12 Ways to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Chicagoland

While Cinco de Mayo has become a holiday focused on Mexican food and drinks, there’s more than one way to celebrate it. Dig deeper into the vibrant Mexican culture that’s behind the day that celebrates a Mexican military victory over the French.

Kids of all ages can learn to cook, explore Mexican-American establishments or try a few crafts at home. Here are a few fun ways to celebrate Cinco De Mayo with the kids at home and around the city.

Read more: Things to Do with Kids This Spring in Chicagoland

Events

Cinco de Mayo Concert

May 1, 2021

  • Address: 7501 W. Cermak Road, North Riverside
  • Cost: Free

Enjoy a dance performance by Folkloric Dancers and a musical performance by the band “Caliente” in honor of Cinco de Mayo. The celebration will be held in Center Court (across from Finish Line).

Cinco de Mayo with Jewel Osco

May 1, 2021

This fun-filled fiesta for the whole family includes delicious food and cocktail recipes. Plus, there’ll be live Mariachi, handouts, giveaways and more surprises.

Maracas (Virtual)

May 5, 2021

  • Hosted by: Chicago Public Library, Sherman Park Branch

You can make your very own maraca with Ms. Keeshana from Sherman Park Branch. Maraca craft kits can be picked up at Sherman Park Branch before the start of the program.

Crafts

Frida Kahlo-Inspired Mexican Headbands

This is great for older kids who are learning about the art and inspiration of Frida Khalo. Since the recipe from My Moppet requires wire cutters, make sure to keep the heavy tools out of too-little hands.

Get the tutorial at My Poppet.

Mini Piñatas

Avoid the mess of a giant piñata with these miniature versions from Instructables. Kids can make theirs as simple or complex as their heart desires. Best for indoor play: baseball bat not necessary.

Get the tutorial at Instructables.

Tissue Paper Tassels

Let kids help decorate for the at-home celebration with garland made of brightly colored tissue paper. This tutorial from Catch My Party and The Purple Pug makes the directions easy even for those new to scissoring.

Get the tutorial at Catch My Party.

Food 

Explore Mexico with Eat2Explore Food Kits

  • Cost: $24.96

Kids ages 5 and older can learn to cook recipes from Mexico with a kit that includes three recipe cards, spices from the country, a shopping list for fresh ingredients, explorer brochures, activity sheets, cooking tools and collectibles.

Best Mexican Restaurants in Chicago

Infatuation Chicago recommends the best Mexican restaurants in the city. One of our favorite kid-friendly Mexican restaurants is Antique Taco with locations in Bridgeport and Wicker Park.

Sweet Mexican Treats in Chicago 

If you have a sweet tooth, there are plenty of businesses across the Chicago area that offer churros, paletas and more. How can we choose just one treat?!

More Activities

National Museum of Mexican Art

  • Address: 1852 W. 19th St., Chicago
  • COVID-19 updates: Temporarily closed.

For a closer look into the dynamic and diverse stories of Mexican identity in North America, you can check out “Nuestras Historias” and virtual tours are available. While the museum is closed, you can find plenty of family-friendly activities on its website.

Dulcelandia

  • Various locations in Chicagoland

If making your own piñata sounds like work and you’d rather concentrate on the candy or pick one up at the store, Dulcelandia Candy is your place to go in Chicago. It’s a Mexican candy wonderland with four locations. Not able to make the trip? You can buy treats online.

Spanish/English Bilingual Picture Books for Kids

Whether your family speaks Spanish or your child is learning the language, here are some fun bilingual children’s books to learn more Spanish. Also, learn more about Mexico and its history with these children’s books recommended by Brightly.


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