I know, I know. If you’re not from New Orleans, family and Mardi Gras are the last two words you would ever put together. But, I’m here to tell you, erase everything out of your mind about crazy tourists because Mardi Gras is the MOST family friendly you can get. It is actually what made me fall in love with the city of New Orleans. So, here are five reasons that you should bring your whole family to Mardi Gras at least once in your lifetime.
It’s perfectly acceptable to eat dessert and fast food for 3 meals a day.
King cake is literally the best dessert I’ve ever had in my life. However, it is only socially acceptable to eat it during the time between Twelfth Night to Fat Tuesday. My absolute favorite comes from Dong Phuong. You may have to wait 2-3 hours to get one of these beauties, but trust me when I say it is well worth the wait. And on your way to the parade route, pick up a family pack from Popeye’s Chicken! The colder it gets, the better – holla! Do you know any other vacation that you can feed your family of four for a day, including dessert, for $30?!
Free entertainment for the weekend!
There will be more parades that happen than you can count on your hands! Some are small, some are large, but with each parade, there will be floats, dance troupes, bands, and everything in between with gorgeous costumes and decorations. And the best part of it all, it’s free! You can stay for as little or as long as you would like and there is no price involved. You can’t beat that, can you?
On that note, free souvenirs for all!
In every parade, the riders will be throwing goodies to the onlookers and a pretty fast rate. The younger and smaller and cuter you are, the more fun throws you’ll get. This means that your two year old will get way more goodies than your preteen will. And you can take as many as you can carry home with you! This may seem counterintuitive at first, and I get it. But after you get over the fact that people are throwing things at you, it’ll actually be fun.
You’ll come away with at least 5 new friends.
People from all walks of life will be on the streets of New Orleans and it really does feel magical. Everyone is happy and more than one will probably offer you a beverage out of their cooler. You’ll find out some interesting facts about a new parade neighbor, or two, if you’re open to it.
You’ll walk away with a lifetime of memories!
And finally, if you decide that bringing your family to Mardi Gras is an excellent vacation option (which it is!), you’ll have a lifetime of memories with your family about “this one time in NOLA.” Where else can you get parades and costumes and music and food and dancing and new friends all in one place, for free?! No where else that I can think of, so put it on your vacation calendar right now! You won’t regret it!