Aside from the crazy debauchery of New Orleans’ Bourbon Street, celebrating Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) can actually be very family friendly and fun! We’ve got a bunch of festive ideas that both kids and adults will enjoy.
- Start the day with sweet beignets. These sugar dusted pastries are are the official state doughnut of Louisiana (yes, apparently they have a state doughnut!) and a popular dessert served during Mardi Gras. Try this recipe from Bobby Flay.
- Create your own carnival masks. Traditionally, colorful masks were worn to protect the identity of revelers engaging in the festivities. Today, masks and long beaded necklaces are staples at most every Mardi Gras celebration. Check out these DIY instructions for masks.
- Parlez-vous français? Mardi Gras might be a good time to teach your kids a few common French words and phrases. Here’s a free online pronunciation guide to get you started, and as they say in the Big Easy — “Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler” (Let the Good Times Roll)!
- Savor some classic jambalaya. The spicy dish of rice, meat and seafood is a favorite during Mardi Gras. Not to mention it’s a one pot meal, so easy clean up! Try this Cajun-style recipe from Emeril Lagasse.
- Listen to some smooth jazz. It’ll feel just like you’re in the French Quarter if you throw on a few jazz tunes by greats like Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino, Wynton Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr. Sit back and the enjoy the sounds of NOLA.
- All hail the king cake. Purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power, the tri-colored king cake is another Mardi Gras favorite. Whoever finds the token (typically a plastic baby) baked inside is crowned king or queen of the party. Try this king cake recipe for your family and friends!
For even more easy, affordable and crafty ideas, visit us on Pinterest!
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Do you celebrate Mardi Gras with your family? Share your family-friendly party tips by leaving a comment below!