Each year, I try to visit Sheraton Seattle‘s Gingerbread Village. 2016 marks the 24th year of the village and the theme is Harry Potter. Typically, the village is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day in the lobby of the Sheraton starting right before Thanksgiving up until the New Year.
To make the magic happen, Sheraton Seattle’s culinary team partners with architecture and construction firms to design and bake the creations. Visiting is always free but any donations benefit the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) Northwest Chapter. The suggested donation is $5 per person and if you didn’t bring cash, not to worry, you can text donations now!
The creations this year were mesmerizing. I can’t imagine creating structures so beautiful with candy, spun sugar, and gingerbread. Each one captured the spirit of one of the Harry Potter stories.
Here are a couple of tips I’ve learned over the years:
- The best time to visit is Mon-Fri in the middle of the day. If that doesn’t work for you, don’t forget, you can visit 7 days a week, 24 hours a day!
- If you visit on the weekend, come prepared. The wait in line can be over an hour. Wear layers of clothes because some areas are hot and others cold. Bring snacks and drinks. Bring a friend in case you need to save your place in line.
- The bathrooms at the Sheraton require codes so it’s a good idea to get them as you enter the hotel.
- If someone in your group has mobility issues, there is a table with about 6-8 chairs directly across the coffee shop near the south end of the village. You can escort them to sit there until it’s time to get up to the front.
- If you don’t want to wait in line, you can always walk on the east side of the village on the outside of the velvet ropes. There will be people in front of you but if you’re patient, you can get a clear view.
The Gingerbread Village has become a tradition for me. Judging from the crowds each year, it’s a tradition for many people. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend it.