Fat Tuesday is typically associated with half-naked women whipping out their hooters and half-naked men whipping beads at ladies to see said hooters. Not exactly kid-friendly stuff.
These days you don’t have to travel to New Orleans or Rio de Janeiro to partake in R-rated Fat Tuesday celebrations complete with raucous booze-filled parties. Heck, the tiny rural town I reside in holds an annual Fat Tuesday beer chugging contest at the pub on Main Street.
Hide your children… or steer clear of the mayhem by taking them to Mass. On Shrove Tuesday our church is celebrating a Votive Mass in Honor of the Most Blessed Sacrament in reparation for the sins committed during Mardi Gras.
Or, simply make the most of the last day before Lent by allowing your children to take part in the following kid-friendly Fat Tuesday activities:
Attend a parade: Some cities hold evening parades to celebrate Fat Tuesday. Gather the kids and let them witness the revelry, which typically includes colorful floats, high school marching bands, clowns and dancers. If your community doesn’t host a parade, then have one at home. Let the kids dress up in festive Mardi Gras-inspired costumes; glue streamers on sticks; grab some toy instruments and march around the basement, living room or yard.
Trick-or-treat: Years ago members of Cajun communities used to go door-to-door on Fat Tuesday asking homeowners for gumbo ingredients. Put your own spin on this tradition by having your kids go room-to-room asking for sweet treats or small Dollar Store items that they can collect in sand pails, Halloween buckets or Easter baskets. We did this one year using several strands of Mardi Gras beads and my daughter’s toys. At four years old, she didn’t care that she was being gifted with existing toys; she just loved the idea of trick-or-treating indoors.
Rule breaking day: My daughter is six now, so we are celebrating Fat Tuesday with a “Rule Breaking Day.” In the spirit of Mardi Gras’ “anything goes” theme my kid is getting the ultimate hall pass when it comes to manners. For one-day only she won’t have to exercise proper manners or follow select house rules. Translation: She won’t have to say “please” or “thank you;” she can play with her food; she can leave her strewn toys on the floor; she doesn’t have to make her bed; she can eat with her hands; and she gets TWO desserts after dinner.
What kid-friendly Fat Tuesday activities do you participate in?