Though it might read like a misnomer, Mardi Gras in New Orleans doesn’t necessarily need to be a raging party you wouldn’t feel good about bringing your kids to. There are plenty of good times waiting to be had, and a family friendly Mardi Gras is possible—you just have to be a savvy traveler.
Mardi Gras is thought of by many as the last blow-out before giving up the vices we’ve come to cherish over the past year; but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the time before Lent has to be a wild party. In the real world, so many of us have a family and children and would like to have them join the festivities too—after all, this is a cultural event, not just a celebration of excess.
The good news is that there is plenty to do in New Orleans that is appropriate for kids, and many kids seem to enjoy the experience – even more than the adults. Parades, without a doubt, are the go-to events during the Carnival season, and they are a child’s wonderland. What’s not to like with bedazzled floats, wild costumes, fire-dancers, kings and queens throwing doubloons and beads, and marching bands with enough bass to rumble the sturdiest chest?
A great experience to give kids is in the Upper Garden District, at the Krewe de Barkus parade. Here, dogs get dressed up in regalia and put on a themed-show event for doggie glory and pride—always a crowd favorite.
Whatever you decide to do with your family this Mardi Gras season, be sure to be safe and stay together. The crowds get big, the people are many, but a good time is had by all.