Music fills the streets, and there are open air cafés around every corner. From the beautiful gardens, parks, world class zoo and its rich culture, New Orleans has loads of stuff for families to do on any given Saturday or Sunday.
But with Mardi Gras' in full swing—and the 66th NBA All-Star Game in town—it's going to be harder than ever to make your weekend picks.
But don't worry! We've got you covered with two more guides to what should be on your NBA All Star radar:
For now, here’s a rundown of our fave family friendly Mardi Gras activities:
Parades! Every Mardi Gras, hundreds of New Orleans krewes put on parades with spectacular floats, elaborate costumes—some even come with their own bands!—in the 2-3 weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday (Feb. 28). This weekend, Endymion and Bacchus, both known for putting on spectacularly good shows for families, are two of the many krewes marching. If you believe less is more and are staying through Tuesday, you won’t want to miss the Krewe of Rex’s ‘Tit (short for petit) Rex parade. Loved by locals and tourists alike it’s entirely made up of shoebox size floats that look like tricked-out pull toys.
Parade Route Tip: Watch the parade at St. Charles near Napoleon Avenue. Here's where many Mardi Gras parade routes actually begin so the crowds are chill and family-friendly. This is your best bet if you want to take in the action before it hits the rowdier sections near the French Quarter.
Dance Dance Dance! Family Gras 2017 is a free three-day festival beginning Friday that’s held on the Veterans Memorial Boulevard across from Lakeside Shopping Center. A more manageable slice of Mardi Gras life for families, Family Gras draws some of New Orleans’ favorite musical acts to its main stage while kids 12 and under will enjoy the face-painting and games at the Kid’s Court.
It’s Carnival Time: Is history your kid’s jam? Learn all about Mardi Gras’ roots at the Louisiana State Museum’s permanent exhibit Mardi Gras: It’s Carnival Time. One visit here will teach them everything they need to know about the art of float construction, the stories behind the elaborate costumes, and how bead throwing came to be.
Go Green: Hosted by City Putt, the mini-golf course located inside New Orleans’ City Park, the Mardi Gras Putt Putt Party, runs from 6–10 pm this weekend. The $10 per-person ticket charge includes a round of golf, snacks, and a raffle ticket. For up-to-the-minute info, check the event page on Facebook.
And if you're looking for other fun activities for your family, we've got a great guide for activities that your kids will love!