10 Local Gingerbread House Competitions The Whole Family Can Enter


Looking for a festive and fun family project that’s sweet this upcoming Thanksgiving week? Turn on the oven, roll out the gingerbread, and decorate a holiday gingerbread house. This 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 household decoration, you can also enter it into one of the contests below for prizes and awards. So get ready, get set, and build — you might just have a winner in the house. (feature Photo Credit: Istock/Kate Smith)

10 gingerbread house contests the whole family can enter

LVJWC’s Gingerbread House Contest
Categories: Ages 7-12; 12-17; adults (18 and older); families
Cost: Free
Deadline: December 2
Enter your gingerbread house creation in this creative competition, sponsored by the Long Valley Junior Women’s Club. All of the decorations for all entries must be edible, and winners will be chosen based on originality, best use of candy, overall appearance, and design difficulty. If you’re not up for the challenge but still want to be a part of the creations, view the houses and vote for your favorite on December 2 during the Holiday Happenings Celebration. 

Jefferson Arts Committee’s Gingerbread Train/House Contest
Categories: Ages 4-5; 6-8; 9-12; 13-16; 17 and older
Cost: $6 per entry
Deadline: Entries postmarked by November 29; houses/trains dropped off by December 1 at 6:30 PM
Everyone in the fam can make a house (either homemade or from a supermarket kit) in this Jefferson Township competition, featuring this year’s theme—”Christmas In The Forest,” with themed landscaping. Make sure to pre-register, and then after you’re done, mail in the entry form and the $6. Official judges will decide the winners based on creativity, originality, variety of materials, and connection to the theme. The winners will each be given a medal, and all entries will be displayed in Headley Hall on December 2 from 10 AM to 4 PM.

Main Street Highland Park’s Gingerbread House Competition
Categories: None specified
Cost: Free
Deadline: November 25 from 1 PM-5 PM
Spend the night of Thanksgiving making your gingerbread creation (the building doesn’t have to be a house) that uses only food materials. All entries will be displayed at the Night Owl Market in Highland Park, where attendees will vote on their favorites. The winner will get a bag of items from the market’s vendors, and other honorable mentions will get ribbons.

Ocean County Library (Berkeley Branch) ‘s Gingerbread House Contest
Categories: Children (12 and younger); teens (13-17); adults (18 and older)
Cost: Free
Deadline: December 1 to 18
Encourage your littles, kiddos, and older kiddos to build masterpieces and then create a gingerbread house of your own. And as long as your creation stays under 12″ x 12″, you can make your house from anything — edible or not — including objects from home. Winners from each category will get prizes from The Friends of the Berkeley Library.

Durand-Hedden’s Gingerbread House Contest
Categories: Little ones (8 and younger); youths (9-12); teens (13-17); adults (18 and older); professionals
Cost: Free
Deadline: Entry form due by December 8; creation dropped off by December 9
Everyone — from the littlest littles to the pros — can participate in this contest. Feel free to construct any building, and your kiddos can use cardboard for their structure (as long as it’s completely covered in edible materials); adult and professional submissions must be entirely edible (except for the base). Winners will be announced on December 10 and on display at Durand-Hedden during their Victorian Christmas Celebration. After, the entries will be on display at the Hilton Library until December 22. 

Somerset County 4-H’s Gingerbread Contest
Categories: Youth, adult, youth group, adult group, and business
Cost: Free, but please bring a canned vegetable donation (for the 4-H holiday dinner)
Deadline: December 9
You don’t have to be a 4-H club member to participate, so get your littles and kiddos together to build a gingerbread house or art (such as a cookie jar or ornament). Drop your creation off at the Ted Blum 4-H Center in Bridgewater, where judges will review the competition entries and pick their winners during the Holiday Craft Festival on December 10.

2023 Gingerbread House Decorating Celebration & Contest
Categories: None specified
Cost: $25-$50
Deadline: December 9 from 11 AM-2 PM
Celebrate the holiday season at this fun event that includes the entire family. The Gingerbread Speed Decorating contest will happen during the Home For The Holidays event. Bring your best decorating skills and your candy supplies to decorate and celebrate the holiday season. Make sure you stop by the photo booth and capture your Gingerbread House memories.

Haddon Township Environmental Committee’s Gingerbread House Decorating Contest
Categories: General Entry Children & Teen(s), Teams & Families and Business & Advanced/Professional
Cost: Free
Deadline: Forms available starting November 4
Want to spend some time making and decorating a gingerbread house with the fam after feasting on turkey? Make your sweetest creations and enter them in the 2nd annual Haddon Township contest. The winner will receive bragging rights, of course, and a hand-painted ornament by a local artist. Hosted by the Haddon Township Environmental Committee, all the proceeds from the contest entries, voting ticket sales, and any donations will go toward the 2023 SWCA Project Goat Munch.

2023 Gingerbread Competiton
Categories: None specified
Cost: $5 per entry
Deadline: November 29, drop off from November 29-December 1 from 11 AM-6 PM
The first-ever gingerbread house competition will take place during the 2023 Noyes Holiday Market on December 2-3. The competition’s theme is Atlantic City buildings and monuments from the past or present. There will be awards ranging from $500 for first place to $150 for third place.

2023 Winter Festival Gingerbread House Contest
Categories: 12 and under, 13-18, and 19+
Cost: Not Specified
Deadline: November 29

Get the entire family together and construct a gingerbread house to celebrate the start of the season. The judging and voting of the houses will take place at the Winter Festival, and prizes will be awarded to the winners. Drop off your gorgeous houses in the Town Hall parking lot.

Are you planning to make a gingerbread house this season? Show us your entries!

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About Author

Caroline is a writer from central Jersey who loves checking out new boardwalks and beach towns (current faves include Long Branch and Ocean Grove), admiring the foliage and walking around downtown Princeton, and singing along to music—often with her younger sister. One of her favorite jobs was being a camp counselor and helping out at local, family-friendly events. She can regularly be found ordering a pie to go from Romeo's in Plainsboro, her favorite pizzeria.