~shared by J. Ranner
In case you didn’t get the hint from the displays at your local Wal Mart (mine since August!), it is certainly beginning to look A LOT like Christmas round these parts!
For many of us, that means shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking, cleaning, traveling and other things… all in preperation to spend time with family, friends and loved ones. Which hopefully will be a fun thing for you.
But maybe holidays aren’t always so kind to you. What’s the PG solution to the holiday blues? Some of my fondest family memories all came from us playing games together (who could forget the legendary Monopoly riot of ’96?). As “The Gurus of Family Fun,” we here at Woodloch Pines Resort in the picturesque Pocono Mountains sincerely believe that a great game can spice up even the most tepid of family affairs.
A few months back, we gave you a step-by-step guide on how to create your own Scavenger Hunt. In the spirit of the holidays, we thought we’d coach you along on how to also host your own “Gingerbread Wars”- our most popular holiday event. Tis’ the season of giving, and this one’s for you guys!
PLACE: With family gatherings… any old house will do. Try to give yourselves a little bit of space (good fences make good neighbors, and the last thing you want is a REAL war).
TIME: Our contests usually last about an hour (10 minutes of rules, 40 minutes to build and 10 minutes of “judging”) but adjust based on your participants.
- Gingerbread – (cupcakes, sheet cakes, and krispie treats can be substituted… or used in addition)
- Frosting (you can make different colors with food coloring)
- Candy – we use dozens of different varieties but you a decent assortment will get you through.
- The “secret” ingredient (kept confidential, and must be incorporated into the final design. We’ve used oranges, donut holes, waffles etc. – use your imagination.
- A “base” to build upon. Cardboard squares work well, but a large platter or plate will serve as well.
- Some type of “currency” for your store. We use tickets, but coins or even slips of paper will serve. Every team starts off with the same amount of “currency”- we typically give you 10 tickets.
GO: Gametime… have a “neutral third party” start the show as an MC of sorts, explaining the game rules and starting the clock. You will need to “staff” the candy store- teams will exchange a number of tickets for certain ingredients to enhance their creations. For example, a single candy cane might cost you 1 ticket, while a bag of orange frosting will cost you 3 tickets. Adjust based on your needs. Once the clock starts, your “store” might decide to run “specials”- 1/2 off, “buy one, get one” etc. This adds to the fun!
When time has expired, GAME OVER. The team needs to safely transport their structure to a “Judging Circle” where voting will occur. Points are awarded for originality, overall design, and the incorporation of your “secret ingredient.”
Nothing beats a “Woodloch Medal”- even if you decide to make your own! Bottles of wine and champagne are great if you have an all adult contest. But remember, every team gets to keep their structure (for better or worse) at game’s end, and the real reward is going to be having fun with friends and family this holiday season.
So that’s it. Rage your very own “Gingerbread Wars” this holiday season. It should tide you over until your next visit to Woodloch!