If you succumb to Black Friday madness and start shopping in the wee hours, you can have your Christmas gifts in hand by the time ''Sugar & Spice: The Land of Gingerbread'' opens at 10 a.m. on Nov. 26 at the Springfield Science Museum. Up through Jan. 2, the exhibit features the results of the museum's first gingerbread house competition for professional bakers and private enthusiasts. The theme is “The City of Homes,” and the gingerbread houses draw inspiration from actual Springfield buildings. They are displayed against a snowy landscape of decorated trees, twinkling lights, and gingerbread people.
Museum-goers who prefer a little narrative with their exhibits can follow the adventures of a gingerbread man being chased by forest creatures trying to gobble him up. In his journey he sips chocolate by the fire at his own gingerbread house, travels down a river of melted fudge, and floats over mountains in a hot air balloon. It's a world worthy of Zippy the Pinhead. Now isn't that a whole lot more fun than waiting in a mall parking lot for the land rush to the toy section?
Springfield Science Museum, Quadrangle, 21 Edwards St., Springfield; 413-263-6800; www.springfieldmuseums.org. Science Museum open Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving Day). Adults $12.50, seniors and college students $9, ages 3-17 $6.50.
Photo courtesy of Springfield Museums.