There are a bunch of awesome holiday traditions in Seattle, but none look and smell more delicious than Gingerbread Village at the Seattle Sheraton. With massive, creative gingerbread houses, this is a must-see during the Christmas season in the Emerald City.
UPDATE: The 29th annual Gingerbread Village opened November 21, 2023, and runs through January 1, 2024 at the Seattle Sheraton. The theme is The Chocolate Factory. Viewing hours are Sunday through Thursday from 9:00am to 9:00pm and Friday and Saturday from 9:00am to 11:00pm.
Located in the lobby of the Seattle Sheraton (1400 6th Ave.), Gingerbread Village has been a part of the holiday season for more than 20 years. Designed by local architects and created by the Sheraton culinary staff, these gingerbread houses are like nothing you’ve ever seen before. In fact, it’s hard to even call them “houses.” Ranging from entire towns to huge ships, these gingerbread designs are really complex. I’m not even sure how they put them together. It’s really incredible.
NOTE: The Gingerbread Village is up and running again. It returned in 2022 after shutting down for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not only is Gingerbread Village fun to look at, it also helps raise money for a good cause. It’s free to check out, but there’s a suggested $5 donation. You can either donate in the box located at the Seattle Sheraton, or you can text a donation by using your cell phone. All of the funds raised during the event go to the Northwest Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
To add to the fun, you can vote for your favorite gingerbread house at Gingerbread Village. There used to be voting booths at the Seattle Sheraton, but now it’s all done by phone. You simply text the code of your favorite gingerbread house and a winner is crowned at the end of the event. And there’s always stiff competition.
Gingerbread Village at the Seattle Sheraton runs from late November to early January. Just a fair warning, there is usually a line to get in. I’ve waited as long as 40 minutes to see the gingerbread houses in the past. If you want to avoid the lines, we advise visiting later at night. Tove and I have gone around 9pm and Gingerbread Village is wide open. There are usually only six (or so) gingerbread houses, so it doesn’t take long to walk through the area once you’re in (but you can obviously take as much time as you want).
There’s a different theme for Gingerbread Village every year, so it’s worth checking out every holiday season. I’ve gone with my nephew in the past, and he absolutely loves it. The best part is — I had just as much fun as he did. So, it’s great for all ages. If you haven’t visited Gingerbread Village yet, now is the time. It’s a fun way to get in the Christmas spirit in Seattle!
Have you ever walked through Gingerbread Village at the Seattle Sheraton? Would you suggest it to your family and friends? We’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment or connect with us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more fun holiday ideas around the Emerald City!