When we say Mardi Gras, what instantly comes to mind? You’re probably thinking drinking adults, crowds of people and lots of beads, right? Typically, Mardi Gras is not a kid-friendly event, but there are many features of Mardi Gras that kids can enjoy. The whole point of this yearly celebration is fun–usually an overabundance of it. Kids of all ages understand fun, so throw a kid-friendly Mardi Gras Party so they can join the festivities, too! [photo via flickr]
Start the party off right with Mardi Gras-themed invitations. Incorporate the traditional purple, green and gold. You can even use Mardi Gras masks (many dollar stores carry them) and write the party details in permanent marker.
- Make your home feel like Bourbon Street by hanging purple, green and gold balloons, streamers and beads throughout.
- Hang Mardi Gras masks on the walls.
- Play Zydeco or jazz music softly in the background
Keeping young kids busy is key to a successful party. You want them to have fun and stay busy so they don’t find trouble. Make sure you have plenty for them to do with these activity suggestions.
- Set up a Mardi Gras mask decorating station. Buy plain masks at the dollar store and let the kids decorate them. Supply markers, glitter, feathers, etc. so each child can make a mask their own.
- Parades are a big part of Mardi Gras. Stage a mini-parade in the party area by allowing the kids to decorate shoeboxes as floats. When they’re finished decorating the boxes, have the children parade them around the room wearing their masks.
- Play dress up. Mardi Gras is all about being outrageous. People dress in wild costumes to stand out and be seen. Provide your little guests with feather boas, tiaras, costume jewelry and hair accessories to create wild, outrageous costumes.
- Hang a piñata. Piñatas are fun at any kids’ party and is always a big hit. Kids love gathering the candy that falls with the last successful whack.
Food and Drink
Keeping with the Mardi Gras theme, choose foods that are purple, green or yellow. A fruit and vegetable tray works well – we recommend purple grapes, green broccoli and yellow pineapple. Of course, one of the traditions of Mardi Gras is the King Cake. The King Cake is a ring-shaped cake decorated with sugary toppings and festive colored sprinkles. Placed inside the cake is a baby figurine. The person who receives the slice with the baby in it is said to have good luck all year. Allrecipes.com has several King Cake recipes to choose from. For a special treat, make Mardi Gras “floats.” Add one scoop of vanilla ice cream to a glass and top with grape, lime or cream soda to match your festive Mardi Gras theme. Let the kids be extravagant, exuberant and indulgent – because that’s what Mardi Gras is all about. It’s about having fun and being wild. They don’t call it “Fat Tuesday” for nothing!