Margaritas. Nachos. Friends. Sombreros.
What’s not to love about Cinco de Mayo?!?
We throw a fiesta each year to avoid the crowds at local Mexican restaurants so I thought it was only appropriate to document everything this year and share with fellow party planners (pro and amateur)! Enjoy!
- Plan your party and be prepared to re-plan because we all know nothing goes perfectly the first time.
- Start thinking through your party details early including the day and time of event and what all you want included. This year I decided to provide all food and drinks and just asked friends to show up and have a good time. I’m usually stressed out by the time party starts because everything isn’t in it’s place (yes, I’m that OCD) and then when people bring their designated items I have to (or rather, like to) find a dish to put it in and find the right spot on the table for it. So this year I’m handling it all in advance so when people arrive I can drink my margarita and actually enjoy the party with friends.
- Have a plan B for weather. We finished our patio project earlier this year and I’ve been waiting to host a party on it to celebrate! But of course it’s going to be 50 and rainy on Cinco de Mayo when only one week ago it was sunny and 80 by 9am! So plan accordingly and get creative with the space you have to keep people occupied (see engaging ideas below).
- One to two days prior to the event day set everything out where you want it go. This allows you to visualize the space you have (or lack of) so you can replan or reorganize or even see what you may be missing. I usually set out empty bowls and pitchers with little pieces of paper noting what they’ll contain. My husband gets annoyed every time I do this because it looks cluttered when all the bowls are empty, but I remind him it’s only going to be out another 24 hours and through the event, and really, just get over it 🙂
- Let friends help if they ask. I know I said above that I told everyone not to bring something but sometimes friends really feel better helping. So if they offer, suggest something small they can do that’s convenient for you both. One of my friends really wanted to bring juice boxes for the kids so I asked her to drop them off the night before so I had them on hand and could put them out when I was ready to, on my own time. Another friend had supplies I needed to complete the DIY photo booth backdrop so I suggested she bring those earlier in the week. Another friend was home during the day and offered to help prepare the food the day of which was a huge help to me to have another set of hands. If no one offers, that’s perfectly fine, just keep in mind that people ask to help for a reason and you’re allowed to take advantage of it!
- Keep people engaged and give them something fun to do while waiting for the food line to shorten. And give the kids something fun to occupy their time other than destroying your playroom. Especially if the weather is not cooperating for an outside fiesta.
Chalk board designed by Chalk It Up Occasions
Kids activity: Make Your Own Maraca table
Kids activity: Coloring Stations
Using butcher paper, cover a table (or makeshift table with cinder blocks and a piece of wood) and let the kids go to down all over it. When they’re done, apply another layer of butcher paper or rip off and throw away.
Another quick and easy coloring station idea is to print black and white copies of pictures and let the kids color them in. Google “black and white coloring maracas” or something similar, select a free image, and print!
- Prepare tasty and creative finger food so people are satisfied but don’t require a table and chair to finish their plate. This save so much space in your house and eliminates the need for additional plates and cutlery. Plus, with finger foods, people can quickly fill their plate then leave the kitchen to keep the line flowing.
- Mini beef burritos: recipe and instructions borrowed from The Girl Who Ate Everything
- Individual 7-layer dip cups: recipe and instructions borrowed from Love from the Oven
- Chili Lime Mexican Corn Salad: recipe and instructions borrowed from A Dish of Daily Life
- Sombrero Cookies: instructions borrowed from AliLily
- Nacho Bar: adorable printable sign from My Pretty Party Shoppe
- Margarita Lime Dessert Bars: recipe and instructions borrowed from Crazy for Crust
- Serve a few different drinks people can grab and enjoy
I hope this works for you as well as it does for me! Head over to my Cinco de Mayo Pinterest board for more ideas!