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.
Parties, Pub Crawls, and Parades, Oh My!
Join Saint Arnold Brewery for its Annual Mardi Gras Pub Crawl on White Oak Blvd. On Saturday, February 15, you’ll start at Little Woodrow’s between 2-3 p.m. to get your punch card. After that, you’ll hit the rest of the stops in any order before 6 p.m. Gather at the final stop for a completion prize - a commemorative Saint Arnold Mardi Gras Pub Crawl pint glass unique to this event.
Put on your fanciest masquerade mask, grab your beads and your krewe and head to Houston Museum of Natural Science for the best Mardi Gras party this side of the delta, Mixers & Elixirs Feb. 20. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the live band, Satellite, dancing, cash bars and the city’s best food trucks. “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” Mixers are for patrons 21 and up only.
Looking for something a little less rambunctious? Head to B&B Butchers on Washington Ave. for a rooftop patio Mardi Gras Brunch Feb. 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Enjoy dueling pianos, face painting, and New Orleans-inspired dishes. Make sure to reserve your spot in advance.
Additional events around town can be found here.
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. 14 through Tues., Feb. 25. The nearly two-week celebration is held on the streets of the city's historic downtown and beachfront. The 2020 event is celebrating its 109th 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 promise fun for all ages in a family-friendly environment. From noon to 6 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 22, 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.
Additional events in the Greater Houston area can be found here.
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.