The number one misconception of Mardi Gras is that it's all party and no family. On the Northshore family-fun activities are the primary focus. Local parades trot, float and walk their routes long before bedtime. The towns of Louisiana's Northshore are ideal for picnic lunchin', tag chasing, and memory making during Carnival as parade-goers party in the streets to popular G-rated themes.
Being an energetic, adorable child on Louisiana's Northshore is an absolute win. Since the English Renaissance era beads have been a festive throw from the float riders. In recent decades, doubloons, cups, trinkets, stuffed animals, and fun memorabilia have been added to the list of popular throw items. Grab a grocery bag, (or two), a wagon, lawn chairs, and get your hands in the air as you holler, "Throw me something Mister-Sister."
It's not a celebration without our four-legged family. On Louisiana's Northshore, matching our pooch in funky attire and marching to the beat of treats is a party in itself. Participate or watch as the towns of Slidell and Mandeville parade all colors, sizes, and personalities. Krewe de Paws of Olde Towne and Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws, respectively, are the lagniappe of the season.
Connect to the celebration by exploring the history of Carnival. Slidell's Mardi Gras Museum is a must-visit on the Northshore. The museum houses a collection of over 800 pieces of Carnival memorabilia-dresses, costumes, scepters, goblets and throws and historical scrapbooks of past kings and queens. Call for tour dates and times.
Louisiana cuisine is undeniably delicious, locals and travelers alike rave about the Southern flavor that arouses the taste buds. During Carnival, the sweetest of sweets can be smelled, sampled, and devoured across Louisiana's Northshore. The King Cake, traditionally an oval-shaped, baked cinnamon-y cake, somewhere between a coffee cake and French pastry, is filled with an assortment of flavorful fillings, topped with cream cheese icing, and sprinkled with purple, green, and gold. The ultimate sweet is a must-taste tradition. Photo: Lola's version, an Oooey Gooey King Cake.
Purple, green, gold are the colors of Mardi Gras - with a little glitter, of course! Shoes, tops, and accessories of all sizes, patterns, and phrases decorate the shelves across Louisiana's Northshore. Make sure to leave a little room in your bags. Our local boutiques are the hot spot for the fiercest Carnival attire.
Always dreamed of being the one throwing the beads? On Louisiana's Northshore your dream has come true! There's nothing like the adrenalin rush of being in a parade. Local parades throughout the season, including Krewe of Push Mow, Krewe de Paws of Olde Towne, and Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws allow you to pay a small fee to join in hosting the fun. On Mardi Gras Day, Tuesday, March 5, 2019, join Carnival in Covington as they celebrate 60 years or one of the eclectic town parades of Krewe of Bush, Krewe of Chahta, Krewe of Folsom. Contact the Krewes directly for more information.
Though the Northshore is focused on family fun, we know how to pour a cold beverage too. Taste the culture at Abita Brewery, the nation’s 14th largest craft brewery is nestled in the quaint town of Abita Springs.They even brew their own King Cake Soda in honor of the season. Covington Brewhouse is located in the heart of downtown Covington, a short walk from your perfect parade spot. Chafuncta Brewing Company is a small-batch, high-quality, brew with love - must taste brewery. Venture to the countryside to taste Louisiana's own fermented grapes at Pontchartrain Vineyards and Serendipity Vineyards.
Louisiana's Northshore is an outdoor lovers' paradise, with over 80,000 acres of wildlife preserve, and the bayous are a rich and thriving eco-system ready to explore. With two state parks, Fontainebleau in Mandeville and Fairview-Riverside in Madisonville, the hiking trails, waterways, and sightseeing are one-of-a-kind. Get up close and personal as you feed, pet, and selfie with exotic wildlife at Global Wildlife Center and Insta-Gator Ranch & Hatchery.
With the Carnival season beginning just twelve short days after Christmas, the eight-week-long celebration is the time for a rejuvenating and reinvigorating weekend getaway. St. Tammany Parish has a room just for you, from boutique hotels, Bed & Breakfasts to your favorite corporate hotel line, the affordability and proximity to New Orleans' French Quarter is unbeatable.