Mardi Gras is one of the most cherished times of year for New Orleanians. It’s an opportunity to come together, celebrate with your closest friends, family and throngs of strangers who seem to become both by the end of it all. Unfortunately, this year we can’t gather in the way that we normally have in years past and will again in the years to come. To keep both locals and visitors healthy and safe, increased restrictions on gathering, bars and the sale to-go alcohol will be put into place from Friday, February 12 through Tuesday, February 16 (see more about the restrictions here).
But just because the celebration isn’t the same, it doesn’t mean it can’t still be special. Our city’s restaurants, including those in the French Quarter and Downtown area, will be decked out in their festive finest, many with special Mardi Gras menus, cocktails (for dine-in) and carnival regalia. Make a day of it by scoping out the artistic ingenuity of the city’s house floats, followed by a meal with your quarantine krewe. Or grab your Valentine a special gift from one of the city’s many local retailers and then surprise them with a romantic meal out on the town afterwards, or even a hotel staycation.
Just remember to mask up, stay distant and be extra generous both with patience and gratuity where you can–our hospitality workers are relying on both more than ever.
Explore more ideas below, and have a happy–and most importantly, safe–Carnival season.