mardigrasbeadsIn the next few weeks, Mardi Gras parades will begin all over the South and will continue until Fat Tuesday.  Mardi Gras doesn’t  have to be just for the adults.  The daytime parades are a great outing for families.  Children will enjoy collecting the many throws, seeing the floats, and the exciting atmosphere that is synonymous with Mardi Gras.  After several Mardi Gras parades with our kids, we have a few tips that help to make our afternoon a fun-filled one!

Find a spot at the beginning of the parade route – You will need to get out to the parade route early to find a good spot where your kids can see.  By finding a spot near the beginning of the route, you won’t have to sit for hours before the first float gets to you.

See if the parade route has a family area – Some parade routes have areas specifically set aside for families. Sometimes, they are alcohol free areas.

Bring a sturdy bag – Your children will collect a lot of different throws and you will need a way to get them from the parade route to your car.  Throws range from small candy, moon pies, stuffed animals and beads.  Bring a backpack or a reusable shopping bag.

Throws can hurt – One of the most exciting things about a Mardi Gras parade is catching the different throws.  When a piece of hard candy or a strand of beads is launched off a float into the crowd, it can hurt when it finds its target.  If you have younger children keep an eye on the things that are being thrown towards your group.  Also, be sure to check the candy and food your child receives just as you would at Halloween.

Keep your kids close – Like most all parades, the crowds are large and children are excited.  Make sure you keep your kids close so they do not run out into the street to catch a toy or candy being thrown and also so you do not get separated. 

Bring snacks – Pack snacks and drinks to dole out throughout the parade.

Wear sunscreen and bring a hat – It is still a bit chilly but you will want to protect yourself from the sun since you will most likely be sitting in areas that aren’t shaded.