Break out the elf tools and build a gingerbread house

photo: Grove Park Inn

‘Tis the season for gingerbread houses, which means it’s socially acceptable to play with food. At Laughing Mask Candies, owners Joshua and Anna Sachar want to help you make your own gingerbread house. “We did it with my mom every year growing up,” Anna says. “We've kind of figured out the tricks throughout the years.”

The Sachars are keeping the classes kid-friendly. They plan to pre-assemble the houses, so participants can focus mostly on decorating. “Our idea is to offer some fun classes for kids and families,” Anna says. “Something where kids can get creative and have a good time and do something a little different with candy.”

But for the curious gingerbread carpenter, the Sachars are happy to give advice about how to make a house from scratch. They'll also have one of their own creations on display: a gingerbread carousel to match the store’s carnival theme.

The classes cost $40 and include a house, icing, a wide selection of candy and a box. Groups of up to four are welcome, and the classes are suitable for most ages (although adult supervision is required). There's also a take-home option: plain houses can be purchased from the shop for $20.

Classes will take place on Saturdays: Dec. 8, Dec.15 and Dec. 22 (if there's sufficiant interest). Call 505-4081 for reservations, which are required to attend. Laughing Mask Candies is located at 84 N. Lexington Ave. Visit them on Facebook for more information.

For some inspiration, check out the National Gingerbread House Display at the Grove Park Inn, 290 Macon Ave., and at the Grove Arcade downtown. The inn hosts public viewings of the exhibit Monday through Thursday form 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Wednesday, Jan. 2, excluding major holidays. Admission is free, but it costs $10 to park.

The Grove Arcade gingerbread houses are on display in Suite 115 on O. Henry Ave. until Dec. 2. Viewing hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

For more information about the displays, call the Grove Park Inn's Gingerbread hotline at 800-438-0050 ext. 1522.

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