4 Surprising Reasons to Tour Lake Oswego’s Holiday Gingerbread Houses

The gingerbread entry from Accessories from the Heart features a jewelry box filled and surrounded by candied jewelry.

The Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department is hosting the second annual gingerbread house competition and 17 businesses throughout town have put their one-of-a-kind creations on display. I recently toured the holiday houses with my family and encourage you to do the same. Here’s why.

  1. It’s a good excuse to get your teenagers to hang out with you. Gone are the days when quality time between my kids and me consisted of going to the playground. So my wife and I have to get creative with reasons why hanging out with mom and dad might actually be fun. Touring the Lake Oswego gingerbread houses got an “okay,” which is a resounding “yes!” by college kids’ standards. Reluctant at first, they were searching out the next contestant by tour’s end and casting their vote.
  2. You’ll discover places in Lake Oswego you may not have visited before. My daughters loved the ambiance of Step it Up Studios, the shoes at Soletta’s (who didn’t have a gingerbread house but were on the route between entries) and had fun sampling balsamic vinegar and olive oil at The Oilerie Lake Oswego. “Who knew we had these places here in town?” my daughter Riley kept exclaiming.
  3. It’s a chance to walk down memory lane. Our family has a gingerbread house history. Look back at photo albums when our kids were young, and you’ll see us assembling the kits, admittedly sometimes with the help of a glue gun (our houses were for looks only, not eating). After that we toured the designer houses assembled by competitive architectural firms which were displayed in Pioneer Place and voted for our favorites. All were good memories. The Lake Oswego House tour added to that.
  4.  It’s a competition. Your vote counts. Sixteen businesses (and the chamber) have put their houses on the market and need your vote to earn bragging rights for the year. They’re up only until Christmas so don’t delay. (Actually, there had already been one casualty when we toured, and one house that was behind schedule–typical of builders). For more information, call the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation at (503) 675-2549 or you can pick up a map at any of these participating locations:


  • Maher’s Pub, 352 B Avenue
  • Sixpence Antiques, 519 Third Street
  • World Class Wines, 269 A Avenue
  • The Clothes Closet, 252 B Avenue
  • Graham’s Book & Stationery, 460 Second Street
  • Terrace Kitchen Restaurant, 485 Second Street
  • The Grand Paper, 459 Second Street
  • Step It Up Studios, 101 A Avenue
  • Play Boutique, 464 First Streeet
  • The Oilerie Lake Oswego, 438 First Street
  • Accessories from the Heart, 220 A Avenue, Suite 100
  •  Upper Crust Bakery, 41 B Avenue
  •  Gemini Bar and Grille, 456 N State Street
  •  Frog Pond Toys & Lily Pad Café, 310 N. State Street, Suite 102
  •  Chamber of Commerce, 459 Third Street


  • Gubanc’s Pub (last year’s winner), 16008 Boones Ferry Road
  • Lake Oswego Hunt Club, 2725 SW Iron Mountain Blvd

If you take the tour, let us know which gingerbread house was your favorite!

About lovelakeoswego

I feel pretty lucky—I live where I work and I love where I live. As a Realtor in Lake Oswego, I get to share that enthusiasm with clients every day. Through this blog, with the help of my freelance writer wife, Genita, I’d like to share that enthusiasm with you. The quality of life you’ll find in Lake Oswego belies its size—there is so much to experience here from a fireworks show over the lake on the 4th of July to the Festival of the Arts--one of the premier arts events in the region. So please check in each week for another reason why I love Lake Oswego and who knows—maybe you’ll fall in love too! If you’re interested in experiencing Lake Oswego personally, please feel free to contact me either on my cell at (503) 939-9801, via email at kevin.costello@cascadehassonsir.com or check my website by clicking the link in the "Contact me" section in the right-hand column. I would love to show you around.
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