The Gingerbread Man is from Queens. For 30 years, Jon Lovitch has been baking and constructing gingerbread villages of record-breaking size in his New York City kitchen. Lovitch’s candy-covered creations have been displayed in famous sites across the nation, from the Smithsonian Museum in D.C. and Rockefeller Center to Union Station in Kansas City, Lovitch’s hometown. The colossal size of his villages, which contain over 1,000 structures, earned him a Guinness World Record in 2017. He broke that record multiple times in the following years and still holds the title for the largest edible gingerbread village, set in 2022 with 1,500 houses displayed at Manhattan’s Essex Street Market, Kansas City, and Salt Lake City. This year, Lovitch brings hundreds of his gingerbread buildings to Chelsea Market.

Join Lovitch for a tour of the display and a hands-on workshop where he’ll share some of his expert tips and tricks for creating a candy-covered cookie house that you can bring home! This experience on December 27th is $12.

Gingerbread Lane Tour & Workshop

Bringing Gingerbread Lane to life is a year-long process and each year the design is different from the last. Even before the current villages are torn down, Lovitch hits the stores to find deals on Christmas candy for the next year’s village. By March the design process is in full swing and support structures start to come together in April. The first houses begin to take shape in the early days of summer and by late October it’s time for the finishing touches.

To make gingerbread villages of this size, you need a lot of candy, icing, and dough. Since 1997, Lovitch has kept a record of just how much of each ingredient he uses. For this year’s display, Lovitch calculated that he used roughly 4,000 pounds of candy, 6,000 egg whites, and just under 1,000 pounds of gingerbread. The village is made entirely of edible components, a requirement of the world record.

Looking at the display from afar and taking in its sheer size is a delight on its own, but a closer look at the village reveals even more charming details. Lovitch populates his villages with whimsical businesses like Frosty’s Snowcones, Three French Hens Patisserie, and Hung by the Chimney with Care Handmade Stockings. Some of the signs are nods to his family, like “Puddles Brand Ice Cream Sprinkles” and “Cecil’s Pie Bakery.” Confectionary characters are scattered throughout the buildings. You might see a penguin sliding down a roof or Santa Claus hanging out atop a chimney.

Lovitch personally delivers and sets up the village at each location where it is displayed. This season, his work can be seen at The City Market in Kansas City, Missouri, The Houston Farmers Market in Houston, Texas, and Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Every January, when the exhibits come to a close, Lovitch gives each piece of the village away for free. Though made of cookie dough and candy, which might look delicious, it’s strongly advised that if you do get your hands on one of the houses, you don’t eat it. The structures sit around for months and are rock solid by the time they are put on display. Best to save them for decoration!

Gingerbread Lane will be on display at the Main Concourse inside Chelsea Market through January 7th. The display is free for everyone to view. Throughout the holiday season, Lovitch hosts multiple Gingerbread House workshops for students of all ages. You can also download recipes from the Gingerbread Lane website.

On December 27th, join a private workshop with Lovitch and a tour of the Chelsea Market display!

Gingerbread Lane Tour & Workshop

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