerbread. And everything (except for the base) has to be edible. After you’re done, send an email with your information and photos of your structure. The winners will be announced on December 18—check the website and the Rutherford Recreation Facebook page for updates. First, second, and third place will each get a gift card to a local Rutherford business.
STA Gingerbread House Contest
Categories: None, all ages accepted
Cost: $10 donation to the high school
Deadline: December 20 at 8PM
Even though this competition is part of the St. Thomas Aquinas High School website, it’s open to anyone who wants to enter. The whole fam can make one gingerbread house together and submit photos via email. Voting happens between December 21-24, so check the website and Facebook page for updates. The winners will be announced on December 24—first place wins a gift card, and second and third places receive Christmas-themed gift baskets.