The Mardi Gras parades and events in Soulard may draw the biggest crowds, but they're not for everyone, and they certainly aren't the only options to celebrate Mardi Gras in St. Louis. There are other places to celebrate across the region. Here's information on other ways to celebrate Mardi Gras in the St. Louis area. Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!!
1. King’s Ball in St. Genevieve - Mardi Gras is a big part of the history of this French Colonial town south of St. Louis. Residents and visitors have been attending the King's Ball for 250 years. This year's celebration is at the VFW Hall on Memorial Drive. Everyone is encouraged to wear French Colonial clothing. There's a cash bar and music live music. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. This year's ball is February 4, 2017, from 7 p.m. to midnight.
2. Broadway Oyster Bar - The Broadway Oyster bar is serving up gumbo, crawfish, jambalaya and other New Orleans favorites at its big Mardi Gras party. The celebration is the same day as Soulard's Grand Parade and the restaurant has the good fortune of being right on the parade route. There's music throughout the day and plenty of beads and fun. Broadway Oyster Bar is located at 736 South Broadway in St. Louis.
3. Gulf Shores Grill - Gulf Shores Restaurant and Grill is a fun destination for a Mardi Gras celebration. The menu includes Cajun and Creole specialties like homemade crab cakes, gumbo, okra and crawfish tails. There's also live music many nights of the week, including during Mardi Gras. Gulf Shores Restaurant and Grill has two locations: 12528 Olive Boulevard in Creve Coeur and 215 Harvard Drive in Edwardsville.
4. Molly's in Soulard - Molly's Restaurant is in the heart of Soulard and its Mardi Gras festivities. If you want to avoid the huge crowds on Grand Parade day, there are plenty of other chances to head to Molly's for a more relaxed Mardi Gras celebration. The restaurant serves up tasty dishes like Cajun shrimp and grits, dirty rice and shrimp po' boys. Molly's is located at 816 Geyer in Soulard.
5. Mardi Gras at the Zoo - The St. Louis Zoo hosts an annual Mardi Gras celebration just for the kids. Children of all ages can spend the afternoon making masks, listening to music and joining in a Mardi Gras parade. Admission is free. The celebration runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The date for the 2017 festivities is TBA.