Mardi Gras :: It’s About Family Fun

It’s Carnival time here in Louisiana, and I could not love it more!

My family and I celebrate Mardi Gras from the time Christmas decorations come down until Ash Wednesday. We LOVE Mardi Gras. We don’t love Mardi Gras because of the typical reasons, (parties, balls, etc.). We love Mardi Gras because with the Mardi Gras season brings lots of family fun!

Here’s a break down of our favorite things to do to celebrate Mardi Gras.  

  • Starting after Christmas – LOTS of King Cake! My kids and I love attending king cake tasting parties. Hosting is a little more work, but still fun. Get a group of friends together, everyone buy, or make their favorite king cake, and spend the night tasting away.  
  • On January 28, Mix It Up Lafayette is hosting a King Cake Making class for parents and children. This event looks like something my kids would love! Baking and eating is something they can get on board with any day of the week, but add sprinkles and they might lose their minds!  
  • Rio Parade the Saturday before Mardi Gras (This one takes priority over any other parade in my opinion … It’s at night, the floats and costumes are beautiful, and you’ll get a sweet haul of beads and maracas.) – Saturday, February 3 at 6:30.
  • Scott, Carencro, and Youngsville all do their own Mardi Gras parades these days that are great for families. If I needed to pick one, I’d pick Scott. It’s a little smaller, and easier to navigate. However, in full disclosure, Scott is on my side of Lafayette, so I might be biased. Full parade schedules are located here.
  • Vermillionville is doing a traditional Courir De Mardi Gras. Go back in time and teach your kids what Mardi Gras is really about. This event is so cool, if nothing else, your kids get to chase a chicken and burn off some sugar from all the King Cakes! Also, this event is the weekend before Mardi Gras, so it should be easy to fit in!

Here is the Schedule of Events:

10:00 a.m.  — Children’s Workshop (Capuchon-Making)
11:30 a.m. — Courir de Mardi Gras with the Basile Mardi Gras Association
1:00 p.m.  — Bal du Dimanche featuring the Pine Leaf Boys (Performance Center)
1:30 p.m.  — A Making of the King Cake by Pouparts Bakery
2:30 p.m.  — A Making of the King Cake by Pouparts Bakery

  • From February 9 – February 13 Lafayette’s Cajun Field hosts La Festival de Mardi Gras a Lafayette – There’s a carnival like atmosphere that my kids LOVE! Carnival games and rides, delicious food, and great music, all on the parade route. 

  • Finally, you can’t talk about family friendly Mardi Gras without talking about the Children’s Parade. This one features lots of children centered floats and music on February 10 at 12:30.

I’d also like to add that a wagon, change of clothes, wipes, and snacks are absolute must haves for us during Mardi Gras. Here in South Louisiana, I never know if my kids may need a jacket or shorts, so I plan for both if we’re going to be busy all day.

There’s tons more to do during Mardi Gras season in Lafayette, so check out the links above and laissez les bon temps rouler!

Kendra Courville
Kendra, originally from Alabama, has called Lafayette home for more than 20 years. After her time at LSU (Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Elementary Education), Kendra moved back to Lafayette to marry her love, Justin. She has been married to Justin for just over 8 years. They have two daughters, Lillian who was born in October of 2011, and Annie, who was born in January of 2015. Kendra also has a Boston Terrier, named Mister. When she's not busy teaching and planning for her 3rd grade reading classes, Kendra enjoys hanging out with Justin and her girls, family, and friends. She also loves Jesus, coffee, cooking up both healthy and unhealthy meals (it's all about balance y'all), a good workout, and reading.

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