How To Throw a Mexican Themed Party

How To Throw a Mexican Themed Party

Imagine stepping into a warm space with bright colourful lights and the scent of rich, tangy spices in the air. A mariachi band plays traditional, energetic music on the guitar, trumpet, and violin. Dancers dressed in all-white costumes laugh and twirl as cut-paper banners sway brilliantly overhead.

You can create this festive ambience when you choose to throw a fiesta, otherwise known as a Mexican-themed party! The country of Mexico has a long, rich history of struggle and liberation. With so many holidays to celebrate, Mexicans have become experts at throwing incredible parties that stimulate the senses and keep guests dancing all night long!

This rich culture can lead to some incredible, colourful party themes! Whether you're throwing a birthday party, garden party, or hosting a corporate event, these Mexican party ideas will help inspire an unforgettable evening infused with heritage and heart.

Keep reading to learn how to create an evening inspired by the culture of this resilient Spanish-speaking country!

The Sounds of Mexico: Mariachi Music

To create instant ambience in your space, the first thing to do is hire a Mariachi band to play at your party.

If you've never seen a Mariachi band perform before, you're in for a treat! These dynamic performers won't merely set up shop in a corner, they'll roam your venue and make audience interaction central to their performance.

Mariachi performers play several traditional instruments, including a few Mexican instruments that your guests may not have heard of before. These include the Guitarrón and Vihuela Mexicana, two indigenous Mexican instruments that help Mariachi performers achieve their unique sound.

Traditionally, a Mariachi band will play a combination of traditional folk music and Latin songs, including contemporary pop hits that you will definitely recognise! Today, many Mariachi performers will also play the latest Top 40 hits in a uniquely Mexican style. These musicians are masters at blending fun and tradition to create an ethnic sound that will get every guest up on the dance floor!

It's best to break up a Mariachi band's performances so it can maintain a sense of novelty for your guests. For that reason, we recommend hiring a DJ to fill in the gaps. That way, there will never be a lull, and your Mariachis will remain the stars of the show!

Mexican party food

The Tastes of Mexico: Mexican Party Cuisine

When throwing a party with a Mexican theme, you will need to make choices about cuisine! Authentic Mexican fare incorporates beans, rice, and tortillas into stunning, flavorful dishes that reflect the country's early history with Spain. Some of these dishes will be familiar, while more authentic meals will offer a novel culinary experience for your guests!

If you choose to go the familiar route, you might begin by offering deep-fried tortilla chips on each table so that guests can enjoy a crunchy snack while they await the main course. You might offer a side of salsa for dipping.

Another popular option that is both delicious and entertaining is a table-side guacamole service - an exciting way for your guests to watch authentic guacamole appear before their eyes. A server might use traditional implements to shed light on a unique cultural food preparation technique.

To keep your guests active and involved, you might also set up a self-serve taco bar. Set out hard taco shells, flour tortillas, and corn tortillas, plus all of the delicious ingredients to fill them. This gives guests with a variety of dietary needs the opportunity to customise their Mexican feast.

If you wish to offer a sit-down dinner, you might offer more traditional dishes such as mole, tamales, flautas, or goat stew.

To wash it down, consider offering a variety of popular Mexican beers like Corona. For non-drinkers, pick up some Jarritas fruit-flavoured soda for a fun and festive refreshment!

papel picado

The Sights of Mexico: Mexican-inspired Decorations

The decorations that you will find at an authentic Mexican fiesta come from a deep cultural tradition. The most common decoration is papel picado, or pecked paper. Talented artisans cut intricate designs into delicate, brightly coloured tissue paper.

These individual sheets of gorgeous art hang all together to create beautiful buntings and banners that decorate ceilings and doorways. They are particularly precious because artisans make them from such ephemeral materials. They are only meant to bring joy for a short period of time, which is part of their charm!

You'll find colourful tissue paper in many of the gorgeous decorations used during Mexican celebrations. You might also decorate with large tissue paper flowers. These are simple to create by hand and suit any kind of Mexican-themed event.

Another way to incorporate Mexican culture into your decorations is to look to Mexico's traditional textiles. Looms and weaving have been a major tradition since Pre-Columbian times. Gorgeous folk art-inspired table dressings or wall hangings would soften the space and bring in designs that are important to many Mexicans.

When in doubt, choose to decorate with bright and bold colours that evoke the nation's aesthetic. Consider using paper lanterns, especially if your garden party will take place in the evening. Fresh floral centrepieces are also a beautiful way to evoke the country's charm.

Mexican dresses

The Fashion of Mexico: Ideas for Fancy Dress

If you like the idea of a fancy dress party, you'll have centuries of rich fashion traditions to choose from! It's important to remember, however, that this is a culture, not a costume.

