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Cinco de Mayo Party Ideas for a Fun Fiesta

On May 5, people celebrate Cinco de Mayo as a way to recognize military victories and celebrate Mexican-American heritage. A Cinco de Mayo party is the perfect way to get your fiesta on, but it can also be a great time for you and your family to learn about the culture and traditions of our southern neighbors. If you're wanting to host your own themed party, it's time to embrace bright colors and celebrate the unique heritage of Mexico. Read on for great Cinco de Mayo party ideas that are sure to inspire!

The History of Cinco De Mayo

The 5th of May is a cultural phenomenon during which we celebrate Mexican food, culture, and history. While many people consider Cinco de Mayo the equivalent of the Mexican Independence Day, it’s really a celebration of the day Mexico won the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Although people do enjoy this minor holiday in Mexico, the really big parties are primarily in the U.S., where we like to mark the occasion with festivals, traditional Mexican foods, parades, music, and Mexican folk dancing.

Cinco de Mayo Party Foods and Recipes

The best Cinco de Mayo party ideas involve delicious Mexican food and drinks—you can’t have a "Tiempo Bueno," or a good time, without it! If you don’t have a Mexican grocery store nearby, check out the international aisle of your local grocery. Tacos, salsa, and margaritas might be the best-known Cinco de Mayo party treats, but there are dozens of delicious traditional family-friendly treats that can take your party to the next level without feeling stale or stereotypical.

Some great Cinco de Mayo treats include:

Agua Fresca

This refreshing fruity drink is easy to make and easier to drink. Blend 2 cups of your favorite fresh fruit, such as watermelon, with 4 cups of water, ¼ cup honey and 2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice. Sieve it before serving it over ice. Drink up!

Nacho bar
DIY tacos and nachos are perennial favorites, and this bar makes it easy to make your meal your own. Set up your bar with soft, warm corn and flour tortillas, taco shells, tortilla chips and corn chips along with any toppings your guests might enjoy.

Some popular ideas include:

  • Seasoned taco meat

  • Beans

  • Rice

  • Iceberg lettuce

  • Cilantro

  • Onions

  • Tomatoes

  • Guacamole

  • Jalapenos, chili peppers and bell peppers

  • Cheese

  • Sour cream

  • Salsa & hot sauce

Sopapillas

These puffy pastries are a lasting hit for Cinco de Mayo party ideas. If you don’t have time to make the dough from scratch, fresh flour tortillas will also work in a pinch. Fry the dough or tortillas in a few inches of hot oil. Once it puffs up and turns golden brown, remove it from the oil, allow it to drain thoroughly and top it with cinnamon and sugar, a drizzle of honey or a fresh scoop of ice cream.

Cinco de Mayo Crafts and Activities

Papel Picado

This traditional folk art can be a great craft as well as a decoration for your Cinco de Mayo party. Much like paper snowflakes, Papel Picado is done by folding and cutting tissue paper. You’ll need brightly colored paper and scissors as well as ribbons and glue.

Fold your paper in half several times before you begin to cut little patterns into your paper. When you open the folds, you’ll have an intricate and beautiful design. Repeat this process for each sheet of paper, and then glue them all to your ribbon to make a beautiful and brilliant party decoration.

Mini Pinatas

Use cardstock or lightweight cardboard, tissue paper and small candies to create your own festive donkey, maracas and star-shaped pinata party favors and decorations.

Maracas

Save the plastic eggs from your Easter egg hunt, and you can recycle them into fun maracas for your Cinco de Mayo party! Fill each egg with dried rice, beans, lentils, beads, popcorn kernels, seeds or other little noise-makers, and then tape or glue them shut. Nestle each egg between two plastic spoons, and wrap decorative duct tape or washi tape around each maraca. Ta-da! It’s time to start making music!

Cinco de Mayo Games and Activities

Pin the Tail on the Jaguar

This classic party game gets a fun new twist with an animal that is indigenous to Mexico and plays a significant role in folk stories. Simply use a print out of a jaguar and have guests tape the tail on the paper. You can choose a natural-looking jaguar or a more colorful alebrije version.

Lotería

This fun bingo-like game uses a colorful deck of cards and patterned boards. The rules, which can vary from game to game, are established before the players begin, and the announcer will give hints about the images on the various cards. The players mark their cards, and once a winner has achieved the rule, they’ll shout, “Lotería!”


Cinco de Mayo celebrates an incredibly unexpected and unlikely victory. By bringing rich Mexican traditions into your Cinco de Mayo party, you can keep this colorful history alive. But did you know you can come celebrate with Welk down in Cabo San Lucas? Our annual Cinco de Mayo festival this year will feature a sensational ballet folklorico performance, exciting games and piñatas, and tasty food and drinks for everyone. Now, vamos a la fiesta, and book your stay at Sirena del Mar by Welk Resorts in 2018 to get 60% off your entire stay!

Have your own great Cinco de Mayo party ideas? Let us know or share your photos in the comment section below and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for more creative ways to celebrate!

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