Let the Good Times Roll: Mardi Gras Celebrations for Kids

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The Big Easy rolls into the DMV this Fat Tuesday (Feb. 28) in a big way. Whether your family has already ordered their King Cake or you think Mardi Gras is something only to be experienced in New Orleans, we’ve rounded up some activities that you’ll want to pull out your best beads for. Laissez Le Bon Temps Rouler!

bayou-gras-dcPhoto: willem! via Creative Commons

Mardi Gras Extravaganza
Older kiddos and their fams can stroll on down to D.C.’s own version of Mardi Gras at the inaugural Mardi Gras Extravaganza (to raise funds for St. Bernard Project and DC Central Kithen). Partiers of all ages rock out to live music, nosh on authentic N’awlins cuisine–think: Muffalotta and Crawfish Monica mac and cheese–and sip on Bourbon Street styled beverages (the little ones get their very own Abita root beers). And what would a party be without costumes, beads, and King Cake? Tip: Come on the earlier side with the fam to beat the Bourbon Street-style revelers (or make it a date night with just you and your boo).

When: Feb. 28, 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
Cost: $65
1309 5th St., NE (Union Market)
Online: mardigrasextravaganza.com

6781859_e696b9faaa_zPhoto: Bullsparade via Flickr

Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade
Show the kids what “Laissez le bon temps rouler” really means by taking them to Clarendon’s famous Mardi Gras Parade. Families and revelers line the streets to watch more than 50 entrants parade down Wilson Boulevard to live jazz, N’awlins style dancing, fire trucks, beads, and more fun and excitement than you’ll see outside of Louisiana!

When: Feb. 28, 7 p.m.
Cost: Free
Wilson Blvd, between North Barton St. and Washington Blvd. (Arlington, Va)
Online: clarendon.org/mardi-gras

pancakesPhoto: rob_rob2001 via Flickr

Rite 13 Mardi Gras Pancake Supper
N’awlins folks jonesing for a traditional take on Shrove Tuesday can head over to St. Albans for their annual Pancake Supper. Families of St. Albans students flip so many pancakes they dare you to eat more than they can make. Plus, there’s all the fruit and sausage bellies can hold on the line. Breakfast for dinner? We think the kiddos will give high fives for this family time idea.

When: Feb. 28, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
Cost: $20/families; $10/individuals
3001 Wisconsin Ave.
Online: stalbansdc.org

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 7.33.10 PMPhoto: Capitol Hillbillies

Capitol Hillbillies Band
The night-time festivities at Bayou Restaurant’s annual Mardi Gras bash may be for the 21 and over-set, but their lunchtime happenings are family friendly. The Capitol Hillbillies will be playing acoustic Cajun music on an enclosed front patio (so you can eat at Bayou or just stroll by for a quick listen. If the little ones are hungry, but the crowd is too grown-up, swing by the nearby Founding Farmers for French Quarter style beignets.

When: Feb. 28, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Free
Meet at Dupont Circle fountain
Online: facebook.com/events

How do you do family-style Mardi Gras? Tell us in the comments section below.

–Ayren Jackson-Cannady