Mexican Party Ideas:
Decorations, Food, and More for your Fiesta
Whether you're looking for Mexican party ideas for a Cinco de Mayo party or just because you want to do something a little spicy... celebrating a Mexican fiesta is always a ton of fun. And it can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be.
A Mexican themed party can range from something as simple as just serving your favorite authentic Mexican food recipes for a dinner party... or as elaborate as having guests dress in Mexican finery and hiring a band of mariachis for the music. However you serve it, a Mexican party is always a fun fiesta.
Mexican Party Decorating Ideas
The decorations for a Mexican fiesta party should be colorful... after all, who ever heard of a staid and quiet fiesta? Bold and brilliant colors are the order of the day... and finding Mexican themed decorations for a party is actually really easy.
Choose Festive Lighting
Stringing colorful lights, like the ones you find for Christmas time (especially if they come in red, green, and white-- the colors of Mexico's flag), all around (and even mixing in some chili pepper shaped ones!) can be a fun and creative way to help create a festive mood with your lighting.
Add Authentic Mexican Touches
One of my favorite Mexican party ideas is to add a few really authentic touches. Mexican throws and pillows are inexpensive to buy and incredibly colorful-- they're a great way to really foster the mood. Tossed over a chair or the couch, they lend themselves to the air of a party.
Sombreros and even maracas can be a fun addition to the festivities, as can authentic-looking pottery or baskets. You can get inexpensive Mexican pottery and serving dishes at almost any dollar store to scatter around the end tables and to serve your edible creations in.
Remember making brightly colored tissue paper flowers as a kid? Now is the time to pull out all the stops and relearn that skill. Hang them, create bouquets of them, put them in your hair-- they are the perfect accessories for this party. Get the kids involved in the weeks before your party, and make it a fun project for the whole family.
"Travel" to Mexico
Another of my favorite Mexican party ideas for decorating is to think outside of your traditional party decorations. Use posters! You can place travel posters of Mexico around to create the mood and help to get everyone in the spirit of things by helping to inspire Mexico in pictures.
Use a Bit of Nature
This is such a fun Cinco de Mayo decorating idea! Small live cacti as a centerpiece are a really fun addition to the theme and add a bit of balance to all the bright colors you're using elsewhere in your decor. You can even scatter red and green chilies over your table as a whimsical part of your centerpiece.
Food and Drink for a Mexican Fiesta
Of course, the whole reason we all love to throw a Mexican fiesta North of the border is because... Mexican food is just about the best thing out there. Whether you go for truly authentic Mexican food or easier Tex-Mex fare, it's simple, wonderful, flavorful, and always goes over a treat.
Set Up a Margarita Bar
Whether it's alcoholic or virgin, flavored or traditional lime, with salt or not, a margarita seems to be the only drink you want at a Mexican fiesta-- after all, it's basically the most delicious drink on earth. A frozen margarita machine is never a bad thing for a Mexican-themed party. You can get the drink mix frozen or in a jug at the store for next to nothing... and the machines aren't that expensive to rent. A good option if you're having a lot of guests.
Or, one of my favorite Mexican party ideas, you can set up a "Make Your Own Margarita" station. Simply set up a bar with several blenders (ask your guests to bring one along!), margarita mix, ice, tequila, and fruit mixers: passion fruit, strawberry, raspberries, mangos, even kiwi or watermelon. Let people make their own mixes and show them off!
Want more than margaritas? We've also got some great recipes for wonderful authentic Mexican drinks and cocktails, as well as traditional non-alcoholic drink recipes.
Choosing Recipes for a Mexican Fiesta
Part of assembling your Mexican party ideas will have to be getting together some traditional Mexican food recipes to help you serve a really tasty menu to your guests. Preferably without working your fingers to the bone... and with some time leftover to actually, you know, enjoy your own party.
Read on for some great ideas for food for a Mexican fiesta or Cinco de Mayo party. But you can also visit Mexican Party Food Central and browse through the recipes there.
Chips and Salsa! Starting the evening off with traditional chips and a just-made salsa fresca recipe is a splendid way to begin. Remember that Mexican food doesn't have to rely so much on the chilies to make it good --it doesn't have to be spicy unless you like it that way-- but on the fresh flavors of the ingredients. So buy good tomatoes, fresh limes, and cilantro, and it'll taste beautiful no mater what.
Choosing a Main Dish. The main entree that you put out should be something that is easy to make and filling. Enchiladas are easy enough to make that even the most inexperienced of cooks can conquer them, and they will make you look like you slaved away in the kitchen for hours. Sauces for enchiladas can be purchased if you want to keep things simple, or you can easily make your own.
Tacos or taco salad are another alternative to more complicated meals, if you are unsure of your cooking skills. The only part that requires much cooking is the preparation of the meat filling, whether it's chicken, veggie, or carne asada tacos.
However, if your skills are up to it, get creative and make something a little more special and authentic. For example, trying making a ceviche for one of your courses-- the fresh flavors of citrus and fish are always a win-win combination. Or skip the meat and go for grilled or fried fish tacos.
Another one of my favorite Mexican party ideas is to make beautifully authentic homemade tamales. Yes, tamales are a lot of work-- they take hours. But they taste better after they sit for a day or two! So you can get all the work done a couple of days before your party, and just re-steam them at serving time. Homemade, impressive, and leaves you virtually NO work to do on the day.
Dessert. Of course, after the main meal is scarfed down, it's time to think about dessert. Check out Mexican Dessert Recipes and Recipes for Mexican Candy for a few great ideas for what to serve for dessert!
Mexican Party Game, Fun, and Activities
Of course, great food, drinks, and decorations are going to be your most important Mexican party ideas, and will be the first thing to dictate your party's success. But for a party that is truly a blast, try adding in a few special party games and activities, such as:
To add to the overall look of the decorations --and just to have a bit of extra fun-- you can't go wrong with a piñata. Who can resist a piñata, filled with candy and prizes? It's like a giant Cracker Jack box, waiting to be opened. You can buy one just about anywhere, or have fun with it and make it yourself.
Mexican Music and Dancing.
Having mariachi music and dancing around, whether it's traditional or not is playful, not to mention it helps to enhance the mood and goes so well with the decor. Shake your maracas in time to the music and shake your booty as well. Remember, what happens in "Mexico", stays in Mexico!
You'll find a whole page of fun Mexican Fiesta Party Game Ideas right here!
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