10 Best Mardi Gras Party Ideas for 2024

Celebrate like you're in NOLA with these Mardi Gras party ideas.
Brittany Anderson

Brittany Anderson


Mardi Gras is just a few weeks away and we’re already ordering beads and comparing gumbo recipes in anticipation. If you’re not able to celebrate down in the Big Easy this year, we can create our own New Orleans-style fun from the comfort of our own homes with these creative Mardi Gras party ideas.

This year, Mardi Gras Day, aka Fat Tuesday, falls on February 13, 2024 and signals the beginning of the Easter season. We’re here to help you plan the best in-person or virtual Mardi Gras themed party of the year! From hiring party entertainment to setting up your space, we've got lots of ideas to plan a super fun (and safe!) Mardi Gras party.


Here are some creative and fun Mardi Gras party ideas for 2024:

Send Out Invitations

For a Mardi Gras party, bigger is always better. So why not take the time to send out traditional invitiations. Rather than just sending a text, create your own custom cards, or select a fun evite to get guests really excited for the main event.

Photo: JT Art & Design

Book Mardi Gras Party Entertainment

Switch up traditional face painting by booking a caricaturist this year! There are plenty of vendors that will attend socially distanced or even virtual events. This also is a great party favor for guests of all ages.

Make the memories of Mardi Gras last by renting a photo booth or booking a photographer. They will capture every detail of the day and have festive props for guests to use. 

Add a mystical touch by hiring a fortune teller or tarot card reader to entertain and amuse your guests.

Find More Party Entertainment Ideas

Photo: Mecca Gamble Photography

Mardi Gras Inspired Themes

If you’re looking to switch it up or make your Mardi Gras party a bit more glam, consider opting for a fancy theme to go along with it! A masquerade party or a Mardi Gras Ball are two theme ideas we love for 2024.

Pro Tip: Find tips to host a classic Mardi Gras themed party here.

Photo: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

Food Ideas for a Mardi Gras Party

Don’t be intimidated by the rich culinary traditions of Louisiana, all you need is a delicious yet basic recipe. Show off your cooking skills with some jambalaya (which is usually a little simpler than gumbo). You can also read up on the difference between Cajun and Creole to really impress your guests.

Serve traditional Cajun and Creole dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and beignets. Consider hiring a caterer or setting up food stations with these delicious options.

King Cake Tradition

Incorporate the tradition of the King Cake. Bake or order a King Cake, and hide a small plastic baby inside. The person who finds the baby in their slice gets to be "king" for the day.

Photo: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

Make sure you save room for King Cake for dessert! It’s not a true Mardi Gras celebration without this colorful treat. Check out Chef Holly Chegg’s recipe and don’t forget to hide a plastic baby in there for good luck! Yes, really.

Photo: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

Drinks for Mardi Gras

As you may have heard, cocktails are a very important part of Mardi Gras celebrations. It’s a good idea to have a little bit of everything, but we definitely recommend making a few authentic southern cocktails. Check out these recipes for Hurricanes and Sazeracs—two New Orleans favorites!

If you want to leave the drinks to the professionals, consider hiring a bartender. Many bartenders also offer virtual services so you can have a mixology class during your celebration.

Pro Tip: Check out this list of delicious Mardi Gras Party Food and Drink Ideas.

Colorful Decorations

It’s time to break out all of the beads, sparkles, and colorful party decorations because more is better when it comes to Mardi Gras! Decorate with the traditional Mardi Gras colors: purple, green, and gold. Make your guests feel like they are down on Bourbon Street by including backdrops, streamers, and festive Zoom backgrounds for a virtual option. Be extra creative and incorporate masks, feathers, and beads into your Mardi Gras party decorations.

Photo: The NOLA Gents

Turn up the Music

No fun Mardi Gras celebration, or any New Orleans party for that matter, is complete without great music. Music is an essential part of Mardi Gras culture and New Orleans heritage. Whether you prefer a jazz band, funk band, or brass band – we can help you find great musicians with virtual options available to make your Mardi Gras party the best on the block.

Find Musical Entertainment

Photo: Mike Flippo/Shutterstock.com

Dress the Part

The official Mardi Gras colors are purple, green and gold—so the more color, the better! Stock up on Mardi Gras beads and feather masks to give out as party favors while your guests arrive. Encourage guests to come in Mardi Gras-themed costumes and host a costume contest with fun prizes for the most creative, colorful, or elaborate outfits.

Mask-Making Station

Set up a mask-making station with plain masks, feathers, sequins, glue, and other craft supplies. Party guests can create their own unique masks to wear during the party. Check out Little Lovelies guide to making your own Mardi Gras Masks here.

Photo: Arina P Habich/shutterstock.com

More Mardi Gras Party Ideas and Activities

Keep kids entertained, as well as the adults with some Mardi Gras games and activities. Set up a DIY bead making station, plan a treasure hunt for gold coins, and play musical chairs with classic jazz tunes. Along with the find the baby within the king cake, you can also play throughout the night with hidden babies everywhere for prizes at the end of the party.

Photo: Mar Fernandez/shutterstock.com

Name a King and Queen

At some point during the night, crown the King and Queen of the party. Either pick guests at random or give the honor to the best dressed. Don’t have a crown? Just use the silliest hat you can find.

Find more Mardi Gras party ideas here on The Bash.

Published on 1/3/2024