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Are you ready for an adventure with your little ones? Join us as we uncover the magic of the top 11 child-friendly carnivals around the world – an absolute must for the entire family!

1.Rio De Janeiro Carnival, Brazil

Rio De Janeiro Carnival

Step into the vibrant world of Rio’s legendary carnival, the biggest and best street party on the planet. Every February, this epic celebration of diverse food, music, and culture attracts around 8 million travellers to Brazil’s heart. From live music to beach parties, it’s a kaleidoscopic experience you must share with your children. The main Rio Carnival parade can get pretty loud, and unfortunately, kiddos under five can’t join in on the fun there. But guess what? The awesome kids from the samba schools have got it covered with their own fantastic parade – just for them!

Dates: Feb 9th, 2024 – Feb 17th, 2024.

2.Venice Carnival, Italy

Venice Carnival Italy

Step back in time at the world’s oldest recorded carnival in Venice. Dating back to the 11th century, this two-week spectacle boasts elaborate masks and outfits inspired by Venetian nobility. Join processions, street parties, and even gondola festivities for a carnival experience like no other. Tip for a smoother and more enjoyable experience: Avoid the Carnival “events” like the Flight of the Angel and the final mask contest on St. Mark’s Square (check the program here), as these moments tend to be extremely crowded. Navigating the small streets leading to the square with children can be challenging and less enjoyable. Steer clear of the San Marco area on weekends and during celebrations; it’s the zone with the highest tourist density.

Dates: Jan 27th, 2024 – Feb 13th, 2024.

3.Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival, Spain

Tenerife Carnival

Witness Europe’s most extravagant carnival in Santa Cruz, Tenerife. Two weeks of parties, parades, and floats create a family-friendly atmosphere that’s sure to captivate your children. This religious celebration has earned Santa Cruz’s event the title of the world’s second-best, just after the iconic Rio Carnival.

Dates: Jan 12th, 2024 – Feb 18th, 2024.

4.New Orleans Mardi Gras, USA

New Orleans Carnival

Embark on the USA’s most epic street party at New Orleans’ Mardi Gras. Two centuries of tradition, extravagant costumes, parades, live music, and the vibrant energy of New Orleans await. Mardi Gras is much more than Bourbon Street. Explore the family-friendly Mardi Gras Parades Uptown, like Krewe du Vieux or Krewe of Proteus, in locations such as Metairie, Marigny, or on the North Shore and West Bank.

Date: Feb 13th, 2024.

5.Mazatlan Carnival, Mexico

Mexico Carnival

Experience Mexico’s largest carnival in Mazatlán, a week of epic celebrations, parades, and live music along the famous Malecón. Immerse yourself in Mexico’s renowned ‘fiesta’ culture.

Dates: Feb 8th, 2024 – Feb 13th, 2024.

6.Trinidad & Tobago Carnival, Caribbean

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival

Join the largest and most famous Caribbean carnival in Trinidad and Tobago every February. Tens of thousands of revelers, adorned in colourful costumes, partake in two days of parades, steel bands, food, and the spirit of the Caribbean. It’s an experience that will leave your family with cherished memories. Children also have their special day: The Kiddies Carnival. This joyous event sees youngsters, from toddlers to older children, adorned in vibrant, colorful costumes. Some are carried in prams when fatigue sets in, while others jump and prance down the streets.

Dates: Feb 7th, 2024 – Feb 14th, 2024.

7.Nice Carnival, France

Nice France Carnival

Celebrate the 150th year of the stunning Nice Carnival on the French Riviera. Featuring beautiful floats, unique annual themes, dance groups, music bands, fireworks, and papier-mâché dolls, this carnival promises an enchanting experience for families. Don’t miss the Bataille de Fleurs, Corso Carnivalesque Illumine, and the Corso Carnavalesque parades, each with its own unmissable charm. Meanwhile, in the neighbouring town of Villefranche-sur-Mer, a unique flower battle unfolds on water as a delightful complement to the festivities. Twenty traditional boats, adorned with a riot of colourful flowers, gracefully cruise in front of an audience. Fishermen, attired in traditional dress, navigate close to the water’s edge, joyously tossing flowers to the delighted onlookers. The festivities around the Citadel include a variety of entertainment such as folk music groups, shows, games, and more.

Dates: Feb 17th, 2024 – Mar 3rd, 2024.

8.Ivrea Carnival, Italy

Ivrea Carnival

Prepare for the most epic orange fight in the world at the Carnival of Ivrea in Italy. Forget traditional parades; here, almost 700 tons of oranges vanish in a few seconds during the Battle of Oranges. Children can witness the exhilarating Battle of the Oranges from behind the safety net, ensuring they remain out of harm’s way. Although this vantage point eliminates the risk of getting hit, it’s worth noting that younger children might find the experience overwhelming due to the crowd, noise, and the oranges being hurled. Additionally, please be aware that strollers are not permitted in shooting ranges, and it’s advisable to exercise caution as the roads may be slippery. Immerse yourself in local history, witness representations of historic events, and savour traditional dishes amidst the carnival’s rich cultural tapestry.

Date: Feb 11th, 2024.

9.Kurentovanje of Ptuj, Slovenia

.Kurentovanje of Ptuj, Slovenia Carnival

Discover the authentic and mysterious Kurentovanje of Ptuj, Slovenia, dubbed one of the best carnivals globally by Lonely Planet. Experience the most ethnic Mardi Gras with the main character, Kurent, dressed in sheep fur. Join dancers, dragons, and people in costumes of hens and horses for a truly off-the-radar carnival experience. The celebrations are categorized into ArtFest, EtnoFest, and KarnevalFest, providing a rich and varied experience for all goers.

Dates: 3rd Feb 2024 – 13th Feb, 2024.

10.Rethymno Carnival, Greece

Greece Carnival

Immerse yourself in the vibrant carnival atmosphere of Rethymno, Greece, known as Apokries in Greek. Bursting with colourful street parties, parades, and endless celebration, this carnival is a perfect blend of modern and traditional elements. From traditional cafes to fragrant alcoholic beverages, delicious Cretan delicacies, and weaving folk songs, Rethymno carnival invites families to experience the joy of Greek festivities. The carnival kicks off with a classic treasure hunt tailored for children, marking the beginning of the festivities. This family-friendly event invites children to engage in parties, dances, hands-on craft workshops, and a variety of specially crafted games designed just for them.

Dates: Feb 2024.

11.Carnival of Cádiz, Spain

Carnival in Spain

The ancient pearl of Costa del Sol, Cádiz, transforms into a colourful venue for the 10-day-long Carnival of Cádiz. A musical celebration with open-air parties, this carnival features a series of music concerts with satirical and humorous pieces. Families can enjoy a fantastic time with an uninterrupted flow of food and wine. From singing groups like Comparsas to Chirigotas and Cuartetos, this vibrant carnival promises a mix of entertainment. Don’t miss the highlight, Cabalgata Magna, a grand showcase of giant floats, costumed people dancing, orchestra music performances, and decorated carriages.

Dates: Feb 8th, 2024 – Feb 18th, 2024.

From the lively streets of Rio de Janeiro to the heartwarming traditions in Rethymno, each carnival paints a unique picture of unity and celebration. Before you go, check out some under-the-radar carnivals loved by many – Malta Carnival, Pataras Carnival in Greece, and Rijeka Carnival in Croatia!

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