New York City is the largest city in the U.S., but that’s nothing compared to the record its annual gingerbread village holds.
Gingerbread Lane at the New York Hall of Science in Queens holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for largest gingerbread village in the world, and creator Jon Lovitch keeps breaking his own best every year.
The number of houses is up to 1,320 this year, from 1,251 last year, spread over more than 500 square feet (about the size of a New York City studio apartment).
Lovitch first landed in the record book in 2013 with his totally edible village: Every shingle, guardrail and street sign is made only with gingerbread, royal icing and candy.
Gingerbread Lane is not just a quaint residential street with candy-covered rooftops and chocolate windowpanes. It’s a whole edible village with its own school, fire department and bell tower, constructed on a four-tiered display wall at the museum.
“This year’s Gingerbread Lane will feature 12 new storefronts, including Jack Frost’s Stained Glass Windows, Over the River and Through the Woods Travel Agency, Twelve Drummers Drumming Music School, and Santa’s Checkin’ It Twice Accountant Service,” says Mary Record, director of communications at the New York Hall of Science.
This labor of love for Lovitch (and his surely sainted wife, Judith) takes a whole year of planning at his Forest Hills home.
Most remarkable of all, Gingerbread Lane isn’t even Lovitch’s only gingerbread village of the season!
“The display at NYSCI is the flagship gingerbread village for Lovitch, but he also has smaller displays at museums in Baltimore, Hartford and Orlando,” says Record.
If you’d like to taste a piece of culinary history (and don’t mind that it’s a little stale), the village will be disassembled on Jan. 15. Gingerbread Lane will be given away one house at a time to visitors from 2-5 p.m.
Want to start your own gingerbread empire? Take part in the museum’s Gingerbread Lane workshops ($15) where you’ll design your choice of a sweet ride: either a car, boat or train.
The New York Hall of Science is located at 47-01 111th St., Corona, Queens. Admission is $16 for adults, $13 for children.