When you think of Cinco de Mayo celebrations, one thing probably comes to mind, for better or worse: tequila. In other words, parties that can sometimes render kids personae non gratae. But with a few tweaks to the usual party, you can throw a Cinco de Mayo that's decidedly kid friendly. And here's how.
Raise the Bar on Food
Wow your family and guests with a quesadilla bar. Pre-bake the tortillas, and then set out an array of your most colorful and festive paper plates and napkins. Spray paint maracas gold and use them as your place settings. Let your family members or guests choose from precooked chicken or beef — and include all the key fixings (shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa and tortilla chips). As a special party favor, personalize a few aprons, so each person feels they are truly the chefs creating their own meals. Make the children feel that their size doesn't matter by adding homemade mini tacos and bite-size burritos to the mix.
And since you don't want to serve up just any salsa, make the occasion a little more special by whipping up homemade salsa. This Green Tomatillo Salsa is the perfect highlight to any taco or quesadilla bar.
For fun, set up a homemade photo booth using a poster or large map of Mexico as a backdrop. Who needs props? Great color combinations including orange, aqua, fuchsia and yellow will help create bright, fun photos for everyone to share.
For a fun children's game, buy a poster of a donkey and then use tracing paper to trace over the donkey's ears. Make enough copies of the ears for each of your guests to have one. Then, using stickers or small post it notes, attach to the ears and play “pin" the ears on the donkey. Since this kid-friendly version doesn't use pins, anyone can join in, even toddlers.
Bust a Piñata—and a Move!
Here's where some real fun comes into play: hang a piñata filled with hard candy, chocolates and small toys. Give the kids a real challenge by combining the piñata fun with a freeze dance-off contest set to some Mexican tunes.
Whether you're 9 or 90, one thing remains true: dessert is the best part of the meal. Everyone loves brownies, so why not mix it up a bit and try a Mexican Brownie. Cinnamon and cayenne in a brownie may make you a but skeptical, but the subtle flavor with just a bit of heat will be the perfect way to end your party.