Cinco de Mayo Party Ideas

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Happy Cinco de Mayo! Okay, well not officially. But with it’s arrival less than two weeks away, I thought I’d use this week to share some Cinco de Mayo Party Ideas!

In my eight years of blogging, I’ve never before shared Cinco de Mayo-related ideas, so I’m really excited to show you what I’ve created. By styling one table I was able to create two unique cocktail recipes, a delicious snack, a creative dessert, and lots of fun Cinco de Mayo decorations!

Whether you use one or all of these Cinco de Mayo ideas, you can easily add a little fun, flavor, and color to your celebration!

How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo |

Today I’m going to walk you through some of the essentials for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Then throughout the week I’ll share details about the recipes and projects I created to make my own fiesta. In other words, you’re going to want to check back all week. That’s not such a bad thing, right? You can always count me in for a week-long party.

What is Cinco de Mayo?

No, it’s not just a day for us to enjoy delicious Mexican food and drink margaritas. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Battle of Puebla and the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over the French force of Napoleon III on May 5, 1862.

Unlike what many think, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day which is celebrated on September 16. (A fun factoid for you to share while you’re sipping your margarita (made with Sauza® Tequila, of course!))

Cinco de Mayo Party Ideas:

So, with the facts out of the way, let’s get into this party.

If you’re looking for a truly authentic celebration, this is not the place to get it. However, if you’re looking for some delicious recipes, inspired decor, and creative ideas in the spirit and celebration of Cinco de Mayo. I’m your guy!

How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo |

Let me walk you through a few of the essentials for my kind of Cinco de Mayo Celebration.

Cinco de Mayo Party Decor Ideas:

Let’s start with the decorations. I always find it helpful to choose a color palette when you start your party planning. There are a lot of decisions that need to be made for a party. Having a color palette in mind will limit some of those choices immediately. As you can see I was inspired in part by bold blues colors for my decorations.

How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo |
How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo |

That was my jumping off point which helps me choose plates, napkins, and some of the other accessories. I even included a touch of gold (because you know how much I love gold) to add a little sparkle.

I also included a few things that were a nod to Cinco de Mayo like maracas, mini sombreros, and a DIY piñata. A macrame runner and color “splattered” chrysanthemums add texture and a casual feel.

Cinco de Mayo Recipe Ideas – Classic with a Twist:

If you’re struggling with party food or drink ideas, think “classic with a twist.” For example a margarita is a great option for a Cinco de Mayo party. However, add a twist by flavoring it with strawberry and mint or vanilla and pineapple. It’s still classic, but with something special.

That’s why I created a Vanilla Pineapple Margarita and Jalapeño Paloma cocktail for my celebration.

How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo |
How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo |

The same goes for decor. While classic and authentic are a great place to start, inject a bit of your personality, too. Everyone has seen the typical Cinco de Mayo decor, however, they haven’t seen your interpretation of it.

If you want a classic margarita, have no fear. I have THE BEST recipe for margarita mix. It’s so simple to make and it’s crazy delicious. You can find that HERE.

Learn how to make Homemade Margarita Mix with this easy and delicious recipe! #margarita #margaritamix #tequila #cocktail #recipe

Cinco de Mayo Recipe Ideas:

Remember tequila isn’t just for cocktails. It goes nicely with food dishes as well. And since tequila is great with anything citrus, it also pairs well with food that works with citrus – things like seafood (i.e., tilapia, crab, shrimp), chicken, and even pork.


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How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo |
How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo |

Since I think kabobs are such fun party food (plus it was an excuse to break out my grill in the spring), I used tequila to marinate my chicken before I skewered it with pineapple and sliced limes. That subtle touch of flavor worked nicely with the rest of my menu.

Cinco de Mayo Dessert Idea:

In my opinion, a party isn’t a party without something sweet. For this celebration, I thought I’d tweak my mason jar cheesecake recipe to suit the celebration. I dressed it up for the party with a splash of lime and tequila to create Mini Margarita Cheesecakes.

