I wanted to write up a How To Host a GingerBread House Party post and explain how we hosted our party this year. There are so many ways to do this, there is no right or wrong way to have fun and make gingerbread houses.
It doesn’t make sense to make one gingerbread house, you have to buy so many different kinds of candy, it is better to make many at one time! So why not have your favorite kids or families over to have some fun with you!
This year we hosted the party at our house on a Sunday afternoon. It was open house style, which means come anytime between the set time and stay as long or as short of a time as you like. We had ours from 1:00pm to 5:00pm.
Ahead of time I made 75 bags of royal icing. This was about 10 batches and placed about 1 cup in ziplock bags. Then I tied the corner of each bag so that they were more cone shaped to help frost better. Royal icing is used as the glue to hold the candy on and make the house stick together.
I made the frosting a little thicker than I would have if I was using it right away. Because they are sitting overnight the meringue sometimes separates a little and so thicker makes better glue! I placed them all in a large bucket with a pair of scissors to cut a very small corner off when they are ready to decorate.
You can find the royal icing recipe HERE.
The day before I made about 80 small gingerbread houses. I used graham crackers (not actual gingerbread) as I did not have time to bake that much! Each house used 6 graham crackers, each box of crackers made about 4 houses. Yes, I had to buy about 20 boxes of graham crackers!
I also cheated a bit and used hot glue to assemble them. You typically don’t eat gingerbread houses anyway, and this was much faster then using royal icing. You could use hot glue then go over them a bit with royal icing to cover the edges. Kids put so much on the houses you never see the edges anyway! In Houston it is so humid, even in the winter time, I had a few house collapse because they got soft. Make sure to have the air or heat on to keep the humidity down.
For the candy, we turned our dining room table into a candy buffet! I had candy left over from Halloween, bought cheap candy at Dollar Tree and bought big bags at Sams Club. I found that buying cheaper items like pretzels and marshmallows helped fill up the table and houses cheaper than candy. Plus, they are great items for making the roof and doors! Think outside the box and use items like cereal as well.
We used many containers that we already had and picked up some more from Dollar Tree and the $.99 Store. I used small paper bowls from our local restaurant supply store for people to fill with candy and take to the table.
Once you get kids started and explain the royal icing is glue…. they don’t need any help! It is amazing to see what they come up with! Some even added on rooms to their houses.
They just want to see how much they can add on without the house collapsing! It did keep him occupied for about 2 hours, so I can’t complain!
We had many kids who “donated” their houses or made a second house for us to deliver the next day to a local nursing home.
This is a picture one of my kids happen to snap after the party. You can see all the beautiful houses before they were delivered.
Making gingerbread houses is a family tradition for us. It was so much fun to have other families over to share this tradition and make memories. Donating the gingerbread houses was a new treat for us, and something we will continue to do for years to come.