What takes 2,250 pounds of icing, 415 pounds of dough and 17 pounds of candy corns? That would be Gingerbread Lane, and you can find 152 houses along this most coveted address at the New York Hall of Science (aka NYSci) in Queens, NY. We visited for the first time this past Saturday, and it almost felt like a staycation because it was just a short drive (or we could have done a longer subway ride) from our home in Manhattan. Occupying one of the few remaining structures of the 1964 New York World’s Fair in Flushing Meadow-Corona Park, NYSci greets its visitors with two huge rockets visible from afar: the Gemini Titan II and a replica of the Mercury-Atlas D “Friendship 7″ Capsule, which was John Glenn’s rocket. There’s a whole Rocket Park, but it was too chilly for us to walk around it and we were eager to see what we came for: gingerbread.
After we entered the museum and went into the main area, it wasn’t too difficult to find the 300-sq-ft display of gingerbread. With its homemade feel, Gingerbread Lane’s houses, trees, vehicles and Nutcrackers are sure to make your mouth water. There are actually signs that say “No snacking please! Do not touch or eat any part of Gingerbread Lane. ” which I noticed just as I was contemplating whether anyone would notice if a single M&M was missing. Some lucky visitors will get a taste though. The exhibit is open through January 12, when they’ll dismantle it and give it away for free to NYSCI guests! The line opens at 10am and there’s a limit to two houses per person. That’s pretty cool, and definitely in the Christmas Spirit.
Once we had our fill of looking (not eating, I promise!) the gingerbread, we check out the rest of the museum. My three-year-old son was a little too young to appreciate most of the exhibits at NYSCI, but he could still play around with them. He could enjoy some of the exhibits at face value, like watching the balls drop into slots in an exhibit that demonstrated probability or lowering wire objects into a soapy liquid in an exhibit that was supposed to teach surface area. He had a Wii-like experience manipulating an adaptive ski down a race course. There was a whole area devoted to light, colors and shadow and that was more his speed. My husband and I enjoyed seeing the exhibits though! There are lot of new areas within the museum due to open in 2014, so we will have to plan a return visit then.