Gingerbread House Competition at Cleveland Botanical Garden

Calling all Cleveland bakers! The 17th Annual Gingerbread Competition is back this year as part of the cool new winter show FROST, and it will be bigger and better than ever! Only 100 spots are available, so register now!

FROST is a brand-new winter experience at the Cleveland Botanical Garden featuring immersive indoor and outdoor displays celebrating plants, winter, and the natural world. Guests will enter to find themselves amidst a winter storm of lights and sounds in the Blizzard Ballroom before being enveloped by the Frost Portal – a tunnel of flowers that leads to the Realm of the Winter Spirit; an enchanting world of ice and magic. Each area of the garden is transformed to mesmerize visitors of all ages.

Along with the new, we will still be featuring classic favorites like our gingerbread house competition.

Please remember to register AND bring your completed submission form when you drop-off your masterpiece.

Please note: The youth and adult/family categories are full. Professional bakers category is still open.

New this year!

  • The Gingerbread Competition will be on display through the run of the Holiday exhibit in only one session.
  • There are now 3 categories participants can enter: Youth (ages 5-17), Adult/Group (18 and up), and Professional.
  • Each category will have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners voted on by our visitors, so more participants have the chance to win!
  • Local “celebrities” will have the chance to view the show before the public and will pick their favorite house. Those winners will have a ribbon placed next to their house for the duration of the show.

Be sure to visit the Garden during your chosen session to see your house on display. All gingerbread house submissions will receive 2 general admission tickets to see the exhibit, valid through Sunday, December 31, 2023

Important Dates

Drop Off: November 13, from 8am-noon
Display Dates: November 18-December 31
Pick Up: January 2, from 8am-noon

  • Winners will be announced at the end of the show on January 2, 2024.
  • Prizes will include options like: a year membership for Holden Forest and Gardens, a goody basket full of Holden Forests and Gardens swag (plus some extra bonus activities!), and more!

There is a limited capacity, so please only only one entry per household and only sign up if you plan to participate

  • When signing up, you only need to sign up for the number of houses being entered, not the number of people participating.
  • House must be received on a flat base that is between 1/4” – 3/4” thick (preferably plywood). The bases will be discarded along
    with the house should it not be picked up by the deadline.
  • The base should be painted, decorated to create a complementary scene, or covered with foil
  • The base for your house should be between 10”x 10” to 15”x 24”
  • Drop Off and Pick Up is at the entrance at 11030 East Blvd. between 8am-noon on the designated dates only
  • Houses not picked up by noon on their designated Pick Up date will be discarded
  • When dropping off your house, the Entry Form must be included
  • Holden Forests & Gardens does not guarantee the safety or security of entries and cannot be held responsible for damages
    incurred during exhibition

Holden Forests & Gardens reserves the right to:

  • Refuse any entry it deems inappropriate for display
  • Photograph and use images of any or all entries for purposes of promotion

  • Overall appearance
  • Originality/creativity
  • Difficulty
  • Precision
  • Consistency of theme

Questions? Please contact Anita Burton at [email protected]


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