Divine Dinner Party

Awesome (Ay, Ay, Ay!) Mexican Fiesta Party Ideas:
Food, Decor, and Mucho More

It's warm outside and the siren song of a cold margarita and a good party is calling. Or it's chilly and you want to warm up with something spicy... there's nothing like going South of the Border. Si, o no?

fun mexican fiesta party with sombreros
There are lots of great Mexican fiesta party ideas out there, ranging from the standard Old El Paso tacos and plastic maracas, to a full-on authentic Mexican feast. And you know what? There's no shame in breaking out the Old El Paso and Pace picante and... keeping it simple.

But if you're looking to make some fabulous and authentic Mexican fiesta food and throw a party that will make you forget you live in Pennsylvania, you'll find some great ideas here to help you get it done.

When you're done here, check out Mexican Food and Fiesta Planning Central for more South of the Border ideas than you can shake your sombrero at.


Fiestas in Mexico: the Real Thing

There's something to be said for people from Central and South America: boy, they know how to party. Mexico has hundreds of fiestas throughout the year-- and they make just about any excuse to celebrate. They'll throw a town-wide fiesta to honor local officials, for specific holidays, or for religious reasons. Not to mention wonderful weddings and outrageous quinceañeras-- it's a lot of fun.

And while I'm writing a whole page about Mexican fiesta party ideas because I think it's great to plan and do something special, first I've gotta say: the best way to throw a great Mexican-themed party is to follow the lead of the real experts: los Mexicanos! The best fiesta party will be about friends, family, food, and fun... not fuss. So relájate, be flexible, and have fun with it!


Mexican Fiesta Decorations

Okay, we all know that the keynote colors for Mexican party decorations are probably always... you guessed it: green, red and white. Because, of course, that Christmassy trio makes up the colors of the Mexican flag. Wanna stick with the traditional? Go for it. But these aren't the only colors that scream "Mexico". If you just want to make your Mexican fiesta decorations look like the real thing...? Just go bright. Google "day of the dead" images and you'll get an idea of how bright they can really get.

As far as decoration ideas go, you've got tons of options. Some of the traditional ones are:

  • Maracas (you can get miniature ones for party favors)
  • Sombreros (these come in lots of different sizes and you can find them pretty easily at craft stores). Use them for centerpieces, for place holders, and even for serving chips!
  • Cacti and chili peppers (use real ones!)
  • Festival beads (these can be used as give-away items or prizes too)
  • Piñatas: This does double duty - decoration and activity

But why limit yourself to the traditional Mexican fiesta party ideas? Have fun with your decor! Some of my favorite table centerpieces and decorations for a fiesta are things like:

  • Brightly painted (spray paint is your friend!) Halloween skulls
  • Mexican-style altar candles
  • Serapes and Mexican blankets
  • Traditional Mexican fresh fruit and veg (avocados, tomatoes, tomatillos)
  • Bright tissue paper flowers
  • Margarita supplies
  • Marigolds (traditional for Day of the Dead)


Mexican Fiesta Themes and Entertainment

tequila for a mexican fiesta... what else do you need?Looking for some fun ideas and games for your Mexican fiesta for Cinco de May or Day of the Dead? Try one of these silly fiesta activities to add a little spice to your Latin themed party.

Fiesta de Locos Game

All you need to play this game is a few Mexican or fiesta balloons and some nutty ideas. On small slips of paper, write a funny activity for your guests --kids AND adults!-- to perform. Blow up balloons, and place a challenge or activity inside. Have your guests choose and pop a balloon, and then perform the activity they'll find inside. Some ideas are:

  • Sing "la cucaracha" at the top of your lungs
  • Do a maraca dance
  • Make and eat a taco using unusual ingredients
  • Speak only in Spanish for the next 10 minutes

BYO Sombrero

Have everybody bring a sombrero! Even better, pick up some novelty sombreros for each of your guests, put out some glitter, fabric paints, etc., and have a sombrero decorating and modeling contest. This is a Mexican fiesta party idea especially suited to kids' parties.

h3Piñata Time

Piñatas aren't just for kids! Though great to fill with candy for a kids Mexican themed birthday party, a piñata is also fun for an adults party, and can be tailored to any theme or occasion.

Now, games are a huge part of making ANY fiesta a blast. You'll find more fun Mexican themed games for your fiesta right here.

Mexican Fiesta Food and Drinks

No Mexican fiesta party would be complete if we didn't discuss regional food and beverages. Want to stick with simple and standard? For your appetizers, start with mini empanadas (we've got a recipe for some fun dessert empanadas here), some fresh salsa, chips and guacamole.

easy authentic margaritas recipe for a Mexican fiesta
Want to impress with your main meal? Spend the day beforehand making wonderful authentic tamales or get fun and fresh with a make your own taco or taco salad bar. Or get smoky and fire up the grill for some grilled cilantro-lime shrimp (these cilantro lime shrimp tacos from A Heape of Love are AMAAAAAZING).

You'll find tons of great Mexican food recipes right here!

And no matter what you make... you can never forget the margaritas (try the margarita recipe below or find more right here!), a selection of wonderful Mexican beer, and dark Mexican coffee and hot chocolate to go with your dessert.


Berry Dessert-y Margarita Recipe

This is a yummy margarita recipe that uses fresh strawberries making it sinfully sweet.

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 c. ice
  • 1 ounce Tequila
  • 1/2 ounce Triple Sec
  • 3-4 strawberries
  • 2 tsp. superfine sugar
  • Whipped cream
  • Lime zest

Directions: Put the ice, Tequila, Triple Sec, sugar, and berries in a blender.

Puree to a smoothie texture. Pour into a chilled glass topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with lime zest.


Having Fun and Keeping it Simple

Not a Martha-Stewart style "it has to be perfect!" control freak? Good for you! Why not give up some control and gain a little relaxation and fun in return: don't overlook the fact that your guests may have some great Mexican fiesta party foods and ideas to bring to the table. Host a pot luck or buffet style meal!

If you ask your guests each to bring a "south of the border" creation, everyone will get to sample a wide variety of Mexican foods. Just a tip if you opt to go the way of the pot-luck: as with any potluck party, it's always good to ask your guests what they're planning so you don't end up with 10 platters of nachos and no dessert!

You'll find lots more great ideas for planning a buffet of any kind here, and all of 'em will work for your Mexican fiesta.

My advice for a party that will make your guests say "ay, ay, ay!"? Don't over-plan. Keep it bright and casual and fun, play some great (LOUD) music, and let the rest fall into place. If you're having fun, your guests will, too.


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Easter's on its Way


The date for Easter falls on April 20th this year!

Take a look at Easter Dinner and Party Planning for recipes, edd dye tips, assembling Easter baskets, and more!

And plan to make this adorable...

It's so cute, it may be the best thing you do this Easter.

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