Make Mardi Gras Memories With the Kids

Josh Seabrook leading the parade. Photo by Judy Smith.

Mardi Gras is always a fun time for the whole family, and it is a much anticipated and exciting time for kids. At parades everywhere, the air is filled with the delightful shouts and laughter of excited kids. There’s nothing quite like catching those special beads, stuffed animals, moon pies, or other treasures that floats toss out to the eager, smiling faces of children along the parade route.

Kids, and kids at heart, love taking in a parade or two during the Mardi Gras season, and if you’d like to add a little more Mardi Gras spirit to your little ones’ hearts, there are plenty of ways to have some more Carnival fun with the kids. Bring some arts and crafts into your holiday celebrations.

Let the kids decorate their own masks. Just add the glitter, feathers, and markers or colors, and the kids will bring their imaginations by bringing their own personalized styles to their Mardi Gras masks. Pick up some craft beads and string, and let the kids design their very own Mardi Gras necklaces.

Encourage them to dress in the signature Mardi Gras colors while also giving them a bit of a history lesson while you’re at it. There’s lots of printable games and trivia to teach the kids about the significance of the Mardi Gras colors of green, gold and purple. It will also be an opportunity to educate the kids on the background of Mardi Gras, such as how the holiday came about, when and where the first parades were held, the traditions of Mardi Gras and so much more. Teach the about Fat Tuesday and Lent. This legacy of information will make the holiday that much more meaningful and fun for the kids.

Mardi Gras parties are also a hit with kids and families. Decorate the house with lots of beads and green, gold, and purple everything, and throw a Mardi Party that will be remembered forever. Place some traditional Cajun music and of course Mardi Gras music and let the kids dance and celebrate. King Cakes are always fun and delicious for everyone to enjoy. If you’re adventurous, it’s always fun to try to make your own King Cake. I have lots of fun memories of baking these cakes with my mom and nephews. The cakes were pretty good, too, but the memories of those times will always be the sweetest.

Throw your own Mardi Gras parade in your own backyard or recruit the whole neighborhood on this fun adventure. When my nephews were younger, they would decorate their bicycles and wagons in fine Mardi Gras flair, using purple, green, and gold streamers, garland, and balloons (plus their handcrafted Krewe signs), and we would dress up in our Mardi Gras finest to parade up and down our driveway, throwing beads, cups, flowers, and candy to the family. It was always so much fun for us to have our very own little parade, and the boys love it because it always brought a special light to their grandparents’ eyes. Those are still special memories that we cherish today.

Mardi Gras is a time to just have fun for the kids and everyone. Learn more about this very exciting holiday and have lots of fun with the kids as you learn more about the significance of the many traditions of Mardi Gras and just let loose and have some fun. ‘Tis the season to let the good times roll!


Written by Judy Smith

Judy Smith has been a freelance writer and photographer for several magazines and publications around the South, including Social South Magazine, Our Mississippi Magazine, DeSoto Magazine, Deep South Magazine, Country Roads Magazine, among others. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Paralegal Studies, Master’s of Science in Mass Communications, and PhD in Communications at the University of Southern Mississippi. And Judy Smith is proud to forever be a Mississippi Girl.


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