My family had a new fun and wonderful experience yesterday. I had read about gingerbread houses on display at Le Parker Meriden hotel over the holidays. We were looking for something to do and I’m always happy when it involves food (although we could eat these!) So we took the bus across town to the Westside (my son’s favorite activity in itself), ate brunch and then went to Le Parker Meriden which is already a favorite place of mine due to the sleek, overt DryBar in the basement level.
Held in the lobby near the West 56th Street entrance, we discovered that this Gingerbread Extravaganza is an annual event presented by City Harvest celebrating gingerbread across New York City.
Ian, Scott and I each voted for our favorite by donating to City Harvest to help feed hungry New Yorkers, with every $1 counting as one vote as well as one chance for you to win a 5-night stay at the Parker Palm Springs. (I really want us to win that!). The creation with the most votes will receive the People’s Choice Award in January.
I immediately fell in love with the first one I set eyes on with Cookie Monster and yellow taxi cabs titled “Cookie Monster Takes a Bite Out of New York” by Silk Cakes. Too bad Scott is blocking Cookie Monster, but look carefully and you will spot Hy, our Mensch on a Bench?
The next one I looked at with a farm (Katchkie Farm Gingerbread Farmhouse by Great Performances) was so detailed and amazing too and a close second.
Ian also really liked two that were next to each other on the other side. “The City Harvest Holidays” by Baked Ideas with the big garbage truck (he’s all about vehicles).
He ultimately picked The Brooklyn Bridge with superheroes hanging on it. (“Balancing Justice in New York” by Crave.It is a very appropriate choice for a five year boy).
It was nap time for Greens who missed the display since she was slumped over in her stroller. (I will probably bring her back before the display ends on January 6, 2015). Scott thinks she’d vote for the very feminine one, FIKA‘s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
Theater goers will appreciate “The Great White Gingerbread Way” by the hotel’s very own acclaimed Norma’s.
The display is free to look at and although the houses are for viewing only (no nibbles allowed!), spectators can sip on white hot chocolate with gingerbread spice at Knave, the hotel’s espresso bar, or visit other participating locations around the city for gingerbread inspired treats including milkshakes (Burger Joint), scones (Beauty & Essex) and macarons (FP Patisserie) to get a sweet fix and help boost donations.
You can also keep the gingerbread theme going by paying a visit to the New York Hall of Science to see their 300-square-foot village made entirely of edible gingerbread (up through January 12).
Our photos do not do the gingerbread creations justice. I highly encourage you, no actually urge you (if you are in the tri-state area) to go check out the extravaganza at Le Parker Meriden yourself. (The clearer photos were taken straight from CityHarvest’s voting site)
This certainly will be a tradition our family does annually. I just wish I had known about it before it was in its fifth year. Afterwards, we were in the perfect mood to look at the beautifully curated holiday windows at Bergdorf’s and Tiffany’s.