Gingerbread House Contest

Sponsored by AARP Iowa

*The contest is finished, and the winners have been announced! Scroll down to find them.


Starting December 1st, Gingerbread kits will be available for pickup at both library locations and the Northwest Rec Center, while supplies last. Kits will include everything you need to build an adorable gingerbread home and mini gingerbread house for an extra-special addition to the main home. Use your creativity to build the homes, adding the mini house on either as an attached or detached addition to the main home.  Decorate!  Snap a photo and enter the contest by December 12 for a chance to win great prizes. Enter the contest in the form below!

Why are you including a mini-gingerbread home in this contest?  

We're helping AARP Iowa get the word out about Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU), which are fully self-contained homes on the same lot as the main house. ADUs are commonly known by many other names, including granny flats, backyard bungalows, guest houses, in-law suites, basement apartments, carriage houses, and casitas. ADUs can be an important source of affordable housing to keep housing costs down for both owners and renters. You can learn more ADUs on the AARP Iowa website or visit the City of Cedar Rapids website for information on ADUs in Cedar Rapids.

Contest Details

There is a limit of one entry per person or family/team. Entries must include an ADU to be considered for a prize. By entering your photo in the contest, you give the Cedar Rapids Public Library permission to share it online and in print.

Can I use items that aren't in the kit?

Yes!  We encourage your creativity!  Just let us know on the sign-up form so that it can be judged in the appropriate category:

  • Grand Prize
  • Best Incorporation of the ADU
  • Most Creative
  • People’s Choice
  • Best House and ADU with no additional ingredients
  • 1st and 2nd Prizes: Children; Family/Team/Group; Adult

How will the winner be chosen?

Winning gingerbread houses will be chosen from a series of categories (children, adult, family, best overall, and more). Visit for details.

A panel of judges, Library staff, and the public will choose winners. Public voting will take place online using the entry site below. Share your submission with your friends and family to get as many votes as possible! Voting closes December 19.

What if I need help entering the contest?

The library makes every effort to ensure our programs can be enjoyed by all.  If you don't have access to a digital camera or computer to enter the contest, or if you have any other concerns about accessibility or need to request specific accommodations, please contact the library at (319) 261-7323.

Official Rules 


ADU Informational Event

Join us on Tuesday, January 31, from 4-5 pm in Beems Auditorium at the Downtown Library for ADUs 101, a panel discussion including Brad Anderson from AARP IA, Seth Gunnerson (Zoning Administrator), Stephanie Murphy (Neighborhood Finance Corporation), and Haley Sevening (Planner) to discuss ADUs and answer questions. 

Click here to register.

gingerbread cookie inside an orange circle

Thank you to our sponsor:


AARP Iowa Logo


Grand Prize
$100 NewBo City Market
$50 Next Page Books
$50 Craft’d

Best Incorporation of the ADU
$50 Next Page Books
$50 Craft’d

Most Creative
$50 Pierson’s Flower Shop
$50 Frontier Garden Center

People’s Choice
$100 NewBo City Market

No Additional Ingredients
$50 Pierson’s Flower Shop
$50 Frontier Garden Center

Children’s 1st Place
$100 Spare Time Entertainment

Children’s 2nd Place
$50 Mini Pines Miniature Golf

Team 1st Place
$100 Civil Axe Throwing

Team 2nd Place
$50 O’s Grill

Adult 1st Place
$100 Hands in Harmony Massage and Spa

Adult 2nd Place
$50 Brewhemia

Grand Prize: Karissa and Juli S. 

A gingerbread house with colorful candy on the roof and walls.

"Nana and Juli (age 3) teamed up to make a colorful Gingerbread House and coordinating Nana house with colorful candies." 

Best Incorporation of the ADU: Emerson E.

A gingerbread house with white icing on the roof and a white icing path to the ADU.

"I started with glitter on the front door, pearls around it, and a swirl on each side. I also added a wreath above the door with pearls on each side, and a large snow flake at the point with Christmas lights on both sides. I made a waffle cone roof with snow and large pearls, and snow on the side window boxes. Grandmas little house is next door so we can keep in close contact. She likes simple. Her house also has matching pearls around the front door, and just a bit of detail on the roof. I added a connecting pathway lined with pearls and some seasonal decorations." 

Most Creative: Brayden S.

A gingerbread house has an ADU sitting on its roof.

"Damage from the Derecho is still visible (broken house out of the box), but we are still grateful 2 years after the derecho. Grandparents bungalow built on top of the house for the best view in the city! Path through the snowy yard, past the kids built snowman will get you to the tree and presents! Merry Christmas!!" 

People’s Choice: Ekta D.

Three photos show a gingerbread house with rainbow candy and blue geometric pattern on the roof.

"Our gingerbread house has interior ADU. Our mini house is attached to main house." 

No Additional Ingredients: Kameron G.

A gingerbread house is connected to an ADU with a green candy path.

"Love of your neighbors with the ADU."

Children's First Place: Kelling Girls

A gingerbread house has a heart shaped candycane door.

"Ginny the Gingerbread lives in house 963 (I'm 9 and my sisters are 6 and 3) and she had just gotten back from Christmas shopping and it snowed while she was there. So, there was snow on the roof and ground. She had just hung up her blue pearl Christmas lights and built a snowman. She loves her heart shaped door, colorful bushes, and walkway further over in the yard of a little house with two young kids. They are in a small version of house 963 snap they're house is covered in white too. There are 4 big bushes in the back covered with snow that were so find they almost looked blue." 

Children's Second Place: Beau C.

A gingerbread house and ADU sit in front of nutcrackers on a red table.

"On Christmas, my aunt and uncle can rest in the ADU to be closer to me!”

Team First Place: Andi S.

A gingerbread house sits with an ADU with a Pez roof.

"This was our family collaboration. The main house has a good and plenty roof covered in marshmallow fluff snow. The smaller house has a pez roof and there is small pond in the backyard."

Team Second Place: Eric G.

A row of gingerbread houses with rainbow icing and candy sits in front of a Gutschmidt Properties sign.

"The Gutschmidt Properties team got together to build a gingerbread house modeled after our Rainbow Row. Rainbow Row is a development on M St SW that includes renovated homes, new builds, and ADUs in all colors of the rainbow!"

Adult First Place: Heidi K.

Three photos show a gingerbread with a fluffy white icing roof and candy circles on the walls.

"Cam’s cabin, named after my kiddo. I used melting chocolate and nonpareils to give it a unique candy cabin look."

Adult Second Place: Micaela A.

A gingerbread house has white icing and blue candy on the roof.

"Explore a winter wonderland where the snowmen live right beside the snowflake factory."