How to Plan a Virtual Mardi Gras Birthday Celebration

What? No outdoor parades and street parties for "Fat Tuesday" this year? (Yes, that’s what Mardi Gras means, in case you’ve been wondering!) The name for this pre-spring holiday is said to refer to the last day to indulge in rich, decadent food and drinks before the solemn season of Lent. But even if outdoor Mardi Gras gatherings may be cancelled this year, you can still have a blast on your February birthday—"Fat Tuesday" style—by doing it virtually!

The trick is to deck out your birthday spot at home with the popping purple, green, and gold of this occasion. A real festive setting to capture on cam. Decorate with lots of glitter, beads, feathers, and carnival masks. And of course, prepare a fun, Mardi Gras-inspired birthday menu that even your online guests can enjoy. How? Read on to find out!

Virtual Birthday Party Basics with a Mardi Gras Spin

In the spirit of Fat Tuesday merriment, bring in all the well-loved and over-the-top elements that make this holiday what it is. And enjoy your at-home birthday bash!

Virtual Birthday Party Basics with a Mardi Gras Spin

Spring the surprise theme on your virtual party guests with an "It’s time for Mardi Gras!" invitation (1 – from Punchbowl). Then, amp up the excitement even more by passing along recipes of traditional New Orleans party fare (see below) that you can all prepare and "share" on party day.

For your at-home guests, lay out an elaborate yet easy-to-do Mardi Gras tablescape (2 – from Sweet Sensations). And have assorted DIY Mardi Gras masks (3 – from Desperately Seeking Gina) as decorations, as props for those wacky on-screen snaps, or even as a fun party craft for the kids.

Now, come the must-have dishes and desserts! Serve super-flavorful, crispy Creole Fried Chicken (4 – recipe from as a main entree, along with Mardi Gras Dirty Rice (5 – recipe from McCormick) and Shrimp Gumbo (6 – image from Fresh Direct). For a sweet finish, home-bake a Quick Mardi Gras King Cake (7 – recipe from Betty Crocker)—and a special Mardi Gras layer cake (8 – recipe from Purple Pumpkin Blog) for the celebrant!

For some online party fun, here’s a Mardi Gras-themed game that you and your guests can play virtually. Choose from the instant-download version or the boxed kit of "Bumped Off on Bourbon Street" Murder Mystery party game (9 – from My Mystery

More festive ideas you can tweak for a virtual Mardi Gras celebration!

Go Festive with Mardi Gras Favors and Treats

Mardi Gras Loot Bag Ideas

See & Do: An Easy Mardi Gras DIY Mask Centerpiece with 3 Easy Elements

Mardi Gras-themed Sweet 16 Party Ideas

Easy Ways to Plan a Mardi Gras-themed Bridal Shower

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