Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday, the last feast day before Lent begins, and the height of Mardi Gras. It’s a celebration of excess, and a day where anything goes. Our images of Mardi Gras tend to be pretty R-rated: raucous parades, racy costumes, wild parties in the streets. Not exactly a festival you want to take your kids to.
There are plenty of cool ways to celebrate Mardi Gras with your kids, though. At heart, Mardi Gras appeals to the kid in all of us. With a little finesse, you can concoct a Fat Tuesday for your own kids that they’ll love (and so will you).
- Dress for the occasion. Mardi Gras costumes traditionally spoof those in power. Don’t be surprised if your kids decide to dress up as you!
- Break out the beads. Kids love those sparkly strings of Mardi Gras beads. They’re a cheap easy way to feel festive this feast day.
- Go trick-or-treating, Carnival style. Cajun celebrations of Fat Tuesday include going door to door begging ingredients for gumbo at each house.
- Make gumbo. This Cajun favorite will spice up your family dinner!
- Bake a King Cake. These traditional cakes have a tiny trinket – often a plastic baby – hidden inside. Kids love finding treasure in their food!
- Have a Bad Manners dinner. Let your kids get a taste of the “anything goes” spirit of Fat Tuesday by declaring it “bad manners” night: a chance to play with your food, not say please, and eat with your hands!
- Watch the parades. The late-night festivitites may not be for young kids, but the daytime parades feature awesome performances by local samba schools of drummers, as well as dancers and clowns. If you have a local one to attend, great. If not, you can catch highlights of the big parades in Rio or New Orleans.
How will you celebrate Fat Tuesday?
Photo: dsb nola