One of Rochester’s favorite holiday traditions is the Sweet Creations Gingerbread Display at the George Eastman Museum.  More than 60 whimsical cookie confections are on view throughout the house and museum until December 14.  You’ll find elaborate creations from some of Rochester’s top pastry chefs and bakers including:

Christmas with Animals (by Carey Lake Cakes)
Gingerbread Christmas Tree at George Eastman Museum
A Very Merry Unbirthday (by Shirley Tracey)
Mad Hatter Gingerbread at George Eastman Museum
King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria (Betsi Johnson)

gingerbread creation at the George Eastman Museum

It’s not all professional gingerbread houses on display, there are edible sculptures from Scout Troops, preschools, classrooms, and families as well.  Some of my favorites were:

Hagrid’s Hut by Ani and Ellen Sherman
Hogwarts Gingerbread at the George Eastman Musuem

A Star Wars Christmas Tale from Jeanne, Abigail, and Zachary Tyler

Star War's Gingerbread display at George Eastman Museum

Timothy Cosgriff’s All the World is a Stage! (Boy there’s a lot of icing on that stage)
gingerbread people on display at the Eastman Museum

My daughter was particularly partial to a faithful recreation of The Big Ginger Donut (from Steven Universe) by Elaine & Erin McAnany and Billy Raymond.

You can bid on each gingerbread house via a silent auction (through December 14) with all the proceeds going towards restoration efforts of the George Eastman Museum.

Holiday wreath at the Eastman Musuem in Rochester, NY
In addition to the Sweet Creations gingerbread houses that make the Eastman Museum fun for the holidays, there’s festive wreath displays, tabletop Christmas trees, live seasonal music performances (Sundays at 3pm), as well as period decorations of the historic homestead itself.  [Can you say family photo for holiday card location?]

Eastman Museum decorated for the holiday season
Throughout December, the Dryden Theatre runs a number of holiday family favorites such as Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone, and Holiday Inn.  Oh I have fond memories of taking our daughters to the Dryden to watch Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas on the big screen; the first time they ever saw one of my childhood favorites (I’m humming in my head now, if you couldn’t tell).  Films at the Dryden cost $8 general admission; $6 members; $4 for students.

Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY for the holidays
Other special events for the holidays at the George Eastman Museum include:

  • The annual Holiday Homecoming Celebration from 5-8pm on Thursday, December 8th. Where Santa Claus meets good little boys and girls under the tree in the Eastman House living room.
  • New Year’s Eve Dinner & A Movie at the Dryden Theatre starting at 6pm on Saturday, December 31 featuring the Humphrey Bogart Film Noir classic The Maltese Falcon (John Huston, 1941).


The George Eastman Museum is located at 900 East Avenue, Rochester, NY, and open 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday-Saturday; 11 am to 5 pm Sunday (Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day).  General museum admission is $14 adults; $12 seniors (62+); $5 students; and FREE for children 12.