Cinco de Mayo Party Ideas

Whether you’re traveling around Mexico or staying home to celebrate with friends, there is no better party than a Cinco de Mayo party. The holiday is often celebrated with delicious Mexican food, tasty libations, and hardy Mexican traditions. While you may not be fortunate enough to spend the day in Mexico, there are plenty of ways to celebrate May 5th with Cinco de Mayo food, decorations, and friends. 

The History of Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo, or May 5th, is the date that Mexican armed forces defeated the French in the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican war. While the day is honored in the state of Puebla with parades, reinactions, and other festivities, it isn’t actually a holiday that is widely celebrated throughout the rest of Mexico. In the United States, however, the holiday has become synonymous with festive parties and family get-togethers that honor the heritage of Mexican-Americans and their beautiful culture. Popularized in the 1960s, the date brings about a reason to party, a wealth of Cinco de Mayo decorations, and an onslaught of delicious food served at restaurants and homes. 

Cinco de Mayo Party Ideas 

It’s no secret that Mexicans love to party, so if you’re going to host a get-together, inspire your own shenanigans with popular Cinco de Mayo party ideas. In addition to Cinco de Mayo decorations and food, it’s a good idea to have a Mexican themed playlist and a few games prepared to keep everyone entertained. 


On Spotify, you can easily find a premade playlist or you can put one together with all the salsa, mariachi, and banda music you want. Hand out some maracas and let everyone get into the beat. 


Mexican lotería, similar to Bingo, is a great game for guests of all ages, as are themed games like Pin the Tail on the Burro and Mexican Train Dominoes. 


Hanging a pinata filled with sweets is a must. Not only does it add to the decor for Cinco de Mayo, but it is also a traditional aspect you won’t want to miss out on.  

Cinco de Mayo Food Ideas

The best Cinco de Mayo party ideas include a range of delicious Mexican food favorites that will satisfy cravings and add to the Mexican theme. 

Taco Bar

For an authentic feel, set up a taco bar that includes a variety of options, such as shredded beef, chicken, or pork, and include refried beans and rajas con queso (sliced poblano peppers and creamy cheese) for a vegetarian friendly option.  Don’t forget the cilantro, onion, and limes, which are necessary for truly Mexican tacos.

Chips and Dip

Mexican salsa and guacamole are a must for a complete culinary experience. 

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

In addition to Cinco de Mayo food, you’ll also want to include typical Mexican drinks. Non-alcoholic agua fresca, or fresh fruit water, is the ideal choice for a party with kids. 

Alcoholic Beverages

Icy margaritas, chilled cervezas, and shots of tequila would be appropriate for a celebration among adults. 


For other Cinco de Mayo food ideas, add in authentic desserts, such as flan, churros, or tres leches cake. Your guests will be so amazed by the delicious array, they may never want to leave.

Decor for Cinco de Mayo

No Cinco de Mayo party would be complete without the perfect decorations and when it comes to this holiday, the more colorful they are the more festive your celebration will be. 

Papel Picado Banners

Cinco de Mayo decorations should typically show off the bright colors of Mexico, including shades of green, yellow, blue, magenta, and red. You’ll find these colors in the papel picado, or tissue paper banners that can be hung from the ceiling. 

Traditional Mexican Sarapes

Turn these into table runners or hang them on the back of chairs for added pizzazz. If you don’t have any on hand, you can find them online or in some fabric stores. 

DIY Pom Poms

Make tissue paper pom poms to hang from the ceiling or as the background to your taco bar. 


It’s fun and easy to decorate your tables with sombreros and cacti, which make great decor for Cinco de Mayo. 


While they are part of the fun and games, pinatas also make the perfect decorations for the ultimate Cinco de Mayo party.

Whatever Cinco de Mayo food ideas and decorations you choose to add, expect a vibrant party that all will enjoy. The most important aspect of any Mexican themed party is your attitude, so go with the flow, have a good time, and let the culture and traditions of Mexico do the rest!

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