WCCPR gingerbread house party lets kids get creative for Christmas

Published 9:01 am Saturday, December 23, 2023

In recent years, as Christmas approaches, kids have had the opportunity to visit the Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation (WCCPR) building for some pre-Christmas fun.

Fortunately, 2023 would be just the same.

The parks department recently hosted its annual gingerbread house party, which took place from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 15 Wheeler Avenue.

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“This was our 11th year of the gingerbread house party,” said Tiffany Fletcher, the department’s assistant program director. “It’s a really great, festive time for a small amount of money [when] you can spend a couple [of] hours hanging out with your family [and] building gingerbread houses.”

The event cost $8 per individual, allowing others to pre-register so that materials were ready to go upon entry.

The WCCPR team provided graham cracker cookies, which could easily be used to develop walls or roofs of the gingerbread homes.

Icing homemade by the staff, which came in multiple colors, could also be utilized by builders.

On each table, participants found a medley of candies, cereal, marshmallows, pretzels, gummy bears, and more that served as toppings.

“You can kind of pick and choose what you want to use to decorate your house,” Fletcher added. “You get a ton of things to choose from.”

Thanks to the variety available, different designs were showcased.

For example, while some houses had steeples and others displayed more of a flat roof, there were also castles, and – in many cases – pretzels were utilized to make windows.

Plus, with those working the event ready to provide cleanup services, an advantage was given to parents who attended the family-friendly event.

Fletcher also noted that the event was financially feasible.

“What we tell people all the time is that… it’s really messy or really expensive to buy those things at home,” she said. “If you bought a kit, you would probably pay at least $15 and get less than you would get from us.”

Others stepped up for the occasion along with WCCPR staff.

The George Rogers Clark High School Beta Club and different scout troops from the community volunteered, making the process much smoother and more organized.

In addition, with Christmas time approaching, activities involving kids would only be complete with the presence of Santa and Mrs. Claus.

As expected, some children were ecstatic to see the two, while others were more reserved.

“There are some kids who…were so ready to build and so focused on their house that they didn’t even look up,” Fletcher said. “There’s [also] some kids who rushed to Santa.”

With the event’s positive reputation established, it has become a tradition for many.

“We have some families [who] plan this every year,” Fletcher said. “We had one kid who brought in his own props to make himself a beach house…a lot of kids really look forward to this event!”