It’s officially Carnival Season and here in Louisiana the parades have already begun to roll. TravelingMamas.com is THE authority on Mardi Gras for families and to make things easier, I’ve put together a list of our best tips and easy reference to find parades and routes near you. Mardi Gras is an official holiday here in Louisiana and we’re the only state in the United States of America that celebrates with such gusto. It’s part of our culture, and what makes us such a unique place to visit.
If you weren’t able to make it down to Louisiana this year, keep on reading, I’ve got some tips to help you teach your kids about this celebration, how to enjoy Mardi Gras where you live, and where to order the best authentic Louisiana King Cake to enjoy. On my personal blog, I even have a quick and easy recipe for making your own King Cake.
New Orleans Official Parade Schedule – If you aren’t already aware, Mobile, Alabama is where the first Mardi Gras parade was held in the US, but New Orleans is definitely the destination that has helped make Mardi Gras what it is today. Yes, there is a bit of debauchery down on Bourbon Street, but there are so many family friendly parades and areas of the city for viewing. I’ve taken my own children down to St. Charles (thanks to Kevin Kelly of Houmas House) many times to enjoy a wonderful Carnival experience. And don’t forget about the outlying areas such as Metairie that are all family fun festivities.
Baton Rouge is my home city and celebrates with parades for three weeks. I’ve even joined the Krewe of Artemis in years past and had the amazing (yet exhausting) experience of riding in a float. During the Mardi Gras season on weekends, the streets of downtown Baton Rouge are filled with parade lovers of all ages. It’s a community gathering filled with good food, lots of families, and good times.
Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana is home to the Boudin Trail and also the Lake Charles Mardi Gras Museum. In May there’s a big celebration of my favorite pirate, but during Mardi Gras there’s a family friendly celebration.
The Shreveport-Bossier area offers the upper portions of Louisiana their own family friendly Mardi Gras celebration.
For first timers, here are some basic tips on attending a Mardi Gras parade. Keep in mind, this is Louisiana and we don’t just look pretty and wave as we pass by — we like to share the smiles by giving away ‘throws’ so watch what’s coming at you! Here are 6 Tip for attending a Mardi Gras Parade.
Not all families have the budget or the time to travel down to Louisiana during the Carnival Season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the season in your own way. Here are some tips to help you bring a Louisiana Mardi Gras into your own home and give your family a fun way to experience this fun family celebration. Check out our post: Tips on Celebrating Mardi Gras where you live.
Here are TravelingMamas.com top picks for ordering AUTHENTIC Louisiana King Cakes. They’ve personally been sampled by yours truly and I have used these companies to send King Cakes to friends around the US. They are listed in order of preference. Just click the picture to go to our Pinterest page to find out more!
1.Ambrosia Bakery in Baton Rouge, LA
2. Haydel’s New Orlean’s King Cakes
3. Gambino’s Bakery in Baton Rouge
When Mardi Gras has come and gone, it’s the Lenten season here, which also means some of the most amazing seafood specials and buffets around the state. But what to do with all that leftover King Cake or plastic beads? We even have some tips for you on tackling that issue. Here’s how to recycle the remnants of Mardi Gras:
No matter where you spend Carnival Season, either here or your hometown, stay safe and enjoy this fun time of year. If you haven’t experienced Mardi Gras with your family, it’s something you should add to your future travel plans. Mardi Gras is actually an annual FAMILY event for those of us here in Louisiana. Be sure to check out the official Louisiana Tourism website and Traveling Mamas for your upcoming family vacation in Louisiana.