Every year when we go back to New Orleans to visit family, we try to explore one new thing with our kids. This year, we toured Mardi Gras World.
What is Mardi Gras?
Mardi Gras which means “Fat Tuesday” in French and is the day right before Ash Wednesday. If you’re Catholic, you know what’s it’s like to fast on Ash Wednesday so we tend to fill up Tuesday or “fatten up” the day before thus “Fat Tuesday”. In New Orleans, they take it to a whole other level by running parades for two weeks straight through “Fat Tuesday” and everything completely stops at midnight before Ash Wednesday. The schools even shut down for a four day weekend. No joke.
Touring Mardi Gras World
Once inside, you can browse the bead mosaic gallery (made from recycled Mardi Gras beads) in the gift shop while waiting for your tour to begin.
After the Tour started, we entered a theater and were invited to try on costumes which are worn on the floats. (Fun picture opp).
That’s not all, at the end of the Tour, we get a FREE sample of King Cake – Sweet!
|After your tour, enjoy a King Cake sample at the Mardi Gras World Cafe.
TIP: Right next to the Cafe, is an outdoor seating area. If you have time, step outside to check out the view of the Mississippi River.
|Feeling hungry? Stop by the Mardi Gras World Cafe and check out
the views of the Mississippi River.
Lucky for us the World’s Largest Bead Mosaic Record was about to be broken this year, and we were there to be a part of it. Tourists were invited to be hands on and add beads. It was an extra treat for the kids, because they were equally excited to be a part of history. (UPDATE: The Mosaic completed shortly after the Mardi Gras Season.)
- King of Carnival gave them their colors: Purple, Gold and Green.
- Danny Kayne was their first celebrity King.
- Mardi Gras was brought to Louisiana by early French settlers.
- The Mardi Gras Carnival is a Catholic Tradition.
- 2 Million Beads are thrown every year during Mardi Gras.
- There are anywhere from 14 to around 28 floats in every parade, as well as a minimum of 9 marching bands and dance teams.
- The themes are often unannounced before the actual parade. Some Super-Krewes will hold a press conference, but most keep it as a surprise.
- No parade rolls twice, but they can have several a day.
- Routes don’t change from year to year, neither do the days or times for each parade. There are several websites that post the routes.
- If you find the Baby Jesus in your piece of King Cake, you get good luck for a year and you have to treat the next King Cake (they might have changed this since at one point it was considered a choking hazard).
- In the past, it was a Fava Bean or Gold Bead instead of Baby Jesus.
- Parading stops at mid-night on Mardi Gras Day.
- Parking is $10 or free shuttle service available from some hotels.
- Mardi Gras World is open daily all year round with last tour starting at 4:30 pm.
- Tours are around an hour.
You can see more in my photo gallery here.
You can read more about our visit to the French Quarter here.
1380 Port of New Orleans Place
Tours last approximately one hour.
Tours are offered every 30 minutes, with the
last tour starting at 4:30pm.
$15.95 (seniors, 65+)
$12.95 (children, 2-11)
We really enjoyed our Tour with Mardi Gras World. It was educational and fun to see up close for both adults and children.
Disclosure: We received media passes to explore Mardi Gras World for reviewing purposes. All opinions are our own. Information accurate at time of publishing and may change at any time. Photos by LetsPlayOC.com