A Cinco de Mayo party is a great opportunity to get together with friends and family, celebrate the spring season, and indulge in the delicious flavors of Mexican cuisine. Originally, the fifth of May commemorated a battlefield victory (not Mexico’s independence, as many assume), but the day has evolved in the United States to a day that celebrates all the wonderful things that embody the rich culture of Mexico and its people. 

You don’t need to create a formal dinner party or do extensive planning to prep for a Cinco de Mayo party. In fact, by taking a more casual, family-style approach with plenty of prepared- ahead dishes, you can focus on enjoying time with guests and celebrating in the moment together.

Here are seven Cinco de Mayo party ideas to help make your fiesta a rousing success.

1. Infuse a bit of Mexico into every drink

Whatever is on your drink menu for your Cinco de Mayo festivities, serve it up in style with cactus-shaped stacking glasses and hand-blown margarita confetti bottom rock glasses. Give your finest tequila the royal treatment with a show-stopping presentation…like, say, displaying it in a decanter specifically designed for the Mexican spirit, complete with a vibrant green blown-glass agave plant in the center. It’s sure to draw a few eyeballs — and glasses — to it.

Cinco de Mayo party with food and drinks in the foreground and a

2. Celebrate sangria season

What Cinco de Mayo party would be complete without refreshing drinks? This red sangria kit includes a citrusy sangria drink mix and Harry & David Ross Lane Red blend wine along with crispy Mandarin and pineapple slices for garnishing. A pack of Mocktails Sansgria is perfect for those who prefer to skip the alcohol, especially since it comes with orange peel garnishes and decorative etched wine glasses, which give off an Aztec vibe.

If non-alcoholic beverages are your thing, but prefer the taste of a margarita, that’s available, too. Then when the party’s over, wind down in the tub with another type of margarita – a bath bomb!

3. Serve up seasonal soups

Make spring soup a thing and let guests sample a variety of flavors, from tomato basil bisque and chicken chili to potato corn and zesty tortilla soup. The best part about these mixes is you hardly have to spend any time on prep. Don’t forget garnishes, such as sprigs of cilantro, sliced avocado, cotija cheese, green onions, tortilla strips, and sour cream. 

MORE: How to Ripen an Avocado

4. Make fiesta fish tacos or tostadas

Fish tacos are a classic Mexican dish and can be made with just a few ingredients: chopped cabbage, minced raw onion, fried or grilled fish (cod or halibut work best), and a spicy mayo for some kick. Use “street taco” small tortillas and garnish with fresh cilantro.

5. Set up a scrumptious salsa station

You can probably whip up a taco bar with your eyes closed, but how about a dipping station? Grab a variety of salsas and cheese dips, and present them in multiple wooden bowls so all corners of the house are covered. Serve with an assortment of empanadas and ready-made enchiladas.

Spread of tacos with salsa and cheese dip.

6. Dig into dulce desserts

Tres leches is a classic Latin American cake known for its creamy sweet goodness. If you’d rather not DIY this dessert, you can get it delivered right to your door. And for more daring taste buds, serve up some memorable chocolate-covered jalapeños…yes, you read that right! Your guests will be lining up to take selfies with these one-of-a-kind treats that bring sweat sweet and heat together in a most delicious way. If you’re into a lot of spice and feeling daring, go ahead and dip these peppers into jalapeño jelly.

7. Keep guests entertained with plenty of play

It’s not a Cinco de Mayo party without a piñata. These googly-eyed fellas come pre-filled with a variety of popular candy; the only problem is, they might be too cute for anyone to want to whack. 

After the outdoor fun, invite your group into the kitchen to concoct their own hot sauce varieties with this DIY hot sauce kit. It makes for a great parting gift.

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Jackie Rupp is a longtime writer and editor who enjoys covering home, family, and lifestyle topics. She usually writes with at least one cat by her side and juggles fostering kittens with dabbling in handmade crafts. A connoisseur of pancakes, you can find her brunching when not writing or working on home renovation projects.

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