8 Mardi Gras Must-Haves For Parade Day!

We are full of pro tips for parenting at Mardi Gras. When it comes to taking kids to parades, New Orleans Mom has all of the advice you need for enjoying Mardi Gras with kids. Here are eight must haves to make the most of parade day with your littles. Affiliate links are included.

8 Mardi Gras Must-Haves For Parade Day!

Parading with small children can be an exciting and joyous event for your family. We look forward to parade season every year. But all-day activities of any kind can lead to meltdowns, whining, complaining, and a really miserable time if you aren’t prepared. We have four children, ranging in ages from toddler to preteen, so we have had a pretty wide range of experiences on the parade route. From seasoned parents, here are a few must-have items and suggestions for all-day parading:

  1. The Wonder Wagon: you can check out my wagon post here. This thing is well worth it! It carries a ton and even serves as a nap zone for little ones. Its taller sides can keep a baby relatively enclosed and safe (if monitored). Note: do not park this close to the parade route where “throws” might land on littles.
  2. Sit and Stand: We always carry out a few folding chairs for the times when little legs get tired. The lighter the better because the kids have to help carry this stuff to the route! I recommend something with a cup holder! We don’t typically use the standard Mardi Gras ladder because I don’t love heights and they kind of freak me out, but we do bring a 3-step ladder that helps my younger kids to see over the crowd. Plus it’s easier to carry.
  3. Snacks for Days: Seriously, whatever you think you need, triple it! We aim for “cleaner” snacks like wheat thins, Cheez-its, granola bars, turkey roll-ups (individually wrapped), Zapps chips, popcorn, etc. We avoid chocolate items to eliminate melting and gross hands! If we have the space to spread out, we even bring along a king cake to nibble on and a plastic knife.

4. Clean-Up: Baby wipes for messy hands, hand sanitizer, paper towels for snacks, and whatever else you might need to change your kiddos. Maybe stash an extra pair of clothes for the little one too!

5. Spreading Out: Sometimes there is space to move away from the parade and spread out if kids need a break or if there is downtime between parades. It’s nice to have picnic blanket to spread out and a few soft balls to throw around. Other entertainment ideas for downtime include bubbles, balloons, and small notebooks with colors/markers.

6. Rain Delay: We bought this family pack of ponchos for our last Disney trip and it comes with adult and kid sizes to stow away in case the skies open up. Of course, I would always advise checking the forecast first, but the weather can be unpredictable. In fact, add an extra sweater or jacket for each family member to the trunk.

7. Potty Time: Having a pop-out potty can be a lifesaver if you’re too far from a restroom or have younger kids. Also this on-the-go urinal could be great for older kids. Just be sure it’s used in private areas!

8. Other miscellaneous things to remember: sunscreen, battery-operated fan, extra phone chargers, extra “bead bags” for throws, more snacks than you packed, sunglasses and hats, insulated cups for mom and dad, Bluetooth speaker, plenty of water, and some cash for parking or food vendors.

Have a great time! Y’all be safe out there, and welcome to the Mardi Gras!

Rachel Harris Ledet
A New Orleans native and entrepreneur, Rachel is a mom of four with an active schedule. Rachel maintains a daily balance of running her own marketing firm, 30|90 Marketing, managing her kids’ schedules, and maintaining extracurriculars including coaching dance, volunteering, and occasionally teaching courses. Rachel lives in Mandeville with her best friend and husband Lenny, daughters Addison and Amelia, stepson Luke, and son Tucker. With a family of six and a million balls in the air, Rachel keeps things light by continuously learning, spending time with amazing friends, blogging, finding any route to a concert or outdoor festival, and planning her next getaway with her husband. A sense of humor can get you through almost anything, so she tends to surround herself with fabulous and very funny people.


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