Family-Friendly Mardi Gras Events in Louisiana

Mardi Gras is here and there are so many parades and activities for every member of your family! You'll find the perfect revelry for every age.

Family Friendly Mardi Gras

All ages can have a grand ol' time at these family-friendly Mardi Gras events.

Family Friendly Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras

You may have heard Mardi Gras called the largest free festival on the planet! Parade-goers of all ages will be dancing along with the sights and sounds of Carnival.

Family Friendly Mardi Gras

Spot a good parade throw and get ready to yell, "throw me something, mister!"

Nothing gets Louisianans together like a good party. And when it comes to Mardi Gras season, you’ll find plenty of ways to celebrate with the kids and grown-ups alike all the way up until Fat Tuesday.

Greater New Orleans Area 

Sometimes Mardi Gras floats float. Head just a few miles east of New Orleans, where the Krewe of Bilge boat parade goes through the canals of Slidell. The family will love seeing the decorated boats, where krewe members toss out beads (or “throws”) and commemorative Carnival treasures.

Head to Jefferson Parish’s family-centric Mardi Gras experience: Family Gras. This free event is perfect for the whole family. You can enjoy the spectacle of Mardi Gras parades, authentic local cuisine, local art, a Kids' Court and outdoor concerts by both national artists and Louisiana favorites!

Mardi Gras gets even cuter when furry friends are involved.. New Orleans’ French Quarter goes to the dogs at the annual Krewe of Barkus, where dogs and their owners dress up in cute, crazy costumes. It's a blast for kids and adults alike alike. Who doesn’t like adorable animals dressed to the nines?

South Louisiana

Lafayette goes big with its Mardi Gras festivities, and two of the family-friendly highlights are the annual Children's Parade and the Krewe of Bonaparte. The Children’s Parade kicks off first in downtown Lafayette and is followed by the illustrious Krewe of Bonaparte later in the evening. These are far from the only parades, though. An old-fashioned Courir de Mardi Gras takes place in Vermilionville and is followed by many others. Get the full Lafayette Mardi Gras event calendar.

Eunice, Louisiana, is one of the small Cajun Country towns where the culture is alive as ever and family is an important aspect of our culture. That's why you'll find Lil' Mardi Gras here, where children are broken up into different age groups and are able to take part in traditional Cajun Mardi Gras traditions. Adults can't have all the fun! 

In Baton Rouge, The Mystic Krewe of Mutts asks you to bark your calendars for this hilariously awe-inspiring (or paw-inspiring) event. This is a fundraising celebration for a local non-profit’s spay/neuter program that features costumed pups parading through downtown Baton Rouge. Food vendors are on-site, too, so come hungry! Lake Charles also hosts the Krewe of Barkus parade that encourages pets, their owners and all who want to participate to dress in their Mardi Gras best.

The Grand Marais Mardi Gras Parade is a unique experience the whole family will love. This rural Mardi Gras parade in the heart of Cajun Country takes place at the corner of Highway 90 and College Road in Jeanerette. It’s a family-oriented event with floats, bands, and an “ugly costume” contest that is not to be missed.  

Be sure to explore the small cities and towns of South Louisiana, such as Houma and Thibodaux, as every region has their own way of celebrating the carnival season.

Central Louisiana 

What to take the kids to see a real-life queen? The reigning Miss Teen Louisiana is the Grand Marshal of Alexandria's annual Children's Parade. You'll see whole families, from grandparents to grandchildren, on colorful floats along with local marching bands and dance teams to get your toes tapping. The whole family will enjoy the charm of Natchitoches with the Krewe of Dionysos parade. This evening parade puts on a show with lights, costumes and lots of beads to take home.

North Louisiana 

The Krewe of Janus Parade in Monroe puts on a show that is not to be missed, with dozens of floats and marching bands. The elaborate floats feature larger-than-life sculptures and bright colors that are a marvel to the eye. And the Krewe of Janus Children's Parade steps up the competition for best floats with some incredible family creativity. In the Children's Parade, you will find dozens of decorated wagons and kids in costumes putting on a show for the whole family.

Shreveport goes to the dogs (literally) at the Krewe of Barkus and Meoux Parade. Head to Old Reeves Marine to see the pups strut their stuff, and feel free to bring your own. The cuteness of this parade will have you telling everyone "Happy Mardi Paw!"

This is just a sample of the many family-friendly that take place throughout the state during carnival season. Be sure to check out our calendar of events to find more and order your Louisiana Official Inspiration Guide to plan your trip.

Learn More

Read 10 Things You Might Not Know About Mardi Gras to learn more about the history of Mardi Gras.