Always avoid stereotypical, mass-produced costumes that mock rather than celebrate this beautiful culture!

Fancy Dress Inspired by Mexican Culture

Elements of traditional Mexican fashion have made their way into the mainstream. You might encourage your female guests to dress in a Mexican-inspired blouse with a woven or embroidered bib or neckline. These resemble the traditional Mexican huipil, a comfortable woven top.

These guests might pair their blouse with a full skirt - the more colourful the better! The most authentic Mexican skirts are ankle length, but any skirt with a flare is an excellent choice. You can add an extra authentic touch by accessorising with a brightly coloured sash that matches the skirt or blouse.

Men might choose to accessorise a shirt and slacks with a few common masculine accessories. They can take inspiration from your Mariachi band and wear a wide-brimmed sombrero hat. Men can also wear a sarape, which is a cross between a blanket and a poncho.

Simplify With a Dress Code

If you want to make the dress code simple, you might ask your guests to dress in all white with pops of colour from their accessories. Mexico is a hot country near the equator, so this is common at authentic fiestas! Your guests will be grateful for the light, airy clothing when it's time to hit the dance floor!

Otherwise, go in the other direction completely and ask your guests to come dressed in their brightest, most colourful finery - the bolder the better! This way, they will match your brilliantly coloured decorations.


The Games of Mexico: Festive Party Activities

Some of the most popular games played at Mexican fiestas will bear a resemblance to games that you already know! While some of these are traditionally children's games, there are many fun twists that you can incorporate if you wish to elevate them for adult audiences. Each activity is a wonderful way to keep your guests engaged and entertained throughout the event!

Hang a Piñata

One of the most ubiquitous Mexican party games is Piñata! The piñata is a colourful container made of papier-mâché and decorated with bright tissue paper fringe. The centre of the piñata is hollow so that you can fill it with a variety of treats and trinkets for your guests!

To play, blindfold a guest and spin them around to disorient them. Then, hand them a stick and allow them three attempts to hit the piñata. The goal is to break it open so that the treats will fall to the ground!

Breaking the piñata tends to take longer than you might expect, especially if your guests have been enjoying those Corona beers! A well-made piñata can be sturdy and difficult to break open! When the prizes inside begin to fall, however, guests go scrambling to collect their goodies!

In Mexico, piñatas are often filled with sweet tropical fruits and candies. At your party, feel free to fill your piñata with whatever you like! You might include a few extra desirable prizes to increase competition!

The contents of your piñata might even serve as your primary party favours for the evening. Consider handing out colourful bags or containers to make it easier for guests to collect and transport their loot.

Enjoy a Game of Lotería

Lotería is a colourful game of chance that you might call "Mexican Bingo." Instead of grids of letters and numbers, each card is a gorgeous piece of art inspired by Mexican culture. Artists often design and sell lotería cards in many colour schemes, themes, and motifs, so find the game that matches your chosen aesthetic!

Each board is a four-by-four matrix featuring a random assortment of images. In lotería, there is a "cantor" instead of a "caller." This person chooses a card from a deck and provides a clue as to which image they have selected.

If a player has the image on their card, they can mark it off. Traditionally, players in Mexico mark their cards with dried beans. The cantor will continue choosing cards and reading off clues until a player has marked four images in a row.

Instead of shouting "Bingo!" they shout - you guessed it - "Lotería!" If they have covered the correct images, the player will receive a prize. You can raise the stakes by offering high-end or desirable prizes, or keep it light with gag gifts!

Try a Limbo Challenge

A game of musical limbo is a wonderful, thematic way to get your Mariachi band in on the action! This physical challenge leads to a lot of hilarious pictures!

As your Mariachi band plays, two designated guests can hold either end of a long, decorative stick or pole. They should start by holding it up high enough for guests to pass beneath it easily. Your players will line up and dance beneath the stick as the music plays - but there's a catch!

With each lap, lower the stick to make walking underneath more challenging. Guests will need to bend, squat, and shimmy to pass underneath without touching the floor. Any guest who falls is "out."

Continue playing until the final guest can no longer get low enough to continue dancing! The last man standing can receive a prize for their remarkable flexibility and ingenuity!

Mariachi bands for hire
Looking to Hire a Mariachi Band?

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Throw the Best Mexican-Themed Party Ever!

If you're looking to throw a high-energy bash full of unique flavours, bright colours, and decades of tradition, you can't go wrong with a Mexican-themed party! Your guests will adore the cultural touches inspired by life across the pond. A fiesta is a bold party theme that will almost guarantee that every attendee will be up and dancing all night long!

If dancing is the goal, you will want to make sure to hire an experienced, talented Mariachi band that is up for the task! At Bands For Hire, you can have your pick of traditional Mariachi musicians who are eager to serenade your guest of honour! Check out our Mariachi Booking Guide to learn more!