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Family Vacations: Mardi Gras World

See the work involved in creations like these at Mardi Gras World.

While the spectacular floats and the sequined-and-feathered costumes of Mardi Gras would appeal to just about any child, most parents find the parade and the accompanying debauchery a bit too racy for the kids. So, to get into the Mardi Gras spirit year-round, visit Mardi Gras World, where 80 percent of the floats that travel down the New Orleans streets during Carnival season are designed and built.

It's an actual working studio, where artists sketch, sculpt, and paint the colorful figures and floats for the next year's parades. You'll tour enormous warehouses filled with floats and learn about the traditions surrounding Mardi Gras parades, balls, and music. You'll also learn the inside scoop on float designing and building.

There's a chest full of bejeweled costumes for children to try on, and king cake, a tasty Mardi Gras tradition, is served at the end of the tour.

Mardi Gras World Information

Address: 233 Newton St., New Orleans, LA

Telephone: 504/361-7821 or 800/362-8213

Hours of Operation: Daily, 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Admission: Adults, $17; children, $10

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Louisiana State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Louisiana, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Laura Sutherland is a widely acknowledged authority on family travel and has published several books on the topic, including Best Family Ski Vacations In North America and Tropical Family Vacations.