Metarie Centurion Mardi Gras ParadeSocial media has made Mardi Gras even more social for those near and far. Check out these ways to follow the fun. 

Everyone should experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans at least once in their lifetime, and despite what you see on TV and in movies, Mardi Gras is for kids of all ages. With literally dozens of parades to choose from going on for weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday in New Orleans and surrounding cities, you’re sure to be able to catch your share of beads, doubloons and cups with your family.

Now there are three, free parade tracking apps available for download on your Android or iPhone from the Android Marketplace or iPhone app store to track parade routes around the city. Determine ahead of time the best parking spot to get in and out of the parade route quickly, or make sure you’re able to avoid them and the traffic altogether while out exploring the city. All Mardi Gras parades are notoriously late, but now instead of wondering when the parade will reach you at your location, you can track the parade with the app’s LIVE GPS PARADE TRACKER feature. Even track specific floats and what time they’ll be passing you by.

With these additional apps, the nearest bathroom is always within reach, or find a good place to eat nearby before fighting the crowds out of the city. You can even live stream the events from wherever you are if you’re not able to join in on the action curbside in the Big Easy.

Or follow all the action from the Twitter accounts of the Grand Marshalls of each parade including Will Farrell, Bret Michaels, Anderson Cooper, Cyndi Lauper and more.

Speaking of Twitter, be sure to join Traveling Mom for even more Mardi Gras fun this Monday night, Feb. 20 for the #TMOM Twitter party, to share Mardi Gras memories and ideas!

Chris is a designer, WAHM and pilot’s wife living in Colorado. She writes as Standby Traveling Mom as well as at MamaBirdsBlog.com. Follow her on Twitter as @BirdBanter.