Mardi Gras is truly an experience unlike any other, but you don’t have to be in New Orleans to celebrate Fat Tuesday. Festivals, parades, happy hours, and freshly baked king cakes take over H-Town during carnival season, but sometimes you just need to know where to look. Grab your krewe and check out our list of the best ways to celebrate Mardi Gras in Houston.
Throw Me Something, Mister – Parades
Ready to party? Simply head to Galveston, which is only one hour south of Houston. Visitors to our area may not realize that Galveston’s carnival celebration is the third largest Mardi Gras in the United States. This celebration attracts more than 300,000 attendees annually. Parades start rolling on Friday, Feb. 22 through Tues., Mar. 5. The nearly two-week celebration is held on the streets of the city's historic downtown and beachfront. The 2019 event is celebrating its 108th anniversary with over 20 parades and dozens of concerts, balcony parties, DJ, laser shows, masked balls and more.
Kingwood’s Mardi Gras Festival and Parade promises fun for all ages in a family-friendly environment. From noon to 7 p.m. on Sat., Mar. 2, the celebration includes live music, craft booths, kids’ zone and delicious eats from local food vendors. Local businesses and organizations will parade around Town Center Park with beads and candy starting at 2 p.m.
Laisses Les Bon Temps Rouler – Parties and Pub Crawls
Anyone familiar with Mardi Gras knows that the Mardi Gras ball is just as important as the parade. Join Saint Arnold Brewery for its 2nd Annual Mardi Gras Ball. Dress to impress on Sat., Mar. 2 for an evening of entertainment by the Bayou City Brass Band, beer, and food. Tickets are $50 person and include the buffet of Louisiana-inspired delicacies, beer for the evening, a special color changing hurricane cup, and custom Saint Arnold Mardi Gras beads.
What is Mardi Gras without boiled crawfish? Kick off Mardi Gras and crawfish season with New Orleans Daiquiris To Geaux’s “Inaugural” Sunnyside Mardi Gras Crawfish Festival starting at 2 p.m. on Sun., Mar. 3. Live zydeco music, a DJ, bounce houses for little ones, a crawfish eating contest, beads and throws complement the already indulgent Fat Tuesday extravaganza.
A pub crawl can be like a parade, right? Both events include merry makers roaming the streets while enjoying libations, music and more. On Sat., Mar. 2 there will be four simultaneous 3rd Annual Houston Mardi Gras Pub Crawls around the city. So whether you’re in Downtown, Midtown, The Heights and Washington Corridor you can celebrate carnival from 3 – 6 p.m. with $3 shots, drinks, beers and more.
Enjoy some zydeco music and dancing at Mardi Gras on The Woodland’s Waterway. This celebration will be held at Nick’s Fish Dive and Oyster Bar from 5 – 10 p.m. on Mardi Gras day. Guests can revel in catchy Cajun tunes while dancing a two-step and eating a po’boy before the Lenten season begins.
There will be bands, beads and bugs galore at the Ragin’ Cajun’s Mardi Gras celebration. With multiple locations across Houston, including Westchase and the original on Richmond, there are plenty of ways to celebrate. Both locations will have live music, boiled crawfish, king cake and of course, beads. Parties start at 6 p.m. and roll until 10 p.m. Bonus, you can also order authentic king cakes from the Ragin’ Cajun throughout carnival season.
You Got The Baby – King Cake
Perhaps best known for king cakes is Three Brothers Bakery. They have lots of Mardi Gras themed and decorated sweets, but the king cake is not to be missed. Whether you are craving a plain cinnamon king cake, cream cheese or fruit-filled flavor, they’ve got Mardi Gras treats for every palette.
True to its name, Acadian Bakery bakes a bit of Louisiana tradition into every king cake with their delicious three-pound king cake. Taking tradition a step further, the fillings are decadent and rich, which completely in sync with the meaning of Mardi Gras. Enjoy single and double fillings like strawberry, pralines and cream, chocolate mousse and lemon curd to name a few. Each cake is complete with a plastic baby, so everyone knows who has to buy the next cake!
For a true French galette de rois, head to French Gourmet Bakery. This type of king cake doesn’t have all of the icing that the New Orleans version has, but can be just as delicious and more like a pastry. These cakes are made to order only, so give them a call to place your order. However, they do have the traditional New Orleans style as well and make this version on the weekends. Fillings include cream cheese, almond and cinnamon.