The Gingerbread Wonderland Exhibit at The Frelinghuysen Arboretum Goes Virtual!

Friday, December 4, 2020
What is Gingerbread Wonderland at The Frelinghuysen Arboretum? Well, have you ever wondered what it would be like if all of the gingerbread cookies got together during the holidays and had a big party?  I'm sure there would be dancing cookies and palace ballrooms and colorful characters.  I'm sure it would look a lot like The Frelinghuysen Arboretum's Gingerbread Wonderland!

**This post has been freshly updated for 2020!**


This post is updated yearly, so feel free to Pin it for future use! 


What is The Gingerbread Wonderland?

Running every December, Gingerbread Wonderland  is held at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township, New Jersey. You can see delicious gingerbread creations on display, and visit their craft show on the weekends. Check their website or Facebook page for hours of operation and other important information. 

**Gingerbread Wonderland for 2020 will be held virtually. Scroll down for info about how to enter your gingerbread creations and how to view the exhibit online!**

How to Enter Your Gingerbread Creation for 2020

According to the information on their website, if you'd like to enter your creation, follow these steps: 

"FIRST create your edible structure for entry into one of six categories: Adult, Family, Child, School Group, Scout Group and Special Needs. Rules for entries are on the entry form. Details of making a gingerbread creation are in the box at right.

NEXT photograph your beautiful result: 1 selfie with your entry, plus your three best shots, and go to our on-line entry form here.

After you submit your entry, it will be reviewed, screened and accepted in a week or so. We will send you an acknowledgment email. Total entries are limited, so be sure to get it to us as soon as possible."

For complete instructions and FAQs, be sure to visit the website here.


How to View the Exhibit Online

According to the Gingerbread Wonderland website, "Viewing the displays on line will be open to the public thru our website, starting in early December. We will post the link here when it becomes available.

In order to vote for your favorites, however, we must ask you to make a donation (on line as part of your display viewing experience) to help us defray both the cost of the Virtual Gingerbread and also with our other program costs. Doing so helps us to continue to subsidize the many activities and programs we are involved with at the Arboretum. Similarly, we will post the link here to the voting page when it opens."

Take a Look at Past Exhibits!

Scroll below to see photos from past exhibits and get some ideas for your own gingerbread creations! Gingerbread Wonderland hopes to return in person in 2021.



What Can I See There?

Only the most awesome gingerbread creations ever made!  You'll walk past tables and tables of gingerbread art- from simple projects made by children, to amazing palaces crafted by adults.  Here are some pics from previous years:

                                                                        

                    

And most recently...


Made by the Ciffer Family

Made by Girl Scouts of New Providence


You really have to stop to admire the time and detail that the artists put into their work. Everything is edible! (well, you can't eat it, but you can eat, if you know what I mean). You'll also have the opportunity to vote for your favorite piece. But how do you choose just one???

Gingerbread nutcracker from years past
Christmas Wishes - Doggies wishing for their forever homes! By Amabile 

Made by some talented students at Ridgedale Middle School! 



Are you ready to choose your favorite? I know, so hard, right??


Craft Fair 

(**This information is NOT for 2020, this is from previous shows. Hopefully, the craft fair will return in 2021!) 


Make a Day of It

Of course, seeing all of that cool gingerbread art inspired us to make our own, so you might want to plan ahead and have your gingerbread supplies ready when you get home. Oh, and I HIGHLY recommend pre-made gingerbread houses if you're working with little ones. Wilton makes a pretty good pre-assembled kit that we purchase every year. If you don't buy a pre-assembled kit, my other tip is to use a hot glue gun to put your pieces together (but know that you can't eat it after that!). You can hide the glue with your frosting and decorations. Works like a charm! For more tips on building a better gingerbread house, check out my gingerbread house blog post!

               



As I mentioned before, be sure to check out my post of tips and tricks for easy gingerbread house construction here!

Jersey Momma Tips (for in-person viewing)
**these tips pertain to the in-person show, which will return in 2021, hopefully!)
  • They don't allow strollers, so leave them at home.
  • This event can get very crowded on weekends, so plan accordingly and arrive early if you can. We attended during the week (around 1:30pm) and crowds were not bad at all.
  • I gave my son the pep talk before we entered, which basically consisted of, don't touch anything! Know that if you're going with very young children, the desire to touch might be really difficult for them to control. 
  • Encourage your kids to walk slowly and really look at each piece.  My son wanted to race through the whole event, so we walked around a few times to really enjoy everything.
  • There is a craft fair available on the weekends, and your admission fee allows you to attend, so get in there and shop local!
  • Interested in participating next year?  Check out their website for instructions and applications, or talk to one of their many employees or volunteers at the event.  Everyone was friendly and helpful when we attended.
Pinewood Derby made by Kinnelon cub scouts!

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