Cinco de Mayo Party with Kids ~ 5 Tips for a Fun Family Fiesta!

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In the U.S. and some parts of Canada, Cinco de Mayo has become a day to celebrate Mexican culture and cuisine with a big ol' par-tay. Although most Americans think Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day, the holiday actually commemorates a battle won by Mexico against the French in the 1800s on the fifth of May (the date for which the holiday was named). No matter your heritage, your family can get in on the fun. Whether you’re planning a festive family dinner or a fiesta for the whole block, read these five tips for a Cinco de Mayo party with kids.

5 Fun Tips for a Cinco de Mayo party with kids!

1) Set the scene with colorful decor.

Make sure to include a vibrant table cloth or placemats, and cheery napkins on your Cinco de Mayo tablescape. Want to go grande? Multi-colored balloons on the ceiling make an easy and inexpensive backdrop for your fiesta.


Colorful cocktails and mocktails for your Cinco de Mayo party with kids

Colorful cocktails and mocktails for your Cinco de Mayo party (Photo credit: Lyla Gleason)

2) Get your Cinco de Mayo party started with fruity mocktails and cocktails.

Set the tone with some decorated Mexican margarita glasses to put everyone in the mood for a fiesta. For children, my go-to party mocktail is one part sparkling water and one part juice. Kick your kiddie concoctions up a notch with Nada Colada or other tasty beverages from this Kiddie Cocktails cookbook. The most important part is the fresh fruit garnish so stock up on strawberries, oranges or limes to add some flair.


For the grown-ups, you can’t go wrong with the Mexican classic cocktail: margaritas! Sure you could buy some margarita mix, but you're sure to wow your guests if you make something a little more creative like a Meyer Lemon Margarita or a Mojito Rita from 101 Margaritas

Fajitas for a Cinco de Mayo party with kids

Fajitas are a crowd pleaser because they can be adapted to suit different palates (Photo credit: OlafSpeier, Depositphotos.com)

3) Serve Mexican dishes that please all palates.

I love serving fajitas at parties because everyone can add their own fillings to suit their tastes. Provide items like grilled beef and chicken, roasted peppers, fresh veggies, sour cream, sliced avocado, beans and shredded cheese. Quesadillas are always a favorite so make a plain cheese version for the picky eaters, and let the more adventurous eaters add salsas and guacamole to spice theirs up.


Make everything in advance so you're free to mix and mingle once your guests arrive. Get ideas for make-ahead Cinco de Mayo options in this Mexican Slow Cooker cookbook. For guacamole, I swear by the Rosa Mexicana recipe.

DIY candy necklace craft for your Cinco de Mayo party with kids

DIY candy necklaces are a fun Cinco de Mayo activity for kids of all ages (Photo credit: Lyla Gleason)

4) Add to the fun factor with crafts, dancing and other activities.

Keep kids entertained at your Cinco de Mayo party with a craft, like making DIY candy necklaces or crafting tissue paper flowers. Then crank up the music for a post-dinner dance party. Macarena, anyone? A limbo contest is sure to please the children. 

If you’re expecting a crowd, you might want to buy a rainbow donkey pinata. (If playing indoors, be sure to clear anything breakable from the room first!) Or, stage a photo booth with props like sombreros and fake mustaches.


A pinata turns any gathering into a fun fiesta!

A pinata turns any gathering into a fun fiesta! (Photo credit: monkeybusiness, Depositphotos.com)

5) End the fiesta with a simple, yet festive dessert.

Top off your meal with ice cream served in a candy-rimmed glass. Just rub the rim with a lime and then dip in edible confetti sprinkles or colored sugar. Add some colorful spoons and – olé! Dessert is served. 

Ice cream in sprinkle rimmed glasses is an easy, yet festive dessert idea. Photo credit: Lyla Gleason

Ice cream in sprinkle rimmed glasses is an easy, yet festive dessert idea. Photo credit: Lyla Gleason

Have you ever hosted a Cinco de Mayo party with kids? Tell us your favorite fiesta planning tip or memory in the comments below!

This story originally posted in 2016 and was updated in 2018.

About Lyla Gleason, The Globetrotting Travel Mama

Long before the glamorous world of marriage, motherhood and travel blogging, Lyla Gleason had an exciting career as a travel publicist representing hotels and destinations across the globe. She spent her childhood on Long Island and then attended college and grad school in Boston and lived abroad in Rome. Some of her most favorite vacation spots include the Caribbean, India and Turkey. She is currently a downtown NYC mom who can be found chasing after her 7-year-old daughter, cooking dinner, mingling at blogger events and exploring near and far with a camera in hand. She is the author of GlobetrottingMommy.com, a lifestyle blog dedicated to travel, family fun and fabulous finds. Connect with Lyla on Twitter at @travelmommy.

Comments

  1. I think I want to come party at your house!! This looks so fun, especially the tablescape.

  2. This looks like a lot of fun! Anytime I can enjoy some delish Mexican food, I’m in! (and so are the kids)

  3. So colorful! This is such a fun imported holiday.

  4. Amie OShaughnessy says:

    So cute!!!

  5. This looks like a lot of fun! We could use these tips for a little party anytime!

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