Cinco de Mayo, the Fifth of May, is a Mexican holiday. Cinco De Mayo is celebrated to recognize the victory of the Mexican army (1862) over the French during the Battle of Puebla. This holiday is not celebrated so much in the country of Mexico as it is in America where Mexican Americans live.
Cinco De Mayo is a festive holiday that has come to be a day of cultural celebration and recognition of Mexican traditions and customs. From Mariachi bands, sombreros, and parades to spicy dishes topped with beans and cheese, Cinco De Mayo is a lively and fun way to get to know a little more about our Mexican neighbors. We’ve listed ways to celebrate Cindo De Mayo whether at home or out and about.
Attend an Event
The LICM will be hosting its annual Cinco de Mayo celebration to teach children about Mexican culture. With arts and crafts, Mexican music and miniature sombreros, little ones are sure to enjoy the festivities.
When: Saturday, 5/5, 2:30 PM-4:30 PM
Age Group: All (we recommend 3+)
How Much: Free with museum admission
Where: 11 Davis Ave., Garden City, NY
Contact Info: 516-224-5800
Read a book
Share Mexican culture with children by reading a picture book with them. One fun book features everyone’s favorite Chihuahua, Skippyjon, in the New York Times best seller Skippyjon Jones, Class Action.
Teach kids a few Spanish phrases with the loving and imaginative book Abeula about a little Mexican girl, her grandmother, and their adventures ”flying” over New York City.
Too Many Tamales is a great read about a little girl trying to be just like her mama, but accidentally drops her mother’s diamond ring in a batch of over two dozen tamales.
Cook Mexican Fare
Cooking traditional Mexican foods can be a nice break from the ordinary dishes a non-Mexican child may be used to. Try tacos, burritos, and tortillas made with fresh Mexican ingredients. The kids will love creating these multi-layered dishes and are more likely to eat what they help create. A favorite Mexican dish is Arroz con Pollo (rice with chicken) or if the cooler weather keeps up, Tortilla Soup. Click here for a list of authentic, yummy, and manageable dishes. Many local grocery stores now carry “ethnic” sections where customers can find Mexican spices, sauces, or wraps.
Visit a Mexican Restaurant
Long Island Mexican Restaurants will be in full celebration mode this Saturday. With live music, mariachi bands, mini sombreros, colorful costumes, and bright decorations, patrons will be sure to get into the spirit. Here are two Mexican restaurants to try:
Caracara Mexican Grill
Where: 354 Main Street, Farmingdale, NY
Contact Info: 516-777-2272
Where: 94 East Main Street, Babylon, NY
Contact Info: 631-587-0122
Crafts and At Home Activities
It’s always fun to explore a new culture with children. Teaching them about a country’s flag, geographical location, and national language is a good first step to acclimating them with a new place. How about practicing a few phrases of Spanish, creating colorful Mexican inspired vests out of construction paper and markers or knocking down a treat-filled pinata? Maracas are simple to make and can be used from a variety of items – all within reach of the home pantry. Also try downloading a Mexican tune and let the Cinco de Mayo festivities begin!
By Michelle S.