Each year we do a gingerbread house, meaning we buy a pre-made one and clumsily assemble it while I tell this kids, “Don’t eat that, it’s not technically food.” We then spend the rest of the month trying to keep the dog from eating it. I have been known to let the kids smash them in the backyard when the holidays are over, of course, assuming the dog hadn’t gotten to it first.
Considering the Gingerbread House classes at The Frances Anderson Center were full, I wanted to make it easy for you to find a gingerbread kit. Going from store to store this time of year can be daunting; it is crowded, people are agitated and crafty places have all kinds of smells coming from pine cones.
I went to four different stores; Target, Michael’s, Jo-Ann’s, and Trader Joe’s.
First I went to the Alderwood Target, because let’s be honest, I’m there all the time anyway and I was in the mood to buy body wash, Jake and The Neverland Pirate Band-Aids, and a bunch of other stuff I can probably live without. Target has a decent selection with a choice of a Gingerbread House or a Gingerbread Village, both are $8.99 on sale. The sales typically last one week, Sunday through Saturday, so if you go after Saturday, they may jump up a bit in price. They are cute and look like what you would expect to see in a kit like this, all the pieces to build the house, icing to use as glue, and candy to decorate with.
Then I went to Michael’s, the one by Marshall’s, which can be intimidating if you don’t know your way around. The aisles are small and the smells are plentiful but they had a great selection of Gingerbread Kits all by the front cash registers, bonus! They also had a Gingerbread House, Gingerbread Village, among other items and each of these kits were also $8.99. They also advertised a Gingerbread Chalet for $29.99.
Jo-Ann’s, on 196th Street, is another really intimidating place. It is so large and full of things I don’t know how to use, but I had friendly help and was able to check out their Gingerbread House selection. Their haul looks a lot like what Michael’s had but even with a $2 off sale, most kits were more expensive at Jo-Ann’s. The 50 percent off one item coupon found on their site this week doesn’t apply at this point because the kits are already on sale. They did have a nice selection of extra decorations on the shelves next to the kits.
Finally, I went to Trader Joe’s, also on 196th Street, to check out their Gingerbread House selection. They are selling the same one we bought and decorated last year. The bonus about this house, which costs $7.99, is that it is an A-frame Gingerbread House. This way, if it is built poorly — say the way I might build it — it sorta still stays upright because the two main roof pieces are leaning on one another. The other bonus about TJ’s, for me anyway, is the kit is shelved between my most beloved frozen burritos and tasty pizza/tart thing with the caramelized onions.
Jo-Ann’s and Michael’s are carrying the same Wilton Brand kits and Jo-Ann’s is currently charging more. The prices are the same at Target and Michael’s, at least for the week and Trader Joe’s has their kit for the cheapest price but it doesn’t have four walls. I hope this saves you a trip or a buck and that your kids don’t break anything while you are in the store!
– By Jen Marx
Jen Marx, an Edmonds Mom of two young boys, is a traffic reporter by dawn and writer and PBJ maker by day. She is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time. You can contact Jen with your local event at email@example.com or find her trying to make sense of begging kids to ” just eat the mac n cheese” at SnackMomSyndrome.com. If you have a kid-friendly event you’d like to share, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.