Holiday traditions with the ones you love give the season meaning, and there are so many ways to spend time with loved ones. From viewing lights to decorating trees, to building gingerbread houses, the options are endless and delicious! And at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, FL, the pastry chefs take that deliciousness to a whole new level with the traditional baking and assembling of a 13-foot life-sized gingerbread house.

With over 100,000 pieces of candy, 2,000 pounds of gingerbread, and more than 600 hours of work, this the gingerbread house to rule all gingerbread houses, and you have to see it to believe it.

The work for this monumental project begins during the summer season, when business is a little slower.

The pastry chefs begin rolling gingerbread and cutting it into pieces, making hundreds of little green gingerbread trees to decorate the outside of the house, and over 900 gingerbread shingles.

Planning ahead is crucial for a project of this size, as there are many challenges the team of chefs can encounter.

Sometimes certain candies or frosting doesn’t work, and in previous years that had built the ceiling so heavy, they couldn’t lift it!

The chefs start designing next year’s house as soon as they finish the current one.

Southwest Florida’s and most elaborate gingerbread house is like a Swiss-chalet-meets-gingerbread-wonderland, and even has a chair for Santa and a mailbox for children to put letters in. Inside, a flat-screen TV plays a DVD of a fireplace.

With over 47 kinds of candy, 300 pounds of icing, and 400-500 egg whites, the entire structure is about 13 feet high and 12 feet wide, and smells just as good as you’d think it would!

For other free and awesome holiday attractions around Florida, check out Church Street in downtown Orlando as it turns into winter wonderland with free horse-drawn carriage rides, and wander through snow and a forest of Disney Christmas trees at Disney Springs.

Gingerbread House

When: November 30 – December 31, 2019

Address: 280 Vanderbilt Beach Rd, Naples, FL 34108

Why You Need To Go: Florida's largest gingerbread house is not to be missed! Plus it smells amazing!

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