There’s family fun in New Orleans all year ‘round, but Mardi Gras brings a magic for kids that can’t be found anywhere else. Mardi Gras season begins January 6 and continues through the day before Ash Wednesday (Fat Tuesday). If you’re taking a family vacation to the Big Easy during Mardi Gras season, be sure to catch plenty of parades, beads, and these family-friendly things to do to make the most of your time at Mardi Gras!
Catch the Parades– The wonder of the floats rolling by, the fantastic costumes, and of course, the thrill of catching beads by the fistfull, Mardi Gras parades are thrilling for kids of all ages! New Orleans Mardi Gras parades are held on weekends and the week before and leading into Mardi Gras day. The large float parades that are the symbol of Mardi Gras are held in uptown or mid-city and are themed according to the krewe that is rolling in the parade. Parades can be experienced from the sidewalk, neutral ground, or a parking lot. Ladders with seats on top are recommended when bringing kids to help them catch plenty of “throws” (beads, cups, etc.), and be sure to yell, “Throw me something mister!”
Eat King Cake– A traditional king cake is a large cinnamon sweet bread ring covered in a white glaze icing and Mardi Gras colored sugar (green, purple, and gold), and they can be found in bakeries, at markets, and on menus throughout the season. They’re stuffed with a little plastic baby, and if you get the piece with the baby, you are “king” for the day (and also have to bring the next king cake)! King cakes can be filled with a variety of flavors from cream cheese to chantilly cream or pralines. From the versatile sweetness to the random baby inside, king cakes are Mardi Gras in dessert form, and trying as many flavors as you can muster is a must for visiting New Orleans during Mardi Gras season!
Tour Mardi Gras World– Mardi Gras is rich in history and art, and Mardi Gras World showcases it all. Tour the place where the carnival starts and see how floats and props are built from the ground up at Mardi Gras World. Get up close with the marvelous history of Mardi Gras, and see the collections of past costumes, designs, and props. The whole family will love taking a peek behind the curtain at how the magic of Mardi Gras is made.
Take a Swamp Tour– Louisiana weather ranges from extremely hot to very cold and wet, and Mardi Gras often falls into that short sweet spot where it’s not too cold or too hot. It’s the perfect time for a swamp tour! Take in the swamp scenery of cypress knees and alligators on a covered tourboat or as you zoom by on an airboat that travels over land and water at high speeds. Kick up the thrill and take a swamp zipline excursion with 5 ziplines, 2 sky bridges, a spiral cypress tree staircase, a 2000ft elevated spectator platform, and animal interactions at Zip Nola!
From sugar-covered king cakes to vibrant floats and costumes, Mardi Gras brings out the kid in everyone. So take the whole family down to the Big Easy to get your carnival on! Visit TourBigEasy.com to book your New Orleans swamp tour excursion with us today!