Don’t worry about clashing. It’s hard to go overboard with bold colors at a Mexican celebration, where decorations in hot pink, aqua, and lime meet their match in the bright flavors of the menu. Many party stores and websites (such as plumparty.com and pinatas.com) offer inexpensive Mexican-themed paper flowers, napkins, and piñatas. In keeping with the casual mood, you can forget about coordinating the glasses and plates and concentrate on what you put in them: an easy assortment of quick-cooking and store-bought dishes. As guests arrive, keep them happy with quesadillas, chips, and guacamole washed down with lemonade or sorbet margaritas.
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2 of 5Quentin Bacon
Soup and Starters
Kick off the festivities with a cool cucumber soup and finger-friendly snacks.
With all the fixings for deluxe burritos set out in bowls, it's no problem if one guest is a vegetarian and another doesn't eat dairy. People can help themselves.
For the sake of efficiency, arrange the burrito ingredients in the order they'll be added to the tortillas, starting with the more substantial rice and chicken and ending with the toppers, like chopped greens. Keep tortillas warm by wrapping them in a kitchen towel.
The rules are simple: A piñata full of treats―candy, small toys, fruit―is suspended from a tree (a rope held by two adults will also do). The host draws a 15-foot circle around the piñata, inside of which players can’t stand unless it’s their turn (otherwise they risk a bonk on the head). Everyone lines up, youngest players first. After being blindfolded and spun around, each player gets three whacks at the piñata with a stick. When the piñata finally bursts, prizes scatter across the ground, leading to gleeful pandemonium. Since the smallest children often lose out in the mad scramble, it’s a good idea to stow away some extra candy ahead of time to make sure the game is a hit with everybody.