Mardi Gras often gets portrayed as the biggest festival only targeted to adults, BUT Mardi Gras can be celebrated with family-specific offerings, such as parades and historic museums, both in and outside of New Orleans!
See below for some tips on Mardi Gras crafts, foods, and activities for you and your family as you throw your own version of a Mardi Gras celebration!
Mardi Gras is the last day of carnival. It is also the day before Ash Wednesday, which begins the Christian season of Lent. This carnival is celebrated throughout the world! In the U.S., Mardi Gras is an official holiday in the state of Louisiana. Some of the most notable celebrations are in French settled areas, especially in Louisiana and the city of New Orleans. This celebration has also spread out across the nation, making it the biggest party celebrated in America.
The history of Mardi Gras can be traced back to the Middle Ages. During these times people would eat heartily the night before they had to start fasting on Ash Wednesday. Other traditions sprang up during the Middle Ages including the serving of the king’s cake in 12th century France.
Mardi Gras was introduced to Louisiana when French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville (now that’s a mouthful!) landed just south of today’s New Orleans on March 2, 1699. Since it was the night before Mardi Gras, he named the landing area “Point du Mardi Gras”. In 1703, the first Mardi Gras was celebrated at the small settlement of Fort Louis de la Mobile.
By the 1730s, Mardi Gras became a popular celebration in New Orleans. Originally, it was celebrated with a large dance called a ball. As the holiday became more popular over time, parades came about and involved the throwing of items (now lots and lots of beads) to the crowds and the rest is history!
Mardi Gras is known for their colors and glitter as the people celebrate, so take some of these tips for you and your little ones to enjoy as you celebrate the holiday.
Idea #1: Mardi Gras Crown
Everyone is royalty when celebrating Mardi Gras! Be the queen or king of the night by creating your own crown.
Learn how to create your crown here!
Idea #2: Mardi Gras Beads
Mardi Gras isn’t complete without beads! Celebrate the holiday with your own creation and throw them out to your guests and give it that Mardi Gras effect!
In New Orleans, the food in the middle of the big celebration is very popular! This is a day to enjoy all the cakes and sweets, and delicious food! So take some of these Mardi Grads food ideas for you and your family to make! Good for all ages!
Idea #3: Chocolate Ganache King Cake Rolls
These tiny king cakes are filled with a delicious chocolate ganache. The chocolate mixture is spread over the rolled dough, which is then rolled together like a cinnamon bun (I know…my mouth is watery too).
Click herefor the recipe!
Idea #4: Mardi Gras Jambalaya
Celebrate Mardi Gras and the tastes of the Bayou with this easy recipe for this much known Mardi Gras plate!
Click here for the recipe!
See below for some Mardi Gras activity tips! Make your Mardi Gras celebration even more colorful by creating more things or even going to a celebration!
Idea #5: Mardi Gras Float
A Mardi Gras celebration isn’t complete without adding some floats and parading it out to your guests! Gather around with your little ones and create your most colorful float! Have your little ones hop in and line them all up for a parade!
Learn how to create your wagon here!
Idea #6: Main Street Carnival Parade and Crawfish Boil
If you feel like taking your whole family out for the big celebration, the Historic Downtown District of Homestead hosts their annual Main Street Carnival Parade and Crawfish Boil. Gather your loved ones and take a trip for a big celebration!
Idea #7: Carnevale at Coral Gables Museum
Get a little taste of the Italian version of Mardi Gras early in Coral Gables with your family. Celebrate the night away with crafts, face painting, authentic food, and carnival treats such as fritelle and chiaccheire!
Click here for more information!
So there you have it folks—start making your Mardi Gras plans and we hope these tips have helped you kick off your Mardi Gras celebrations! Your favorite aquarium, Miami Seaquarium wishes you a happy Mardi Gras celebration!