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8 Fun Cinco de Mayo Party Ideas

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated as a national holiday of Mexican culture and an excuse to drink. Many people might forget that the holiday actually honors the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla. Regardless of your reason for celebrating on the fifth of May, you can host a fiesta and show appreciation for the Mexican culture with these Cinco de Mayo party ideas.

1. Set up a taco bar

Cinco de Mayo celebration is not the same without tacos. Hire a local taqueria to cater your party, or find a food truck. You can search for one in your area with this directory or this one. To find a place that offers vegan taco catering, check out this website.

Or, if you want a casual taco station, buy trays of taco filling and have everyone build their own at a self-serve taco bar. Essential ingredients include tomatoes, shredded lettuce, three-cheese blend, soft tortillas and taco shells, ground beef, chicken, sofrito sauce, a variety of spices, hot sauce, and guacamole. Be sure to ask about dietary restrictions, allergies, and preferences when you send out invitations, so that you don’t cross-contaminate with any ingredients that could cause an issue for any of your party guests.

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2. Serve festive drinks

For the most part, Americans treat this as a drinking holiday (much like St. Patrick’s Day), so we couldn’t write a list of Cinco de Mayo party ideas without including drinks. While the typical margarita will get the job done, it’s always exciting to switch it up. Here are unique margarita recipes that will impress your guests.

If you have little ones at the party or anyone under the drinking age, they don’t have to miss out on the fruity drinks and fun. Make agua fresca for the kids with these refreshing recipes. Serve all of the drinks in colorful plastic margarita glasses (available on Amazon), accompanied by festive cocktail napkins.

Also, if you aren’t sure about mixing drinks, then try hiring a bartender for the occasion. They’ll bring their knowledge of mixed drinks to have a tequila-based extravaganza. Request mezcal, a type of tequila, to get a tasty, liquid smoke drink that will definitely wow any party-goer. You can find a local bartender for hire on Task Rabbit, The Bash, Gigsalad, or Thumbtack.

3. Turn up the music

Every party needs music, and on Cinco de Mayo, you’ll want to get extra festive. Hire traditional musicians like a mariachi band or create a playlist. You can find a band to hire on GigSalad or The Bash. Here is a list of songs to add to your playlist.

4. Dish out some desserts

No party can end without sweets being served! Offer Mexican desserts like churros, flan, rice pudding, and tres leches cake, or try a spin on these traditional sweets and make churro cupcakes or cheesecake flan brownies. You can also make margarita-inspired lime desserts, Mexican chocolate brownies with cayenne for a little kick, and dessert tacos or nachos. For a list of creative (but easy-to-make) treats for the occasion, check out this blog

5. Put up decorations

Decorate your party space with bright colors, pinatas, sombreros, llamas, tacos, and cacti. The colors of the Mexican flag are red, white, and green, but the Cinco de Mayo color palette also often includes teal, yellow, and purple. Create your own tissue paper flowers, or buy some for an inexpensive decoration. If you have a local Mexican supermarket, you can sometimes find decorations there, and just about every party store carries supplies designed for Cinco de Mayo.

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6. Party in an awesome venue

If you are worried about hosting a big, rowdy party in your home, take your fiesta to a new space. Peerspace can help you find a venue to rent by the hour. Enjoy the beautiful spring weather and book an outdoor garden, or keep everyone cool indoors in a cafe, creative studio, or multipurpose space. Take your Cinco de Mayo party ideas to the next level in an unforgettable event venue.

7. Get crafty

If kids are invited to your party, it’s a good idea to have activities. After all, most children don’t find eating, drinking, and chatting all that fun. Keep them entertained with craft stations where they can make their own Cinco de Mayo-inspired decorations and more.

Some ideas include creating your own papel picado (the colorful tissue paper flags). For this craft you will need: tissue paper, scissors, tape, and string if you would like to hang the flags. Another idea involves buying tissue paper in teal, green, yellow, red, and purple. Print out design templates on regular printer paper and secure it to your folded tissue paper to guide you as you cut out the design. For a full tutorial and a link to a template, check out this video.

Or, make your own maracas. The beautiful painted maracas are a trademark of Mexican music, so why not jam out with your own handmade ones? For the maracas, you will need plastic Easter eggs; plastic spoons; dry rice; masking tape; a hot glue gun or glue sticks; craft paints in colors like green, white, red, orange, and yellow; glitter; small plastic plates and cups for paint and water; paint brushes; and anything else that you would like to decorate the maracas with, like plastic gems or pom-poms.

8. Play games

No matter how old you get, party games will always be a good time. The holiday might not have many traditional games associated with it, but you can still have some festive fun! There are plenty of Cinco de Mayo party ideas for all ages. For any kids at your fiesta, here are some fun and educational games that they can play.

For the adults, try a chili pepper-eating contest (be sure to keep plenty of milk on hand for those who can’t handle the heat), a game of Mexican history trivia (you can find questions simply by typing the phrase “Mexican history trivia” into Google), or Mexican Train.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a fiesta filled with tacos, drinks, and vibrant colors with these unique Cinco de Mayo party ideas!

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