There are so many wonderful ways to welcome spring in and around Philly, and Cinco de Mayo is one of the best. This list includes area events and specials, plus crafts, books, and even recipes that are creative, family-friendly ways to celebrate the holiday while teaching kids about Mexican culture and tradition.
Semana Mexicana- Philadelphia
May 1-6, 2017
Semana Mexicana (Mexican Week) is not one, but five days of festivities organized by the Mexican Cultural Center of Philadelphia. With concerts, a world premier dance performance, a cooking demonstration, and art exhibition, there's lots to do. The most kid-friendly option, however, is on Saturday, May 6, at a free community event that will include performances, activities and giveaways for the kids. Many Mexican restaurants citywide participate in Semana Mexicana, offering special menus and/or discounts throughout the week.
Festival de Cinco de Mayo- Kennett Square
May 7, 2017
Enjoy this multicultural Festival de Cinco de Mayo, a family-favorite in downtown Kennett Square, PA. The all-day street festival includes authentic food, craft vendors, face painting, mariachi bands, and folk dancing, all of it honoring Mexican heritage and culture.
Fiesta Cinco de Mayo- Wilmington, DE
May 6, 2017
Enjoy kiddie rides, a children’s village, a beer garden, arts and crafts, a margarita tasting, Mexican food vendors, and a mariachi band and folkloric dance for entertainment at this community festival.
Cinco de Mayo Street Party at El Rey- Philadelphia
May 5, 2017
Center City's popular Mexican restaurant, El Rey, throws its third annual Cinco de Mayo fiesta on the big day, blocking off the 2000 block of Ranstead Street for Mexican street food, beverages, and live mariachi music. Family-friendly activities will take place from 12 PM-4 PM, including street games and piñatas for the kids.
Beautiful Birds, Butterflies and Cinco de Mayo at the Camden Children's Garden- Camden, NJ
May 13 and 14, 2017
The Camden Children's Garden is celebrating this holiday for two days the following weekend in some very unique ways. Visitors can welcome the return of Monarch butterflies from Mexico and participate in holiday-themed crafts and activities, all while observing birds and butterflies up close.
Holiday Reads: Celebrate! It's Cinco de Mayo! and Off We Go to Mexico
Books are an excellent way to introduce children to Cinco de Mayo and Mexican culture, and these picture books geared for preschool and elementary school-aged kids are a good place to start. Celebrate! It's Cinco de Mayo! highlights the many different ways to commemorate the day and explains its history through lively illustrations and kid-friendly, bilingual text. Author Janice Levy adds craft ideas and a "Find What's Missing" section at the end for extra fun. Off We Go to Mexico guides readers on a brilliantly illustrated tour of the country, interspersing Spanish words and phrases and interesting facts about the country's landscape and culture along the way. A map, timeline and Spanish-to-English dictionary are included.
Holiday Art Projects
It's simple, inexpensive and fun to decorate for Cinco de Mayo. With little more than scissors, string and brightly colored tissue paper, kids can celebrate and create, making papel picado and tissue flowers, both of which are popular at Mexican fiestas. They can make giant flowers to hang or small ones for a pretty headpiece, channeling their inner Frida Kahlo. And, while they are learning about Kahlo, they can also use thick paper or a canvas and some paint to try a self-portrait inspired by the beloved Mexican artist. Or, they can use a large piece of craft paper or even an old piece of fabric or a bed sheet to collaborate on a large mural in the style of Diego Rivera, another wonderful Mexican artist. Kids will love getting creative and messy, while learning more about Mexico at the same time.
Holiday Eats: Authentic Dishes Kids Will Love to Make and Eat
Guacamole, salsa, tacos, quesadillas: all are big hits at any Cinco de Mayo fiesta and tried-and-true kid favorites, but the holiday is the perfect opportunity to introduce little ones to other, lesser-known Mexican dishes that are every bit as yummy. With healthy ingredients and simple recipes, young cooks will love getting fancy with an agua fresca, thinking "outside the taco" with easy enchiladas and topping it all off with a rich, festive tres leches cake.
However you choose to celebrate, Happy Cinco de Mayo to you and your familia!