Kids Mardi Gras
How to celebrate Fat Tuesday with kids
Looking for an unusual party idea? Then form a Krewe with family and friends to put on
a Mardi Gras party and parade your little your little birthday Zulu king or queen! Mind
you, Mardi Gras isn't typically a kids party theme, but it will be a party you'll remember
for years to come when you know how to celebrate a Mardi Gras party for kids.
As kids parties go, adults will enjoy this one! Adult chaperon's can participate in the
revelry by feasting on King Cake and being part of the Mardi Gras Krewe to throw
doubloons, beads, candy and small toys to the kids.
A Mardi Gras party is an opportunity to teach kids about Cajun heritage and traditions.
This party idea is based loosely in the Louisiana tradition! Mardi Gras takes place in the
heart of Bourbon Street in New Orleans with a festive display of purple, green and gold
costumes, floats and harlequin decorations. It's a carnival, and the season officially
begins after the Epiphany (the twelfth day after Christmas, when three wise men
found baby Jesus), and ends with Mardi Gras, which is French meaning "Fat Tuesday."
It's the last day of feasting before Ash Wednesday begins.
Here's how to celebrate Mardi Gras with kids
Gather your Mardi Gras party supplies and get ready to head down the bayou. Here
are the basic supplies you'll need for the party:
- Mardi gras music. Get the party started now with music. Designed just for kids,
Choo Choo Boogaloo is a "spicy Cajun tour through Louisiana's bayou country"
with zydeco style music that kids and adults can enjoy. It has rave revues on
Amazon and you can listen to a sampling, left, or download it now for your MP3.
- Mardi Gras beads: You'll need beads in three basic colors (purple, green and
gold), but you'll also need a few "throws" more interesting for party goers to
earn, such as alligator beads, right.
- King Cake, pictured left
- Dabloons (coins in purple, green and gold), pictured top
- Mardi Gras masks, see the Mardi Gras mask balloon, right
- Mardi Gras jester, jester hats and jester wands
- Mardi Gras boas
- Hurricane glasses: make virgin hurricane's, simply a red fruit punch and serve
your fruity beverage in large portions.
Kids Mardi Gras Party Ideas
- Create a little Louisiana loving from the oven! Bake a big batch of sugar cookies
with the "Fleur de lis" cookie cutter design. The acutely recognizable symbol of
the lily of France, the Fleur de lis is also a huge part of the Cajun heritage of
Mardi Gras, and the cookie cutter, right, will set the mood for your Mardi Gras
themed festivities. Just be sure to get sprinkles in gold, purple and green!
- Get Jazzed with music from New Orleans! Looking for Mardi Gras music for kids?
The real Mardi Gras boasts big marching bands, Dixieland jazz and Cajun Music.
After all, New Orleans is known as "The Big Easy" and is home to the Jazz
Festival, so naturally you'll want to make Jazz a part of the party fun. Invite a
Jazz musician or student to perform or load up your MP3 player. Amazon is a
great place to load your MP3 player for all the tunes you need, like World Music
for kids, left. What's more, the Jazzy costume, right, is ideal for the birthday girl.
- Have kids earn their throws. Anyone who has attended the real Mardi Gras knows
that you must earn your "throws" that the parade volunteers toss to the
community. Throws include doubloons (plastic coins), beads, candy and small
favors. Adults are often creative for the real event to earn their throws, but you
can encourage kids to win their beads in many fun and appropriate ways. For
example, kids can dance the chicken dance and earn Mardis Gras rubber duckies,
or participate in the Mardis Gras Mumbo and get some beads. The throws you
choose will double as favors, but you should reserve something special at the
end for kids to take home after the festivities.
- Turn the party into a parade! Make a float! Decorate a wagon and some bikes,
blow up some gold, green and purple balloons, put on some masks, crowns or
costumes and head to the park for an entertaining little parade. Bring some
- Mardi Gras menu. For kids you'll want to stay away from the spicy food traditions
of Mardi Gras such as crawfish pie, jambalaya, or red beans and rice. Instead,
opt for kid-friendly foods such as hot dogs or your own version of a Po Boy
sandwich. And, of course, you can bake a King cake. Also, you might make a
virgin version of Pat O'Brien's famous Hurricane drink. The kids will love the
pretty Hurricane glass if you can find them.
- King cake. It's not a Mardi Gras party without a King Cake. Actually more of a
pastry a King Cake is like a large pastry twisted with white icing and colorful
sprinkles of golden yellow, and festive purple and green sugars. It resembles a
Danish Kringle. Inside the traditional king cake is the token baby figurine, which
brings good fortune and also signifies who is to purchase the King Cake for the
following year's celebration.
- Turn them into Mardi Gras harlequins. Encourage creativity! Allow kids to make
their own masks with feathers, sequins, beads, glitter and gems in the Mardi
Gras colors of purple, gold and green. You'll need to allow time to dry so the kids
can take home their crafts. Simple paper masks work beautifully as decoration.
Kids can pull them from the walls to try on!
- Read Mimi's first Mardi Gras. Here are some other good Mardi Gras books for kids
Jenny Giraffe's Mardi Gras Ride (Jenny Giraffe Series), Celebrate Mardi Gras with
Joaquin, Harlequin (Stories to Celebrate), and Timothy Hubble and the King Cake
Resources for your Mardi Gras party for kids
- Caution on this Carnival! A Mardi Gras party isn't for every kid. Supervise all kids
closely and, please do not invite kids younger than three years old to a Mardi
Gras party! The "throws" or necklaces that are part of this party experience
presents a choking hazard. Also the traditional King cake, includes small tokens
baked inside typically a plastic baby to symbolize the new year. Instruct all
adults at the party to be responsible and on alert.
Real Mardi Gras Parties
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