New Orleans Rainy Day Fun at Mardi Gras World

On any trip you hope to have sunshine and clear days, but that’s not always the case. We recently spent a few days in New Orleans and had one day of torrential downpour. But a New Orleans rainy day didn’t stop us from having fun! Oh no, we celebrated Mardi Gras when Mardi Gras wasn’t even going on!

New Orleans Rainy Day

New Orleans Rainy Day Fun

The tour started with a free ride on the Mardi Gras World shuttle that picked us up from one of their many shuttle stops. Located south of the French Quarter and outside the main downtown area, we really appreciated the free ride as it is not a convenient walk (especially in the rain).

New Orleans Rainy Day

Once we received our “ticket” which is in the form of beads (of course), we headed over to the theater to watch a short introductory film about the history of Mardi Gras. We were pleasantly surprised with a tasty slice of king cake from a local bakery at the end of the film.

New Orleans Rainy Day

King cake is a Mardi Gras tradition. It’s similar to coffee cake, but with a small baby inside. Yep, you read that right. A baby is hidden in the cake and whoever finds the baby is supposed to host next year’s festivities, is king or queen for the day or is then responsible for purchasing next year’s cake. The significance of the baby depends on who you ask and what party you are at. No baby was hidden in the king cake at Mardi Gras World so after we finished gobbling it down, we were off to the warehouse.

New Orleans Rainy Day

Delve into the history and current undertaking of creating the flashy and outrageous floats that belong to the parades surrounding Mardi Gras. The gigantic warehouse of Mardi Gras World is a working environment with employees cutting, gluing and pasting away while tourists walk by and snap pictures.

New Orleans Rainy Day

About 80% of the extraordinary floats that are paraded down the streets during Mardi Gras are designed and built at this warehouse. The artists use papier mâchè to cover the Styrofoam to create an easy medium to paint on. And the result is stunning pieces of artwork!

New Orleans Rainy Day New Orleans Rainy Day New Orleans Rainy Day

The tour guide starts in the workshop area then leads the group through the warehouse to the amazing parade floats. They are INCREDIBLE! They informed us of all the important information that everyone really wants to know about Mardi Gras. For instance, that there are two bathrooms on each float. I always wondered what they had to do if they had to use the bathroom!

New Orleans Rainy Day New Orleans Rainy Day

Who pays for the floats? We were fascinated to find out that the parade floats are funded by members of private clubs called krewes. They collaborate year round to choose the parade’s theme, costumes and throws. So these members pay thousands of dollars in dues AND they have to supply their own beads or whatever is decided to be thrown from the float.

New Orleans Rainy Day New Orleans Rainy Day New Orleans Rainy Day New Orleans Rainy Day

At this point the tour guide allowed us free time to independently walk around anywhere as long as we didn’t climb up on the floats. We also were able to try on some authentic Mardi Gras costumes.

New Orleans Rainy Day New Orleans Rainy Day

We made the most of our New Orleans rainy day. We enjoyed our time learning about Mardi Gras and its history. So much, that if you have free time, I would recommend the tour even if it’s not raining. It’s probably the closest we will ever get to celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans minus the crowds!

Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World Details

1380 Port of New Orleans Place

New Orleans, LA 70130

(504) 475-2057


  • Open 7 days a week
  • From 9:00am to 5:30pm
  • First tour at 9:30am and last tour beginning at 4:30pm


  • Adults and children   $19.95
  • Seniors, 65+   $15.95
  • Students with college ID   $15.95
  • Children, 2-11    $12.95

*Make sure to check Groupon and LivingSocial for discounted tickets.*


Thank you New Orleans CVB and its associates for providing my admission ticket. All thoughts and opinions, however, are my own.


Do you have any other suggestions for what to do on a New Orleans rainy day? Tell us in the comments below.


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New Orleans Rainy Day

19 Responses

  1. Chris Travels

    Wow, those Mardi Gras floats are so beautiful and to view them at your leisure, taking in their many details, sounds fantastic. I’m sure if I ever visit that famous city I will pray for just one rainy day to experience the delights of Mardy Gras World!

  2. So glad you were able to enjoy your trip despite the rain! You just have to be flexible when you travel.


  3. Good to hear you were still able to enjoy your time there with the weather! I love the colors of all the floats, so vibrant! I want to get back to New Orleans. I’ve only been as a kid for the jazz festival.

  4. Holy smokes! The Krewes have to spend gobs of money, don’t they? 🙂 . I need to visit NoLa one of these days. It just sounds like such a fun place. This tour looks really good too, even though l think l would be a bit frightened of the horny devil 🙂 .

  5. I’ve always wanted to visit New Orleans. I had no idea you could see all that Mardi Gras stuff even if it wasn’t actually happening at the time! Those floats are UNREAL. Better than any parade I’ve ever seen!

  6. Few places in the world have the same feel as the French Quarter. Love the pics, I’ve always wanted to visit the Mardi Gras house and see the floats being built. Next trip I guess. Good read.

  7. That would be so neat to see all the floats! I’d do that on a non-rainy day.

  8. I had no idea that you could take a tour of the Mardi Gras floats. I loved New Orleans while I was there. Definitely a city I want to go back to!

  9. Carol Colborn

    You captured all the color and fun!

  10. Could you make the same for many more cities? I can’t count the days I spent at the hostel not knowing what to do on rainy days… Great post!

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