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Need advice from Mardi Gras experts!

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Taking the family to Mardi Gras - never been, and would appreciate advice. We would like to watch at least one parade on each of the Saturday and Sunday before Mardi Gras. I have identified the Bacchus and Endymion parades as being closest to our hotel (we are on the edge of the Quarter).

What is the best way for my family with teenagers to watch the parades? I loathe standing in a crowd for hours and have heard a good way is to buy a "ticket" at a restaurant along the parade route. How do I find out which restaurants those are? Are tickets very hard to get, so that I am too late? I can't find out any information about this, please help!

I have also heard that children don't belong in the Quarter during Mardi Gras and that the best family viewing area is on St. Charles Avenue between First Street and Napoleon Avenue. Are restaraunts there? Do they sell those tickets? We do plan to be in the Quarter for much of the visit -- can't imagine a visit to NO without seeing the Quarter, and of course we want to go to Cafe du Monde, the St. Louis Cathedral, and some great restaurants there -- but just how raunchy will it likely be? We have teens, not small children. Is it mostly people overimbibing and maybe a flash or two, or what?

We have reservations at Commander's Palace, Irene's Cuisine and Mr. B's, and plan to visit the WWII Museum, aquarium, maybe a cemetery and of course just walk around. We will be there for 2 nights so time is short. Considering Mardi Gras World but we'll be getting a lot of Mardi Gras experience anyway so may cut that.

Anything else we shouldn't miss? Thanks for any expert tips!.

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