How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo |
How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo |

To make them extra special, I piped colored candy melts into different cactus shapes to adorn the cheesecakes. These mini cacti add the perfect pop of fun color and whimsy to my buffet.

More Cinco de Mayo Party Ideas:

I think it’s always fun to offer a small gift to your guests before they leave the party. And, when your small gift can double as party decor, you’re a really smart party planner. For this celebration I created these festive mini piñata boxes.

What I love about them is that they are multi-purpose. Not only do they make your table look fabulous and festive, they can also act as a place card for your guests. Just tuck each guest’s name into or on top of the piñata.

How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo |
How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo |

In addition, these piñatas are also boxes. Instead of smashing them, you simply open them to reveal a variety of yummy treats inside. Each guest can take one home as a little memento of the party. Learn how to make them here.

Cinco de Mayo Party Tip:

Lastly, remember to relax and have fun. A stressed out or nervous host isn’t fun for you or your guests, especially for Cinco de Mayo.

One thing I like to do is set aside 5-10 minutes before the event starts to sit down and enjoy a cocktail (in this case, a big ol’ margarita). Not only does this allow me to enjoy the fruits of my labor (and sample the product), but it also gives me a chance to relax before guests arrive.

How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo |

When entertaining, strive for excellence, but remember to keep things simple. In other words, pay attention to the small details, but don’t let them drive you bananas. Guests will remember if you didn’t have limes and salt for their margaritas. However, they won’t care if the salt was imported or the limes were shaped like miniature swans.

Looking for more of my Cinco de Mayo party ideas?

How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo |

With that, you’re ready to tackle Cinco de Mayo like a pro.  I hope you found these creative and colorful Cinco de Mayo ideas helpful!  Now let’s party!


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    1. I found mine at Antrophologie. Target had a knock-off last year. However, I don’t think either are selling them anymore. I have seen them at HomeGoods too.

      xo Michael

  1. Love your blog! I particularly like that most everything you use is affordable for the average person and looks like it costs much more. Good for you!
    What salad would you take for a ladies “everybody bring a salad lunch”? Not a fancy luncheon, just a monthly get together. I always take the same thing and want something different this time. Thanks!

    1. Lynn, thank you so much! That’s the goal here, so I’m glad I’m achieving it!

      As far as salad, are you needed like a green salad or a side salad, like a pasta salad? Either way, a REALLY fun idea would be to make my Antipasto Kabobs and serve it on a bed of mixed greens with a pesto vinaigrette or balsamic vinaigrette. Yum! It’s kind of the best of both worlds, plus the presentation would be beautiful. Here’s the recipe:

      I hope that helps!

      xo Michael

  2. Hi MIchael! SO super inspired by this post! Thank you! Can you share your “splattered” chrysanthemums trick?!? I so want to make them! 🙂 All the best!

    1. Terrell – Aren’t they cool? There’s no trick. I actually just bought them like that. At Walmart no less. Hope that helps.

      xo Michael

  3. Everything looks amazing! I love your homemade gift boxes and the twist on the mini cheesecakes. Thank you for the historically correct explanation of the holiday’s origins, too. Do be sure to say “Muchas gracias” (with an ‘a’) though! I love your blog – you really do provide daily inspiration!!

    1. Thanks so much!! It’s been fixed. 🙂 You learn something new everyday. Just don’t tell my High School Spanish teacher. Haha. Thank you again.

      xo Michael

  4. I love this party!! Can’t wait fore more. Wondering if you can share your source for paper products? I have been looking and looking for non-traditional stuff for upcoming graduation party! I see lots of cool stuff-just not always in the budget! I will be watching for recipes!! Thank you! Cheers~

    1. Of course! What do you mean by paper products? Napkins and things? They are from Wal-mart and Target. The wood cutlery is from Target’s Dollar Spot. However, you can find large quantities via or even Amazon. Hope that helps. If you needed something different, let me know.

      xo Michael

      1. Yes, straws, napkins,-sorry was not very clear! And I do need big quantities-just want them to be somewhat cool! I have not tried Etsy yet. thanks!