9 Cinco de Mayo Party Ideas for a Fun Fiesta at Home

Help your kids celebrate Cinco de Mayo with these tasty snacks, fun games, and creative crafts.

Cute Cacti
Photo: Aaron Dyer
01 of 09

Make-Your-Own Maracas

make shakers to share

Make some music on May 5 with these DIY maracas. Fill leftover plastic Easter eggs with 1 tsp popcorn kernels; snap closed. Help children hold the egg between two plastic spoons while they wrap washi tape around them to hold the egg in place and make a handle. Continue wrapping until the egg and spoons are completely covered.

02 of 09

Chocolate Chili Poppers

Chocolate chili peppers

Add some spice to your Cinco de Mayo with these strictly sweet, pepper-shaped candies. Here's how to make them.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees F. Place several unwrapped Tootsie Roll Midgees (you'll need two for each pepper) on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. When the oven is warm, turn off the heat and place the candies inside to soften (they can be left there as you work). For each pepper, knead together two Midgees, then mold them around the tip of a pretzel stick, as shown. Let them cool.

Melt red candy wafers in a microwave-safe drinking glass according to the package directions. (We used about half a bag each of green and red candy wafers to make 13 peppers.) Using the pretzels as handles, dip the peppers into the melted candy, tap off the excess, and lay them on parchment to set. When they have hardened, break off each pretzel stem so it's a half-inch long. Melt green candy wafers, then dip the stems into the candy and let the green coating set.

03 of 09

Pull-Open Piñata

Photograph by Doug Merriam, Idea by Paola Parsons at Love & Cupcakes blog

Instead of buying a piñata from the party store, make these individual-size treat holders for Cinco de Mayo. For each, tape a length of ribbon to the top of a bathroom tissue tube for hanging. Cut a ¾-inch-wide X in the center of a 2½-inch square of tissue paper. Glue the square over the bottom of the tube.

Cut tissue paper into 1½-inch-wide strips at least 6 inches long (fold up a sheet to cut multiple strips at once). Cut fringe into the strips. Starting at the bottom, wrap them around the tube, securing them with glue. Tape a ribbon across the X in the bottom.

Fill the tube with lightweight treats, such as balloons and plastic animals, and hang it up. Pull the bottom ribbon to release the loot.

04 of 09

Cinco de Mayo Sipper

Cinco de Mayo sipper
Photograph by Carl Tremblay, Recipe by Joy Howard

Celebrate Mexican culture by preparing a pitcher of agua fresca. Sold by street vendors throughout Latin America, the ice-cold drink is typically made by combining fresh fruit, water, and sugar. Here's how to blend your own: Puree 2½ cups of water, 1 pound trimmed strawberries, ¼ cup sugar, and the juice of one lime in a blender until smooth. Chill before serving or pour over ice. Makes 4 cups.

05 of 09

Flower Crown

Flower Crown

To make this flower crown for Cinco de Mayo, you'll need the following materials: crepe paper sheets in shades of pink, orange, and yellow; 6-inch pieces of floral wire; floral tape; plastic headband. Follow the instructions below.

1. Fold a sheet of crepe paper in half twice, then cut out 12 petal shapes through the layers. Separate the petals and gently press and pull each one to curl the edges.

2. For a stamen: Fold a 2x24-inch strip of contrasting crepe paper in half widthwise a few times, then fringe it. Wrap around the end of a piece of floral wire and secure with floral tape. (For a flower without a stamen, skip this step.) Wrap three petals around the stamen and secure with tape. Repeat with remaining petals. Make up to six flowers per band.

3. Wrap a plastic headband with floral tape. To attach flowers, wrap each wire around the headband and secure with tape.

06 of 09

Taco Bar

Taco Night Tacos

Set up an at-home taco bar and let each family member assemble their own meal. Start by whipping up ground-beef or shredded-chicken filling; you can use refried beans as a meat-free alternative. Try some of these toppings: salsa, shredded cheddar, shredded lettuce, cilantro, sour cream, diced mango, diced pineapple, chopped avocado, pinto beans, crushed tortilla chips, corn, roasted sweet potato chunks, radish coins, and lime wedges.

07 of 09

Sombrero Station

Set Up a Sombrero Station

Keep kids busy with craft-your-own paper sombreros for Cinco de Mayo. Hot-glue upside-down paper cups to the center of paper dinner plates. Set out glue and decorating supplies—like pom-poms, mini-ball fringe, and chenille stems—and encourage the kids to style their hats.

08 of 09

Mexican Pizza

Mexican Pizza
Carl Tremblay

Basic burrito ingredients—salsa, refried beans in lieu of tomato sauce—give this pie its crowd-pleasing appeal. Adding the avocado and cilantro after the pizza has baked keeps their flavors at their freshest. Perfect for a fiesta party main course!

09 of 09

Cute Cacti

Cute Cacti
Aaron Dyer

To make this cacti for Cinco de Mayo, you'll need the following materials: acrylic paint and paintbrush; terra-cotta pot; green sock; sewing needle and embroidery thread (or strong fabric glue like Magna-Tac); polyfill stuffing (at craft stores); small dowel (optional); contrasting fabric (optional). Follow the instructions below.

1. Paint your pot a fun color; let dry.

2. Turn the sock inside out. Cut a wavy oval along the folded edge of the foot.

3. Sew the cut side closed using a tight whipstitch, at least ¼ inch from the edge; leave the bottom inch open. (If using glue, be sure it fully dries before the next step.)

4. Turn the sock right-side out and fill with stuffing. For a taller cactus, push the dowel into the center to hold it upright. Stitch the bottom closed.

5. Create a few small "arms" the same way, then stitch them to the trunk. To add flowers, cut a small star shape from contrasting fabric and stitch it onto the cactus. Place it in the pot. If it doesn't fit snugly, add stuffing around the sides.

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