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While carnival season is almost over, here are places you can learn about Mardi Gras all year long.
While carnival season is almost over, here are places you can learn about Mardi Gras all year long.
Pat Semansky/Getty Images

Five places to learn about Mardi Gras history all year long

From the French Quarter to the Lower 9th Ward, here are five places to learn about Mardi Gras history.

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While carnival season is almost over, here are places you can learn about Mardi Gras all year long.
| Pat Semansky/Getty Images

Mardi Gras is a special time for New Orleans every year. The tradition, which dates back centuries, is nearly synonymous with New Orleans, despite carnival seasons taking place in several cities across the nation and the world. 

While Mardi Gras day is nearly four days away, there is still plenty of time to learn about the unique history of the tradition that is without a doubt intrinsic to the city. 

Here is a map of five different places you can visit to learn more about the history of Mardi Gras all year long, starting as early as 1699 to present day. From learning about Mardi Gras Indians to the creation of floats, admission for these different museums range from free to $20 per person.

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1. Mardi Gras Museum at Arnaud’s Restaurant

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813 Bienville St
New Orleans, LA 70112
Opened in September of 1983, the Germaine Cazenave Wells Mardi Gras Museum, opened at Arnaud’s Restaurant on Bienville. The museum is named after the daughter of Count Arnaud, who, according to the museum “reigned as queen of over twenty-two Mardi Gras balls from 1937 to 1968, more than any other women in the history of Carnival.”

The museum features some of the oldest costumes in New Orleans Mardi Gras history, a collection of vintage photographs, masks, jewels and invitations.

The museum is open during restaurant hours, which is after 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Admission to the museum is free.

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2. House of Dance & Feathers

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1317 Tupelo St
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 957 2678
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Located in the Lower Ninth Ward, the House of Dance and Feathers holds an extensive collection of Mardi Gras Indian books, costumes, images and artifacts native to New Orleans. Additionally, the director of House of Dance and Feathers, Ronald W. Lewis, is a highly revered scholar of the cultural phenomenon.

House of Dance and Feather is open by appointment only. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. 





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3. Mardi Gras World

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1380 Port of New Orleans Pl
New Orleans, LA 70130
One of the largest Mardi Gras museums is Mardi Gras World, which holds an array of Mardi Gras costumes, and historical Mardi Gras parading artifacts around the world.

Admission is $19.95 for adults, $12.95 for children, and $15.95 for students. Tours are offered seven days a week, lasting about an hour, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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4. Backstreet Cultural Museum

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1116 Henriette Delille St
New Orleans, LA 70116
The Backstreet cultural museum holds a variety of exhibits centered around African-Americans in Mardi Gras. The museum features exhibits pertaining to Mardi Gras Indians, Baby Dolls, the Skull and Bone Gangs, Jazz Funerals and Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday fro m10 a.m. to 4 p.m, and it is closed on Sunday. Admission is $10 per person.

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5. Louisiana State Museum - The Presbytère

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751 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70116
Located in the heart of the city, The Presbytère, a Louisiana state museum, has two exhibits on the history of Mardi Gras. The first exhibit follows the history of Mardi Gras since 1699, including the evolution of parade traditions, float creation, and even a virtual float ride. The Museum will also hold the Iris and The Goddess of Carnival exhibit from February 14, 2017 to December 30, 2018. The exhibit, which is a joint project between the Krewes of Iris, Muses and Nyx, explores the evolution of Women Krewes in New Orleans from 1890 to present day.

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, and is closed Monday. Admission is $6 for adults, and $5 for students.

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1. Mardi Gras Museum at Arnaud’s Restaurant

813 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70112
Opened in September of 1983, the Germaine Cazenave Wells Mardi Gras Museum, opened at Arnaud’s Restaurant on Bienville. The museum is named after the daughter of Count Arnaud, who, according to the museum “reigned as queen of over twenty-two Mardi Gras balls from 1937 to 1968, more than any other women in the history of Carnival.”

The museum features some of the oldest costumes in New Orleans Mardi Gras history, a collection of vintage photographs, masks, jewels and invitations.

The museum is open during restaurant hours, which is after 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Admission to the museum is free.

A post shared by Jay Barmann (@conflator) on

813 Bienville St
New Orleans, LA 70112

2. House of Dance & Feathers

1317 Tupelo St, New Orleans, LA 70117
Located in the Lower Ninth Ward, the House of Dance and Feathers holds an extensive collection of Mardi Gras Indian books, costumes, images and artifacts native to New Orleans. Additionally, the director of House of Dance and Feathers, Ronald W. Lewis, is a highly revered scholar of the cultural phenomenon.

House of Dance and Feather is open by appointment only. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. 





A post shared by Damon and Jo (@damonandjo) on

1317 Tupelo St
New Orleans, LA 70117

3. Mardi Gras World

1380 Port of New Orleans Pl, New Orleans, LA 70130
One of the largest Mardi Gras museums is Mardi Gras World, which holds an array of Mardi Gras costumes, and historical Mardi Gras parading artifacts around the world.

Admission is $19.95 for adults, $12.95 for children, and $15.95 for students. Tours are offered seven days a week, lasting about an hour, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

A post shared by Susan Lynch (@slynchify) on

1380 Port of New Orleans Pl
New Orleans, LA 70130

4. Backstreet Cultural Museum

1116 Henriette Delille St, New Orleans, LA 70116
The Backstreet cultural museum holds a variety of exhibits centered around African-Americans in Mardi Gras. The museum features exhibits pertaining to Mardi Gras Indians, Baby Dolls, the Skull and Bone Gangs, Jazz Funerals and Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday fro m10 a.m. to 4 p.m, and it is closed on Sunday. Admission is $10 per person.

A post shared by (@mghmghmghm) on

1116 Henriette Delille St
New Orleans, LA 70116

5. Louisiana State Museum - The Presbytère

751 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Located in the heart of the city, The Presbytère, a Louisiana state museum, has two exhibits on the history of Mardi Gras. The first exhibit follows the history of Mardi Gras since 1699, including the evolution of parade traditions, float creation, and even a virtual float ride. The Museum will also hold the Iris and The Goddess of Carnival exhibit from February 14, 2017 to December 30, 2018. The exhibit, which is a joint project between the Krewes of Iris, Muses and Nyx, explores the evolution of Women Krewes in New Orleans from 1890 to present day.

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, and is closed Monday. Admission is $6 for adults, and $5 for students.

A post shared by gonola504 (@gonola504) on

751 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70116