Capturing the sights, smells, sounds and now tastes of the holiday season, Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens has unveiled its delicious and decadent new holiday display, “Gingerbread Dreams, a Holiday Confection” inviting visitors to celebrate the sweetest and most wonderful time of the year.
Now through Jan. 1, the new winter display is decked in holiday-trimmed botanicals and giant pastry elements, featuring a 42-ft. tall white fir tree sparkling with thousands of lights nestled among a snowy holiday village, a cozy gingerbread cottage and a bakeshop complete with elves and polar bear helpers. The display engages all five senses as a custom scent, “Gingerbread Dreams” fills the air with notes of clove, cinnamon, vanilla and apple and a soothing holiday soundtrack sets the mood for guests to embark on their journey. For the first time, the Conservatory will offer sweet holiday treats for sale baked by Bellagio’s talented pastry chefs.
Designed by Ed Libby, in collaboration with Bellagio’s Horticulture and Pastry teams, this year’s theme was inspired by a simpler time as guests are transported back to their childhood with whimsical moments and larger-than-life holiday treats.
“For this exhibit, we continue to push the envelope by utilizing and incorporating classic and time-honored holiday themes with an innovative and imaginative approach,” said Libby. “Guests will feel like they’ve stepped into a delicious and fanciful world filled with magical characters, sugary sweet confections and holiday wonders around every corner.”
A fantastical snowy gingerbread village, designed in stunning detail, is comprised of five miniature shops and a chapel. Towering over the village is the centerpiece of the West Bed, a majestic 42-ft. tall fresh-cut white fir tree from California’s Mt. Shasta. Elegantly decorated with 10,000 twinkling lights and 8,700 sparkling red, gold, silver and white ornaments, the tree is crowned with a giant glimmering Swarovski crystal tree topper and is surrounded by fragrant fir trees of various sizes also illuminated with lights. Beneath the tree, a toy choo-choo train chugs and churns around the base making its way through the West Bed.
The North Bed features three giant stunning bejeweled eggs that harken back to the famed collectibles by the renowned House of Fabergé. Eggs are symbols of hope and purity, and each egg is meticulously adorned with various glimmering gemstones. Nestled within the center of the largest egg is a 5-ft. tall gingerbread house made of real spiced gingerbread created by the Bellagio Pastry team. Four mirrored stars measuring 9 ft. tall glisten overhead gorgeously reflecting light upon the wonderous scene below. Four large Poinsettias made of preserved roses float beneath the eggs in a pond and giant LED screens featuring nostalgic holiday moments create the background for the elegant scene.
Guests continue their holiday journey with a stroll through the East Bed where they find themselves inside a charming life-sized gingerbread-style cottage intricately decorated with faux candy, gumdrops, peppermints, cookies and icing complete with a billowing chimney. Once visitors walk through the delectable confection, they’ll be greeted by wide windows, a cozy fireplace and gingerbread families frolicking on the walls. Anchoring the four corners of the display are 14-ft. tall nutcracker guards keeping close watch atop rotating platform drums. Overhead, four large 12-ft. tall gingerbread-fashioned snowflakes intricately decorated with frosting are suspended above the display.
The charming South Bed takes guests into a cozy kitchen bustling with six hard-working Bellagio elves (an homage to Bellagio’s Pastry team) joyfully baking gingerbread cookies with a towering wood-burning stove at the ready. Festive baking canisters on the shelf above the stove contain all the classic ingredients to make the famous holiday cookie. Nearby, five playful Coca-Cola polar bears are warmed by a giant fireplace topped with a large gingerbread clock that chimes every hour.
Bellagio’s Pastry team has created special holiday treats for guests this season. For the first time, assorted gingerbread cookies, chocolates, popcorn, sweet confections and beverages will be available for purchase in the Conservatory alcove located behind the South Bed.