As professional mask makers, Alexis and Jade have traveled to New Orleans during Mardi Gras season for the past few years and discovered some inspiring and unforgettable activities, shops, music, and artist must sees! New Orleans is a magical place for discovery, creativity and fun. Here are our favorite memorable artist to do's in the city:
Visit The Presbytère - Louisiana State Museum
When passing through the French Quarter, visit the museum for a two part exhibition. When first entering the museum, starting out on the 1st floor, you'll take a heart wrenching journey through the experience of Hurricane Katrina. With video footage, personal stories, and scientific explanation, you'll be fully immersed in the storm, and gain an insiders perspective. A difficult, but important learning experience to understand the strength of the city, it's people, and culture.
Head upstairs after, for an uplifting, vibrant exhibit on Mardi Gras! A colorful look at the amazing handmade costumes, parade floats, artifacts, music, and history of the Mardi Gras Krewes. The original work displayed for the weeks long celebration are absolutely inspiring and impressive! From headdresses, to masks, and parade floats, it's a true display of magnificent art created with historical and cultural purpose.
Explore Maskarade - Mask Shop
Located at 630 St. Ann Street in the French Quarter, this New Orleans shop is unlike any other. After window shopping around, you'll see the overwhelming number of shops with the same purple, green, and gold souvenirs. To change it up, stop in Maskarade. With wall to wall display of artist made masks, you'll get some good laughs transforming into different characters while trying them on. You'll truly appreciate the work and artistry of mask making when you see the variety they have, created by dozens of artists. When purchasing a mask from this shop, you'll have an authentic New Orleans craft to take home, while supporting the artists who created them.
Catch Some Beads at a Mardi Gras Parade
If you are in New Orleans for Mardi Gras season, you can't miss the experience of the parades. If drinking on the streets, and hardcore partying isn't your scene, there are plenty of locations outside of the downtown area to get a more family friendly thrill. Uptown is a great area to catch the parades where you have room to move around and catch your fair share of beads, goodies, and maybe even a special decorated shoe from the Krewe of Muses! There are restaurants in the area to catch a delicious meal, a glass of wine, and a street view while the parades pass by. Don't forget to check the parade routes and schedules. Plan ahead, and jump on public transportation if you can, to avoid parking problems.
Dance to Some New Orleans Live Music
New Orleans is known for its eclectic music scene. Check event listings or ask a local about what music is in town while you are visiting. There are tons of small clubs, and venues throughout the city offering varied music styles. During Mardi Gras season, head over to Family Gras in Metairie, which offers free outdoor concerts with local and national musicians, and great food trucks for local cuisine too! If visiting at the time of New Orleans Jazz Fest, enjoy multiple days of dancing and amazing music, but don't forget to browse the marketplace for an abundance of beautiful arts and crafts! Get inspired at the Congo Square African Marketplace.
Get inspired, eat, dance, laugh, and explore. Ya'll will have an unforgettable experience in New Orleans!