Easy Tips to Planning Your Mexican-Themed Birthday Fiesta
Games, Decor & Tortilla Recipes to Bring Your Party to Life
There’s nothing like getting together in person for a birthday with good friends, tasty food and fun games. Whether you are planning your own birthday bash or a party for a loved one, draw some inspiration from down south and throw a festive Mexican-themed birthday celebration with the tips below.
Let’s Taco-Bout the Party Food!
Let’s be honest, food is an absolutely essential element of every party! Entertaining experts says it’s key to serve food that is universally liked and easy to eat. Luckily, a taco bar fits both criteria!
Start by choosing a few crowd-pleasing taco recipes, like Casa Mendosa®’s Mexican Shredded Beef Tacos, Chicken and Pineapple Salsa Tacos, and Spicy Shrimp Corn Tortilla Tacos. Determine if you need to double or triple the recipes based on the expected number of guests, make a list and get shopping!
Tacos make for great party food since you can prepare many of the ingredients, like chopped vegetables, shredded cheese, and spice mixes, well in advance. Meat is central to most taco recipes and can also be prepared ahead of time. This shredded beef taco recipe (above) should be started earlier in the day, since it takes a few hours to cook to perfection in the oven. Shrimp cooks on the stovetop quickly, while the Chicken and Pineapple Salsa Taco recipe makes it easy by using store-bought rotisserie chicken, giving you extra time to focus on the rest of the party prep.
On the day of the party, set up a large table for the taco bar in an easily accessible location. You can organize the taco bar one of two ways. First, you could spread out all the fixings in small bowls and plates with serving tools and labels for each ingredient. Print out the taco recipes you picked earlier and leave the printed pages on display near the table. Party guests then have the option to follow the recipes to the T, or make their own custom tacos with the variety of ingredients available. Or, assemble the tacos yourself (maybe form an assembly line with a few helpers!) and leave them out on the table (with optional taco-identifying labels). If you choose this pre-assembled option, avoid taco spillage by purchasing taco stands online or at the dollar store.
Your guests will love building signature tacos or munching on delicious pre-assembled ones. Make sure to prepare extra ingredients – partygoers will definitely go back for seconds and thirds!
Create a Colourful Fiesta
The key to decorating for a Mexican-themed birthday party is to incorporate lots of colour! Use traditional colours like yellow, turquoise, purple, fuchsia, and lime. Paper flower displays and punched paper banners, called papel picado are common decor at Mexican fiestas. These banners can be made at home using online tutorials and basic supplies like tissue paper, tape and string. To decorate dining tables, lay down brightly coloured tablecloths and create centrepieces from items such as tea candles, real or paper flower bouquets and small, potted cactuses. If real candles aren’t a viable option, replace them with battery-powered string lights placed in empty jars or Corona bottles. For a special photo opportunity, hang a big banner or sign with a funny catchphrase, such as “Fiesta Like There’s No Mañana,” above the birthday guy or girl’s seat of honour.
Another fun way to decorate for a Mexican-inspired birthday party is to lean into Day of the Dead decor. The Day of the Dead (or Día de los Muertos in Spanish) is an annual Mexican holiday that is usually celebrated on November 1st and 2nd. Decorations tied to this holiday include brightly painted skulls and skeletons dressed in outfits. Look for this type of decor online or in dollar stores, especially around November.
Ain’t No Party Like a Dance Party
Keep your party guests entertained with Mexican-inspired activities like dancing, piñata-swinging competitions, and photoshoots!
First, ensure you always have a steady stream of Mexican tunes playing in the background and room for guests to dance. You can find catchy and upbeat playlists on music streaming services by searching for “Mexican Dance Party.” Consider learning a few salsa moves through online tutorials before the party to teach to your family and friends.
Social media station
Construct a photo backdrop to create some magical Instagram content! A photo backdrop gives your guests the perfect opportunity to capture the memories of this Mexican birthday celebration. You can create the backdrop using store-bought kits, which include a variety of funny props, or you can go the DIY route. Hang a colourful tablecloth up on a wall and tape some cut-out shapes onto it, like cactuses, flowers, and Day of the Dead skulls. For props, print and cut out photos of funny sunglasses, sombreros, maracas, or any other accessories. Glue or tape the photos to a long popsicle stick. Place the props near the backdrop so guests can hold them up during their photoshoot. Most guests will take photos with their own phones, so you can either recruit someone to be the photographer or set up a phone tripod for self-timer pictures.
Whack a piñata!
Even adults get excited about the chance to whack a piñata! Choose one from your local party store that plays up the Mexican theme, like a colourful llama, cactus or taco. Now you have a decision to make: Do you go with our recommendation and stuff the piñata with chocolate and candy, or do you go the traditional Mexican route and fill it with fruits like guavas, oranges, and jicamas? Hang your piñata from a tree in the yard or a hook in the ceiling, give a guest a baseball bat, and let the fun begin! If you can’t easily hang your piñata, tape its string to the end of a long broomstick and ask the tallest person in the room to hold it while guests take turns swinging.
Don’t forget to serve some tasty snacks throughout the party games. Keep bowls of Casa Mendosa® Baked Tortilla Chips at easy access points, along with guacamole, queso and salsa. Casa Mendosa® Cinco De Mayo Party Pinwheels also make for an easy-to-grab and mess-free snack.
There’s Always Room for Dessert
Every great birthday party ends with a delicious dessert! Feed that end-of-the-night sugar craving with a treat your guests will never expect – Ice Cream Churro Tacos. This dessert pairs perfectly with the taco bar and features baked Casa Mendosa® tortillas, ice cream, and your favourite toppings. Stick a candle inside one of the tacos and serenade the birthday boy or girl with a rendition of Happy Birthday, or Mexico’s traditional birthday song Las Mañanitas.
If you have room in your party budget, many local bakeries offer custom cookies in whatever shape, design and colour you can imagine! Ask for cute green cactuses, intricate Day of the Dead skulls, or cartoon taco-shaped cookies.
If you’re serving coffee, consider also offering Casa Mendosa® Mexican Spiced Coffee Tortilla Dessert Cups. Casa Mendosa® tortillas are brushed with butter, cinnamon, sugar, and a pinch of cayenne before baking inside muffin tins to create an impressive cup. The instant coffee inside will give your guests the caffeine they need to keep partying, and the whipped cream and fruit will satisfy any sweet tooth!