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Games, Party Ideas, Crafts and Food for a Kid Friendly Mardi Gras Celebration

Mardi Gras, a celebration prior to the beginning of Lent, is celebrated around the world on Ash Wednesday.  The custom originated with the French who brought it to the United States. In the United States, this holiday is synonymous  with New Orleans, Louisiana.  It is celebrated on a grand scale in New Orleans with music, picnic, parties, parades, masquerades and excitement.  The date of Mardi Gras varies since it depends on when Easter falls.  It can be anywhere between February 3rd and March 9th.

It is a great event so why not get the kids involved with organizing a celebration.

On your invitation tell your guests to come in their best wacky costume. Pirates, gypsies and jesters are a few suggestions.

Welcome guests and give them a few strands of beads to wear around their neck.


 Lent Resolution Game

 Geared toward older children and adults.   Each guest writes 2 or 3 Lent resolutions on a separate piece of paper and puts them in the hat.  A resolution is drawn from the hat and read out loud.  It is the job of the guests to try and determine the owner of the resolution.

Hide The Beads

Prior to the party hide beads throughout the house.  Send the kids on a bead hunt.  Whatever beads they find they get to wear.  If you have small children you may want to have different color beads and give each child a specific color to find to keep the playing field even.



Mardi Gras Relay

1 Ping pong ball for each team (painted with the Mardi Gras on it)
1 spoon for each team

Divide children into teams. Give the first child on each team a spoon and a ping pong ball. Set up the course to where they have to carry the "Mardi Gras" ball on the spoon to the end of the course and come back. Hand off to the next child and continue until all children have played on the team. First team done wins.

Make-Your-Own Masks 

Purchase plain masks and then have supplies such as feathers, sequins, buttons and glitter available along with some glue so the kids can make a mask. Once everyone's mask is complete, have everyone vote on his or her favorite mask and give the winner a small prize.

Balloon Bust 

Divide the group into two teams.  Blow up purple, green and gold balloons and tie one to everyone's ankles. Say "go"   and watch the teams trying to burst the other team's balloons first. The team with the last balloon wins. As your balloon is burst you withdraw from the game.

Mardi Gras Costume Contest

 Set up an area where guests can vote on their favorite costume.  Be sure to have a few categories like funniest, most creative, most authentic and overall best. Announce the winner at the end of the party and give out the prizes.

Pancake Race

 A tradition in England is to have a pancake race.  Have each child carry a frying pan with a cooked pancake in it which running a course. The key they must flip the pancake a number of times while running to the finish line.

Create a Word  

Write the word "Mardi Gras Celebration" on paper and see how many words the kids can make out of it in 5 minutes.

Decorating for Mardi Gras

  • You want everything to look bright and cheery.  Your color scheme should be purple, green and gold which are the official Mardi Gras colors.

  • Add lots of balloons to your decor. Balloons are fairly inexpensive but are a great way to decorate for a party. You can get some Mylar balloons that say "Mardi Gras" and then go with regular, balloons in green, gold. and purple.

  • Be sure to include a "Let's Celebrate" banner.

  • Use streamers and long pieces of curly ribbon to decorate from the ceiling and along the dinner table - stick with your colors.

  • Purchase napkins, forks and plates in purple or gold.

  • Decorate your table with a gold cloth tablecloth and a purple runner.  Create some banners out of green felt, attach each to a long length of ribbon and secure around the perimeter of the table.  For a center piece fill a cluster of clear vases with beads and doubloons and add some long feathers out of the top.  Attach a few balloons to give a festive feel.

  • Change your white light bulbs to purple or green to create a cool atmosphere.


Compliments of

Food Ideas

King Cake Bars

For the Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter
6 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons milk

For the Filling:

2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
˝ teaspoon cinnamon

For the Glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 Tablespoon milk
Colored sanding sugar or sprinkles (purple, green and gold)

For the Crust:

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Spray a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the flour and sugar.  Drop in the butter cubes and beat on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and looks a bit like wet sand.  Add the milk and beat until it starts to stick together.  Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared baking dish and press it in to form an even layer, making sure there are no holes or gaps.

For the Filling:

Wipe out the mixer bowl and rinse and dry the paddle.  Beat the filling ingredients together until completely smooth.  Spread the filling evenly over the prepared crust. Bake the bars for 20 – 25 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is set.

For the Glaze:

While the bars are cooking, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and milk until completely smooth.  As soon as you remove the bars from the oven, spread the glaze in an even layer across the top.  Immediately decorate with sanding sugar.  Leave the bars to cool completely, then slice.

Makes about 15 bars


Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Pretzel Rods
3 or more bags of white melting chocolate
(depends on the number of kids)
Green, and purple sprinkles
Wax Paper

Melt chocolate in crock pot on high stirring occasionally.  Once chocolate is melted have kids dip the pretzel into the chocolate and then into the sprinkles.  Give them a piece of wax paper to put it on to dry.


Mardi Gras Smoothie

Blackberry, lime & mango frozen yogurt  and fruit
Take the blackberry flavored yogurt add blackberries to it and blend with ice until desired texture. Pour into the bottom of the glass set in the freezer for 5-10 minutes while preparing the next layer.  Prepare lime the same way and then add to the top of the blackberry mixture.  Place back in the freezer for 5 -10 minutes while your prepare the mango section.  Add to layered mixture and freeze until needed.

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Mardi Gras Pancakes

Mix pancake batter as directed on package.

Divide into three bowls

Add food coloring to each bowl - green, yellow and purple.

Create pancakes and stack one of each color on a dish.


Create Your Own New Year's Cookies

One round sugar cookie for each child
White cake frosting

Cake decorator gels and sprinkles in green and purple.
Have each child create their own special Cookie.

Spread each cookie with white frosting and using cake decorator gels and sprinkles to create a masterpiece. 

Mardi Gras Party Mix

Orville Redenbacher's natural simply salted microwave popcorn.
White candy melts
Green and purple sprinkles
Candy to match color scheme

Microwave popcorn according to directions. Melt the white candy melts.  Gently and quickly mix them together on a large baking sheet covered with wax paper.

Once mixed, add remainder of candy and scatter with green and purple sprinkles.  

 Cookie King Cakes

To create our tiny cookie king cakes you will need plain vanilla wafers, icing, food coloring, and sprinkles.

Icing transforms these cookies from plain vanilla wafers to mini king cakes.

Step1: Using white icing, create a circle around the edge of the cookie.

Step 2: With purple, green and yellow icing, add a rectangle section of each color icing.

Step 3: Continue around the king cake, mimicking the colored icing/sprinkles on a traditional king cake.

Step 4: Finish the cookie  off with some edible sprinkles.


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Enjoy Your Party