Step inside the colorful life of New Orleans at Mardi Gras World. The annual Mardi Gras festival is as much a part of the fabric of the city as jazz music and the Mississippi River. This fun and informative museum brings together a dazzling collection of floats and costumes from the event.
The museum’s founder, Blaine Kern, built his first parade float with his father way back in 1932. After a long career building lavish, intricate floats, “Mr. Mardi Gras” as Kern is known, decided to open his collection to the public and launched the museum in 1989.
Visitors can tour the artists’ workshops, where huge sculptures are crafted in Styrofoam and see some of the most famous floats and costumes from previous years. Behind-the-scenes tours run throughout the day. You can pair a visit to the museum with a jazz-themed brunch river cruise.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Book your tour in advance and enjoy free shuttle service to and from the museum.
- Discounted tickets are available for seniors, students, and children.
- Make sure you try a slice of “king cake,” a delicious brioche-style dough topped with colorful icing.
How to Get There
The museum is located at 1380 Port of New Orleans Place, at the bottom of Henderson Street in the Central Business District. There is paid parking available opposite the museum, or you can take the free shuttle bus as part of a prebooked tour. Alternatively, you can ride the streetcar. The nearest stop is Hilton Riverside Hotel, a short walk away.
When to Get There
Mardi Gras World is open seven days a week year-round, from 9am–5:30pm. The museum is closed on Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, Easter, and Mardi Gras.
Experience the Magic of Mardi Gras
For an unforgettable experience, visit New Orleans in February or early March (the exact dates change each year) for the annual Mardi Gras festival. For two weeks, city streets come alive with music, dancing, and parades of gigantic Mardi Gras floats. Revelers wear elaborate costumes, and the fun culminates in a huge party on Mardi Gras day, also known as Fat Tuesday.