Hands-on Gingerbread Adventure at NYBG

In the hands-on Gingerbread Adventures program at The New York Botanical Garden, children can learn about the different plant parts used in creating the favorite holiday snack, gingerbread. From November 23, through January 11, 2009, in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, youngsters will be amazed to discover that cinnamon comes from the bark of a tree, ginger is derived from an underground stem, and more. They’ll have an opportunity to grind and examine gingerbread ingredients under a microscope and develop a field notebook about their visit.

New this season, children will be able to decorate pots with faces and plant wheat seeds that will quickly grow into a miniature head of wheat hair at home and be a fun, living reminder that flour, a key ingredient in gingerbread, is derived from a plant.

Gingerbread Adventures aficionados are in for a treat in addition to their personally decorated gingersnap cookie. Gone are the topiary bunnies that were a hallmark of the program in years past. Vibrant vignettes of a gingerbread town will deck the halls of the Discovery Center where Gingerbread Adventures takes place. A gingerbread jazz band, ice skaters, and farmer are among the colorful characters that will be displayed having adventures of their own. The popular gingerbread playhouse will remain in the Discovery Center Plaza for outdoor fun.

While in the Adventure Garden, families will also enjoy viewing the display of gingerbread houses. Some of New York’s best and most imaginative bakers will prepare an exhibit of whimsical one-of-a-kind gingerbread creations sure to capture the imaginations of children and adults alike, while evoking all the wonder of the winter holiday season.

This year’s bakers:

Jill Adams, from The Cake Studio in Brooklyn, will create an indoor scene depicting gingerbread people at work and play in a bakery, icing cakes, baking cookies, and gearing up for the holidays.

Kaye and Liv Hansen, a mother-daughter team and co-owners of the Riviera Bakehouse in Ardsley, New York, will prepare a barnyard scene complete with a barn, haystacks, farm animals, and of course, a gingerbread farmer.

Mark Randazzo, from Mark Joseph Cakes in Brooklyn, will design an old-fashioned New York firehouse, with a winter scene of a fire truck, firemen, and children playing in the snow.

Kate Sullivan, owner of LovinSullivanCakes, based in Manhattan, will present an upside-down house with gingerbread people attempting to turn it right side up.

Mark Tasker, from Soho’s Balthazar Restaurant, plans a grand ballroom with a working chandelier crafted of poured sugar and featuring gingerbread men and women dressed in ball gowns and tuxedos dancing on a moving dance floor.

Gingerbread Adventures is a fun and educational component of the entire holiday experience at the Botanical Garden and a great interactive complement to the annual Holiday Train Show in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, which features large-scale model trains traversing replicas of New York landmarks made from plant parts.

For more information call (718) 817-8700.

Gingerbread, Botanical Garden

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