Celebrate Cinco de Mayo With These 6 Affordable Party Ideas

Written by Deanna Nguyen | May 3, 2021

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Cinco de Mayo (May 5) is more than just a celebration of Mexian culture and heritage; it’s a holiday that commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War on May 5, 1862. Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. But, whether in Mexico or the U.S., the holiday gathers parades, parties, and large festivals with Mexican culture at the front and center.

If you’re planning on celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year by hosting a party and you want to save a buck or two, take a look at the ideas below. As a reminder, if you’re not of Mexican heritage, it’s important to educate yourself on the holiday and customs and avoid being culturally insensitive to those from the Mexican community. Also, no matter how you celebrate, be sure to follow local COVID-19 guidelines and practice social distancing whenever and wherever possible.

Send Evites

Cinco de Mayo Evite Invitations

A golden rule for saving money (and trees), is to go paperless for invites. We like using Evite, Paperlesspost, and Punchbowl, all of which have Cinco de Mayo themed evites. You can also customize your own evite and add personalized messages. Add pictures and play around with the fonts; let your guests know that you’re serious about the party but want to have a little fun with the preparations. Most evites are free, but you can unlock more by paying.

Make Your Own Piñata

DIY Piñata

You can’t throw a fiesta without a piñata! Consider looking up DIY piñata tutorials and gather the materials to make one on your own. You’ll mainly need tissue or crepe paper, newspaper, glue, scissors, water, flour, masking tape, and a cardboard or balloon. You may already have these supplies, but if you don’t, Walmart or Michaels has arts and crafts supplies at affordable prices. Get your creative gears spinning and make piñatas for both kids and adults to enjoy whacking, whether it’s a strawberry or a taco piñata. Oh, and don’t forget to fill it with candy!

Have Guests BYOB and BYOF

Backyard Party BYOB

If you’re inviting guests who don’t mind bringing their own food and alcohol, then why not turn your Cinco de Mayo party into a potluck? Just make sure that the dishes and drinks are Mexican recipes. This way, you’ll save a lot of time and money, and there will be plenty of varied food and drinks to go around. From homemade guacamole to savory chicken tostadas, Mexican food is at the heart of every fiesta. As for the drinks, set up your own bar and learn how to make a variety of cocktails and margaritas that go perfectly with the delicious Mexican dishes.

Prepare Games and Activities

Outdoor Limbo

Besides the piñata, put together games and activities that kids and adults will enjoy. These can either be DIY or digital, so no need to go buy board games. For the adults, you can play the Chili Pepper Guessing Game, which requires a keen sense of taste and high tolerance for spices. Essentially, the players will have to guess the type of chili pepper they’re tasting, and to increase the difficulty level, you can blindfold them. For both kids and adults, a good ole game of limbo never hurt anyone (hopefully). All you need is a long pole and something to prop it up, whether it’s two people holding it at each end or a stack of boxes. Don’t forget to play music!

Craft Your Own Decorations

Cinco de Mayo Party Decorations

If you enjoyed making your own piñata, why not continue your DIY streak with the party decor? Make your own papel picado banner with supplies that you already have thanks to the piñata crafting session; all you need is colored tissue paper, scissors, markers, yarn, and tape. You can also make giant fiesta paper flowers, which requires colored tissue paper as well. Decorate doorways with these vibrant paper flowers to add a pop of color to your party and home. If you have kids, make sure they join in on the fun and engage their learning skills and creativity with these DIY projects.

Support Small Mexican Businesses

Mexican Restaurant food

Plenty of chain restaurants (and some retailers) will offer Cinco de Mayo deals, but rather than grabbing some Taco Bell or Del Taco for your party, consider supporting local small Mexican businesses. This is even more important if you’re not a part of the Mexican community. If you want to show that you’re respectful of Mexican history and culture, do the research and buy from Mexican business owners. From food to party supplies, get everything you need for your Cinco de Mayo party by searching for the Mexican businesses that need the support.

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