Holiday Fun Day 10—Gingerbread Lane at the MD Science Center

Christmas nostalgists, get ready for a massive treat this year at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, as you marvel over Gingerbread Lane—a holiday extravaganza featuring over 500 gingerbread houses, department stores, an ice rink, a carousel, and a gingerbread crab shack. You can see it at the Maryland Science Center through January 7.

36878783986 ae24ae49f9 zGingerbread Lane was designed and built by chef Jon Lovitch, originally from Kansas City, Missouri. Though he is trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, his gingerbread skills are entirely self-taught. He is a Guinness World Record holder for the largest gingerbread village, after his 2017 construction of 1,251 buildings displayed at the New York Hall of Science in Corona, N.Y. It’s the fourth time he has held the title.

This year, Lovitch will attempt to beat his own record with a 678-square foot gingerbread village at the Maryland Science Center made from 270 pounds of gingerbread dough, 910 pounds of icing, 700 candy canes and 25 combined pounds of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. The clock tower by itself will weigh 44 pounds.

In 1994 Lovitch displayed his first gingerbread creation at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City, which was so well received that Gingerbread Lane soon expanded to major metropolitan galleries including the Smithsonian, New York Hall of Science and Rockefeller Center. For this year’s village at the Science Center, Lovitch estimates it will take a combined 759 hours to bake the village in his kitchen.

He decided to add Baltimore to the Gingerbread Lane family after taking in an Oriole game saying, “I went to a baseball game at Camden Yards and decided to check out the Maryland Science Center because Gingerbread Lane has had such great successes at science centers, like Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh. Maryland Science Center seemed like a great fit.”

Displaying his handiwork at Science Centers may seen like an odd choice at first, but Lovitch says they complement each other nicely. “Science Centers teach and value hands-on education and learning, and making science fun,” he says. “It's a great fit for Gingerbread Lane, which involves a lot of science, from construction to chemistry.“
Lovitch began assembling the Baltimore gingerbread village in early November. He spent roughly six days setting up the display at the Science Center, though overall he estimates it will have taken 220 days from start to finish.

As for conveying the unique ambiance of Charm City, there was no shortage of inspiration, “Obviously I wanted to make a crab shack for Baltimore, but I also wanted to give it an Edgar Allen Poe vibe. I'm using Big Red gum to create red brick houses, and there will be plenty of gas lamps. I've also added a ‘Quoth the Raven’ bookstore.“
Gingerbread Lane is included with Maryland Science Center admission. Visit marylandsciencecenter.org for hours, tickets, and group discounts. To learn more about Lovitch’s other creations, visit gingerbread-lane.org.

To win a family four pack of tickets to Gingerbread Lane and the Maryland Science Center, click here