18 Easy Ideas for Hosting an Outdoor Cinco de Mayo Celebration
Cinco de Mayo Fiesta
On Cinco de Mayo, keep things colorful and casual at home with a Mexican-theme party filled with food, family, and fun. We give you tips for party presentation, along with our best Mexican party recipes.
Bold blooms are one of our favorite Cinco de Mayo decorations. Place stems of bright flowers and bold cactus plants in old glass jars to set the mood for a Mexican fiesta. Let the party begin!
Adults-Only Bar Table
Tasty Food Spread
A family-style Cinco de Mayo spread helps keep with the party's casual tone. Offer guests an array of tasty Mexican appetizers like salsas and sauces to try, and bring hot dishes directly from the oven to the table. If you can, prepare salads and appetizers the day before, so you're not scrambling to finish dinner as the guests arrive.
Don't worry about providing different glasses for each kind of drink served—these colorful glasses work for margaritas, cocktails, and nonalcoholic drinks alike! The mismatched floral patterns add a gorgeous pop of color and pair well with plain glasses if you need to supplement a few extras for a large crowd.
Cinco de Mayo Place Setting
It wouldn't be a Mexican fiesta without a bright and fun place setting. Pair bright plates and napkins with metallic utensils for a burst of color. Using vibrant serving ware means you don't even need a tablecloth—the dishes and linens speak for themselves! And don't worry about matching dishes and napkins; one of our favorite Cinco de Mayo party ideas is mixing and matching the bright colors for a large crowd.
Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Favors
Party favors aren't just for kid's parties! An inexpensive cactus plant placed in a brightly colored mug makes an easy, creative Cinco de Mayo party favor idea. Check your local home and garden store for inexpensive cactus plants (they don't all have to match!) and check thrift or discount stores for a mismatched collection of bright mugs.
Editor's Tip: Use these gifts as table centerpieces. They're the perfect two-in-one Mexican party decorations!
Burnt-Orange Anejo Sour
This margarita-whiskey sour combo is a must-have at any Mexican-theme celebration. Our tasty recipe combines dark tequila, orange liqueur, sweet vermouth, and classic orange soda to create a cocktail your guests will be raving about long after the party ends. To get the perfectly garnished look, brûlée orange slices (with a kitchen torch or in the oven) to place directly on the drink's surface.
Shrimp Ceviche Tostada with Fennel and Grapefruit
For an outdoor Cinco de Mayo party, these tasty tostadas—with shrimp, fennel, and grapefruit—are the perfect make-it-yourself option. Lay out the corn tortillas and all the toppings (you'll just need to prep the toppers the vegetables), and let guests put together their own.
Make-Ahead Chunky Guacamole
Green onions, fresh cilantro, and hot pepper sauce make up this coarsely mashed crowd-pleasing Mexican appetizer. Because this guacamole is made with sour cream and lime juice, you can make it a day in advance and it won't brown in the refrigerator, saving you time on party day. Be sure to cover the guacamole with plastic wrap to keep out air that will also cause the avocado mixture to brown.
Spoon Bread-Stuffed Poblanos
Stuffed peppers topped with roasted corn will be the star of your Cinco de Mayo party food spread. Char the poblanos to make them soft and tender while giving them a smoky flavor that perfectly accents the mild heat of the pepper. This vegetarian dish packs just the right amount of punch for all guests to enjoy.
Pickled-Jalapeno Fried Chicken
When you start planning your Cinco de Mayo party menu, fried chicken is likely not at the top of your list—but it should be. Our jalapeño marinade instantly turns an American classic into a spicy main dish that pairs well with the rest of your Mexican cuisine.
Chocolate Banana Air-Fryer Empanadas with Cinnamon Whipped Cream
You're looking at the perfect Mexican party dessert. These hand pies are golden and delicious after just six minutes in your air fryer.
Test Kitchen Tip: Serve this Cinco de Mayo recipe with plenty of homemade whipped cream!
Tres Leches Strawberry Shortcake
Put our delicious tres leches spin on this classic American dessert. To make the cake, pour the classic tres leches milk mixture over a freshly baked shortbread, then top with fresh berries. It's quick, easy, and so tasty!
Tag Your Drink
Make it easy for friends to remember which glass is theirs with this fun Cinco de Mayo party idea. Simply use a zester to initial a lime wedge for each guest's drink.