Mardi Gras World

Mardi Gras World is a Mardi Gras lover’s dream come true. This unique attraction consists of an approximately 300,000-square-foot warehouse where a significant number of the city’s Mardi Gras floats are designed, built, and painted. Not only will visitors to Mardi Gras World learn more about the history of this New Orleans tradition, but they’ll have the opportunity to see floats as they are being constructed while trying on some fabulous Mardi Gras costumes.

Money Saving Tip! Mardi Gras World is included on the Go New Orleans Pass as well as the New Orleans Sightseeing Pass. If you are sightseeing in New Orleans, then you can save a lot of money with a pass.

Mardi Gras World History

The history of Mardi Gras World is inseparable from the life and career of Blaine Kern. Kern’s father, Ray, was a New Orleans painter who taught his son everything he knew about his craft. Together, the duo made a name for themselves designing, building, and painting Mardi Gras floats during the 1930s and 1940s. By 1947, Blaine Kern had developed such a reputation that he was able to launch his own brand, Kern Studios. There his legend as a creator of Mardi Gras floats would grow to such an extent that he eventually earned the nickname “Mr. Mardi Gras.”

After years of receiving request after request for private tours, the Kern family decided to throw open the doors of their artist’s studio to the public in 1984. In the years since it’s become a popular tourist attraction and been featured on numerous television shows, including multiple episodes of the beloved cooking competition Top Chef.

What’s at Mardi Gras World

Any visitor to New Orleans with even the slightest bit of interest in Mardi Gras won’t want to miss Mardi Gras World, as it has been said that four out of every five floats featured in a Mardi Gras parade today come out of this remarkable facility. Unsurprisingly, that means there’s an astounding amount of stuff to take in throughout Kern Studios.

Of course, the headliners here are the floats. Big floats, small floats, floats of all shapes and sizes: you name it, you’ll see it throughout this huge warehouse space. What’s more, there are floats here in all stages of development. Some are the finished article, and positively pop with stunning colors and vibrant designs. Others, though, are only just being started, and it can be a fascinating experience interacting with these unfinished products.

A favorite activity of many visitors to Mardi Gras World is trying on authentic Mardi Gras costumes. You never know just what character you’ll get to embody here, if even for a few minutes, but regardless, it’ll make for an unforgettable time.

Throughout the space, informative panels and short videos provide insights about the history of Mardi Gras, the city of New Orleans, and just what it takes to put on this amazing spectacle each and every year. Having your camera at the ready while touring the facility is an absolute necessity!

Tips for Visiting Mardi Gras World

  • Mardi Gras World is open seven days a week between the hours of 9:00am and 5:30pm.
  • At present, all tours of Mardi Gras World are self-guided. However, this status is subject to change, so be certain to check their official website as you plan your visit for the most up-to-date information.
  • Most visitors to Mardi Gras World spend about one hour at the attraction, so keep that in mind as you organize your outing.
  • There is parking available at Mardi Gras World, but it’ll cost you $20 per vehicle.
  • If that price is too rich for your taste, consider taking advantage of Mardi Gras World’s complimentary shuttle. This free service will pick you up at a pre-arranged location and drive you right to the attraction itself. For more details, see the Mardi Gras World website.