You don't have to stray away from all the Mardi Gras fun this year if you are traveling with your family, actually quite the opposite! You can pack up the kids, the grandkids, nieces, nephews, heck, pack up the dog because these five New Orleans Mardi Gras day activities are completely family-friendly, with that traditional festival vibe with bits of cultural education mingled throughout. Be wary, however, before your trip, of visiting the French Quarter with children, as this is the most common place to see, well, the female figure!
Be wary, however, before your trip, of visiting the French Quarter with children, as this is the most common place to see, well, the female figure!
- St. Charles Avenue - Don't be afraid to take the kiddos to see all the action at the big parade, after all, what better audience for such massive floats, bright colors, and festive imagination coming to life than eager children? To avoid any wardrobe (or lack thereof) malfunctions, take your family to St. Charles Avenue, a parade route hotspot where families come to picnic and play games. Bring a trash bag or two, your kids will get a TON of toys, stuffed animals, and candy thrown at them during the parade!
- King Cake and Mask Making at Mardi Gras World - Witness NOLA culture at its finest as you see up close and personal how the artists make the mega floats that can hold up to 200 people, fiber optics, and laser lights, for over 40 parades a year. Take a tour and see various costumes, view historic video, and taste a bit of King’s Cake, as you get all the behind the scenes info on this unique and festive tradition! You'll even have a chance to make your own mask, a perfectly entertaining and culture-infused activity for the kids (and adults)!
- The Presbytere - Head to this iconic local museum installation to learn more in depth about the history, culture, and tradition of Mardi Gras, 1/2 of the collection entitled 'Mardi Gras: It's Carnival Time in Louisiana'. Learn the details of the rituals of the holiday, climb around a few actual Mardi Gras parade floats from the past, and follow this festival's roots all the way back to the Middle Ages through interactive artifacts and exhibits.
- Steamboat Natchez Cruise - This option will let you escape the crowded streets for a few hours as you set sail aboard the Steamboat Natchez, the last authentic steamboat on the mighty Mississippi. Operating daily, this local company will show you the sights of New Orleans as unchanged in the water as they were 50 years ago, plus it will give you live jazz and really delicious, southern authentic food to boot! This is always a safe option for children and families, plus it will allow your group to experience essential New Orleans sights and sounds!
- Krewe of Barkus - This is one of our most unique options for family-friendly Mardi Gras, a parade dedicated to the canine population. Bring your furry family friend to compete or just line up and watch the 'pawsitively' entertaining parade, with events running from 10:30 am to 4 pm. Meet last year's King and Queen Barkus and pick out your favorite for this year!