While you’re in town for Mardi Gras, remember there’s more to Carnival than catching beads. Get caught up in the unique traditions and history behind the "Greatest Free Show on Earth” at these attractions, museums and restaurants. Try on authentic Mardi Gras costumes, climb aboard a real float, and celebrate the designers and artists who pull it all off year after year after year.
There are plenty of tours in New Orleans, but only one offers a real, behind-the-scenes look at New Orleans Mardi Gras, and that’s the Mardi Gras World tour. Mardi Gras World gives you an authentic Mardi Gras experience all year round, whether you visit while sightseeing in New Orleans, enjoying a New Orleans family vacation or taking a break from your business trip for a group visit.
Starting this winter, the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, the NEW sister vessel of the Steamboat NATCHEZ, will operate daily brunch cruises with a stop at Mardi Gras World on the Mississippi River. Come enjoy a live jazz band, authentic New Orleans cuisine, a daily second line parade, and a calliope concert. Plus, all passengers will receive Mardi Gras beads! Boarding time will be 11 a.m. with cruising at 11:30. At 1 p.m., the riverboat will tie up at Mardi Gras World where you can end your brunch excursion with an optional 45-minute tour of the largest Mardi Gras float-building facility in the world. Watch the artists as they design and build the floats that will make their way down the parade route and into the history books! If you choose to tour Mardi Gras World, you will return back downtown on the Mardi Gras World Shuttle. If not, you can stay aboard for a cruise back to the French Quarter.
Decorated in lavish gold and green, the Rex Room at Antoine's is named for the Krewe of Rex. The Mardi Gras Organization was founded shortly after the restaurant opened and is adorned with photographs of Rex royalty and other heirlooms.
With all of the charm of old New Orleans, this room is perfect for private functions. Set up reception style, the ornate dining room can host up to 50 guests.
The Germaine Cazenave Wells Mardi Gras Museum
Free and open to the public, this museum features a collection of Mardi Gras Carnival court gowns, costumes and other memorabilia made in France.
Come and visit the the Germaine Cazenave Wells Mardi Gras Museum inside the Arnaud's Restaurant, open seven days a week. 813 Rue Bienville, New Orleans, LA 70112.
Louisiana State Museum: Carnival
Discover Mardi Gras through five major themes - History, Masking, Parades, Balls and the Courir du Mardi Gras -at the Louisiana State Museum.
To find out more about the Carnival exhibit, "Mardi Gras: It's Carnival Time in Louisiana," visit the museum at 751 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70116.