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Cinco de Mayo backyard fun for springtime

Holidays/How To/Activities
By Summer Lane

Photo: Deposit

I live in California, and around here, Cinco de Mayo is a fun way to add a little color and spice to your day – because why not?

Cinco de Mayo is not an American holiday. Rather, it is a celebration of Mexico’s win in the Battle of the Puebla in 1862, over French military forces under the control of Napolean III. Americans often celebrate Cinco de Mayo because it’s a fun way to indulge in Mexican culture, which has contributed richly to many areas of the United States.

As a native Californian myself, Mexican culture has deep roots here, and I can honestly say that I think the Golden State has the best Mexican food in the country! I have good memories of having a Cinco de Mayo-themed lunch every year when I was in elementary school (yum!). Right now, my daughter is also learning about cultures around the world in preschool, and this week’s theme is Mexico.

I was inspired by what she’s learning right now and put together this fun list of Cinco de Mayo party ideas for your kids at home, in homeschool, microschool – or just for the heck of it!

Party with a piñata!

I have a core memory of my grandparents bringing us a piñata from their trip to Mexico in the early 2000s. We filled it with candy and my little brother beat the heck out of it until the sweets showered the grass in our backyard and I clapped with my hands with giddy excitement. Adding a simple piñata to any Cinco de Mayo gathering is a fun and easy way to get kids to play together! Fill it with your sweets of choice – or small, simple prizes from a store like Dollar Tree.

Decorate with vibrant colors

One of the things that I love about traditional Mexican culture is their use of color. Like Frida Kahlo, you can make your table setting and backyard patio pop with simple rainbow-colored paper banners, fiesta-themed tablecloths, and hanging sombreros. Don’t forget to set the mood with some music, too! There are so many different fun playlists to choose from on platforms like Spotify, for example.

Choose your menu

The menu is the best part of a Cinco de Mayo party – to me, anyway! Mexican food is fresh and easy to make, and it’s full of delicious flavor. Again, because I live in the Central Valley of California, I eat and cook a lot of Mexican food, so I have a lot of fun experimenting with different flavor profiles. My favorite thing to make is a plate full of simple carnitas tacos. You can make the meat yourself or buy it premade (we have local butchers that pre-marinate the meat, too!). Serve it up hot with warmed corn or flour tortillas. Serve with red onions, tomatoes, chunky guacamole, spicy pinto beans, sour cream, salsa, and shredded lettuce (if desired). I like to whip up fresh cilantro-lime sauce, too, using the cilantro from my herb garden. Don’t forget to provide lime wedges for garnish – and you HAVE to remember to pop open a bag of corn chips with salsa.

I love making my own chips, too. One quick hack is to simply cut up corn tortillas into small wedges with a pizza cutter. Fry those wedges in oil until they’re brown and crisp. Remove and drain on a plate lined with a paper towel. Sprinkle with sea salt. Boom!

Other ideas for an easy meal include (and I’ve made them all!):

  • Tostada bowls,
  • Enchiladas,
  • Steak tacos/taco bowls,
  • Loaded quesadillas with all the fixings,
  • Enchilada casserole,
  • Crispy fish tacos with lime cilantro sauce,
  • Bean and cheese burritos.

Choose your party environment

I personally think that the best place to have a Cinco de Mayo party is outdoors! The weather has been really nice lately where I live, and I just love entertaining outside. You can set up a non-alcoholic margarita bar that’s fun for adults and kids alike by utilizing plastic margarita cups from the dollar store. Line the rims with sugar and whip up a quick batch of alcohol-free margarita mix:

  • Limeade
  • Orange juice
  • Lime juice
  • Sparkling water (plain)
  • Sugar (for the rim)
  • Lots of ice!

You can use strawberry limeade and switch out your juice flavors to whip up different flavors, ranging from blueberry to spicy jalapeno!

Talk about the history of the holiday

Why not use your Cinco de Mayo celebration to talk about the history of the holiday itself? While it’s not an American holiday, it has become a bit of a tradition in the states to celebrate the day. The U.S. is such a colorful and vibrant melting pot of different cultures that you might have a lot of fun digging into the history how Mexico at last defeated France. Learn more about the backstory here.

You can also watch this video below about the history of Cinco de Mayo, which explains why the holiday on May 5th is different than Mexico’s Independence Day!






The opinions in this article are specific to its author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Counter Culture Mom team. This specific article was written by Summer Lane, and may not be reproduced, except to quote for reviews or interviews, without the express permission of the author. 



Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 30 books, including the hit Collapse Series. She is an experienced journalist and columnist who reports on news within the U.S. and abroad. She is the Associate Editor for Right Side Broadcasting Network. Additionally, she owns Write Revolution News, where she provides a rapid-fire feed of the nation’s most important America First news and events.

Summer is also a mom and wife who enjoys rural country living, herding cats and ducks, and reading fiction. She is passionate about writing on women’s issues, parenting, and politics from a theologically-grounded perspective that points readers to the good news of the gospel.

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