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Ultimate Mardi Gras: Twenty Travel, Food, & Cocktail Ideas

Ultimate Mardi Gras: Twenty Travel, Food, & Cocktail Ideas

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Mardi Gras is coming on March 5th. Are you ready to let the good times roll, or as they say in New Orleans “laissez les bons temps rouler”?  Whether you are traveling somewhere to celebrate carnival or making your own festivities at home, here are twenty ultimate Mardi Gras travel, food, & cocktail ideas to help you party in style!  

Ultimate Mardi Gras

Did you know carnival is Latin for farewell to meat?  Lent is the time before Easter where Roman Catholics and other Christians give up “indulgences” during the Lenten season, including meat on Fridays.  To prepare, pre-Lenten celebrations take place all over the world on Fat Tuesday, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the official start of the pre-Easter season of Lent.  Some of the world’s most famous carnivals actually start a few weeks before Ash Wednesday, including the Venice carnival in Italy, Rio De Janeiro carnival in Brazil, Binche carnival in Belgium, and of course the world famous Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  

The Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday) carnival has been celebrated in Louisiana since at least 1699, but the first “official” parade was held in New Orleans in 1837.  Today, New Orleans is known for the colorful city-wide Mardi Gras celebrations that start the week leading up to Fat Tuesday.  Festivities include masquerade balls, parties, and elaborate parades featuring floats with krewe members that toss treats of plastic beads, doubloons (small coins), moon pies, and other items to waiting crowds.  The masquerade balls and parades incorporate ornate costumes with masks, feathers, and beads, in Traditional Mardi Gras colors of green, gold, and purple.  Mardi Gras is also the time to indulge in authentic cajun and creole cuisine, including jambalaya, gumbo, and king cake.  It is the ultimate party! 

If you are planning a trip to New Orleans or Quebec for Mardi Gras, here are some expert tips to celebrate the sights, sounds, colors, and flavors of the Big Easy.  We also have ideas for day trips from New Orleans, as well as a hotel in Lake Pontchartrain for a family-friendly Mardi Gras fun. Don’t want to venture south?  Quebec City hosts a fabulous carnival celebration as well and we have tips this carnival as well!  

Perhaps you would prefer to stay home and host your own Mardi Gras celebration?  Grab some beads and doubloons and get ready to feast, because we have recipes and food tips for entreés and  desserts (including the famous king cake), and even a few cocktail/mocktail ideas.   

Ultimate Mardi Gras: Twenty Travel, Food, & Cocktail Ideas

Twenty incredible travel, food, and cocktail ideas to make the most of of the Mardi Gras carnival celebration!
Follow Your NOLA (a love letter to New Orleans in pictures)

Follow Your NOLA (a love letter to New Orleans in pictures)

Photo Credit: Lara DiPaola of Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom

A trip to New Orleans is the beginning of a lifelong love affair!

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Eat Your Way Thru these New Orleans Restaurants

Eat Your Way Thru these New Orleans Restaurants

Photo Credit: Nicky Omohundro of Little Family Adventure

You can't visit New Orleans without exploring the diverse food offerings!

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Essential Things to do in New Orleans with Teens- or Anyone!

Essential Things to do in New Orleans with Teens- or Anyone!

Photo Credit: Jamie Italiane-Decubellis of The Daily Adventures of Me

Things to do in New Orleans with your family!

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Mardi Gras: 5 lessons we all can learn

Mardi Gras: 5 lessons we all can learn

Photo Credit: Karen Dawkins of Family Travel s on A Budget

Five tips to get the most out of Mardi Gras.

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Why Pontchartrain Hotel is the Best Family-Friendly Luxury Hotel for Mardi Gras

Why Pontchartrain Hotel is the Best Family-Friendly Luxury Hotel for Mardi Gras

Photo Credit: Shobha George of Just Go Places

This hotel in Lake Pontchartrain is great for family-friendly lodging!

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"Throw Me Something, Mister": The Ultimate Guide to Mardi Gras in Lake Charles, LA

"Throw Me Something, Mister": The Ultimate Guide to Mardi Gras in Lake Charles, LA

Photo Credit: Deb Thompson of Just Short of Crazy

Lake Charles has family-friendly celebrations too!

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Things to Do in Quebec City in Winter

Things to Do in Quebec City in Winter

Photo Credit: Jamie Italiane-Decubellis of The Daily Adventures of Me

Quebec hosts a winter wonderland carnival celebration!

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Easy Gumbo Recipe (Instant Pot version)

Easy Gumbo Recipe (Instant Pot version)

Photo Credit: Nicky Omohundro of Little Family Adventure

Let's eat! This gumbo can be made in the Instant Pot.

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Quick and Easy Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Quick and Easy Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Photo Credit: Laura O'Neill of Day by Day in Our World

This easy jambalaya recipe has the added kick of chicken and sausage!

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Jambalaya

Jambalaya

Photo Credit: Crystal Maleski of Make Dinner Easy

This jambalaya is quick and easy to make!

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Serve this Cajun Crawfish Etouffee for Mardi Gras

Serve this Cajun Crawfish Etouffee for Mardi Gras

Photo Credit: Leigh Hines of Hines Site Blog

How about some crawfish etouffee? Tres bien!

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New Orleans Hot Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe

New Orleans Hot Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe

Photo Credit: Michelle Marine of Simplify Live Love

This scrumptious muffuletta sandwich is zesty and flavorful!

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Easy Beignet Bites - recipe by Jen Goode

Easy Beignet Bites - recipe by Jen Goode

Photo Credit: Jen Goode of 100 Directions

Time for dessert! These mini beignets are a light and fluffy sweet bite!

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Mardi Gras Chocolate-Dipped Cookies

Mardi Gras Chocolate-Dipped Cookies

Photo Credit: Jana Seitzer of Whiskey + Sunshine

Don't these cookies look fun and festive?

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Celebrate Mardi Gras: Make a King Cake

Celebrate Mardi Gras: Make a King Cake

Photo Credit: Laura O'Neill of Day by Day in Our World

This recipe is a traditional king cake...

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Easy and Best King Cake Recipe using Refrigerated Dough

Easy and Best King Cake Recipe using Refrigerated Dough

Photo Credit: Diana Hansen of Diana Rambles

...this King Cake is made with refrigerated dough...

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Gluten Free Mini King Cakes

Gluten Free Mini King Cakes

Photo Credit: Jana Seitzer of Whiskey + Sunshine

...and these individual King Cakes are gluten free!

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Bananas Foster Cocktail

Bananas Foster Cocktail

Photo Credit: Julie Cohn of A Cork, Fork, & Passport

A festive cocktail celebrating one of New Orleans most famous desserts.

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French 75 Cocktail Recipe + Free NOLA Mardi Gras Museum

French 75 Cocktail Recipe + Free NOLA Mardi Gras Museum

Photo Credit: Deb Thompson of Just Short of Crazy

A cocktail and a New Orleans travel tip? It does not get much better than this!

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Hurricane Mocktail - 100 Directions

Hurricane Mocktail - 100 Directions

Photo Credit: Jen Goode of 100 Directions

A family-friendly twist on the classic New Orleans cocktail, the Hurricane.

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