Mardi Gras, the 25th February 2020, is a fabulous excuse for a party! Did you know it is French for ‘Fat Tuesday’ (and in the UK is known as Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day)? This name reflects the celebrations, and eating of rich foods, before the ritual fasting of Lent.

Don’t panic if you can’t get to a famous parade like New Orleans – just have your own party! We reveal how to transform your home, your kids and create delicious festival party foods.

Get a carnival party look

The colors most associated with Mardi Gras are gold, purple and green (which represent power, justice and faith), so fill your party room with these to get a fabulous fun vibe going on.Lots of on-trend shimmering tinsel (it’s not just for Christmas!) and tasseled garlands will add sparkle and shine too. Confetti is also a really simple way to add a festival feel to a room, sprinkle it liberally on the tables, floors and furniture.

A pinata is an excellent idea to get your guests into the party mood – fill it full of candies and little toys and let everyone enjoy a turn. Try making your own – you’ll find doing this as much fun as breaking it! See here for a simple step by step or check out our brilliant range.

Transform your kids into carnival characters

The brighter the costume the better! Think fruity hair clips and slides for fabulous hair styles, and crowns for a regal look. Glitter and sequins are a must-have, especially for face decorations. Take a look here for some amazing face painting tutorials and information. For a DIY carnival costume, try teaming your fanciest clothes with a marvelous mask. Go here for some sensational templates and printable masks.

Or invest in a gorgeous ready made colorful costume, like our Blue Bird Cape Dress Up and Neon Ruffle Capelet and Tutu.

1. Lilac Blossom Garland 2. Flower Bouquet Cake Topper 3. Gold Tinsel Chandelier
4. Circus Fringe Party Cups 5. Bright Floral Blossom Party Crowns 6. Neon Fringe Large Napkins 7. Pink Crepe Paper Streamers 8. Lilac Dinner Plates


Festival food is fantastic

The star event of Mardi Gras is definitely the food – it’s not called Fat Tuesday for nothing! Here are our favorite party foods (rev up or tone down the spice level depending on the childrens’ spice tolerance!).

Piquant Shrimp Balls

Little balls of yumminess that are perfect for little fingers (and big fingers too!) See here for the recipe.

Mardi Gras wings

Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, just how chicken wings should be. Remember to put out lots of napkins for your guests to use! See here for the recipe.

Buttermilk cornbread

The trick with cornbread is to find an easy recipe that gives moist results, like this one. Absolutely delicious on its own, or when dipped into a spicy dip, like Hot Louisiana Shrimp Dip.

King cake  

This traditional Mardi Gras cake, in the shape of a ring, is topped with icing and the Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold in sprinkles. The cake is normally filled with nuts and spiced fruits, but can also be made with chocolate or almond filling. Often people will hide a little prize (normally a plastic baby to symbolize baby Jesus) inside the cake – whoever get a piece of the cake with the prize in it is supposed to hold the feast the next year! It’s a fairly lengthy cake to make, but looks and tastes divine, so is well worth the effort! Go here for a yummy recipe. Or, if you prefer, you can bake King cake cupcakes, so colorful and pretty! Simply use your favorite cupcake recipe, to which you can add lemon and vanilla extract, and top with frosting swirls of purple, gold and green.

Milk punch

This is a common Mardi Gras drink throughout New Orleans and the Deep South. It has simple ingredients, milk, sugar, bourbon, vanilla and nutmeg or chocolate sauce. Obviously for the kids you’ll want to leave out the alcohol! Simply mix with lots of ice, to get a tasty chilled drink, then top with the nutmeg/chocolate sauce before serving.