Valentine’s Day Fiesta Party: Decorations, great make-ahead menu and fun family games for a family friendly Valentine’s Day Mexican Fiesta.
We had so much fun escaping to Mexico (at least in our minds) last Saturday for our Valentine’s Day Fiesta!
Valentine’s Day Fiesta Family Party
There is a point in your life, when your kids are old enough to be fun, and young enough to still want to hang out with you, where family parties are where it’s at.
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A romantic Valentine’s Day at a fancy restaurant is fun, and there’s nothing wrong with getting a sitter and having a night out, but when Valentine’s Day fell on a Saturday this year it seemed like the perfect occasion for a fun family friendly party.
And since it’s feeling like such a long, and cold winter we thought a trip to Mexico for the night would be just the thing, so this year for we had a fun family friendly Valentine’s Day Fiesta!
Valentine’s Day Fiesta Decoration Ideas
Guests were greeted at the front door with a few fun details. The airline tags for Mexico were found on-line and I attached them to my vintage suitcases. I also printed out a bunch of vintage Mexican Valentines, that I found on-line. They were so cute, and I displayed them all around the party.
For Seniors and Senoritas
We also offered Seniores and Senoritas a fun stick-on mustache for the evening, or a flower for their hair -such a fun and in-expensive way to set the mood for the night.
Decorating the Dining Room for a Valentine’s Day Fiesta
We set up the dining room for everyone to have dinner, and I had a lot of fun decorating it for a real fiesta feel.
DIY Paper Picados
One of my favourite details of the party were the pretty Mexican paper flags, called papel picado. After looking on-line and in party stores for them, I ended up making a simple version of them myself. I used tissue paper, and cut out simple patterns in red, light pink, and dark pink.
The patterns I came up with used a lot of hearts, diamonds, circles, and petal shapes. By folding the tissue paper, you’re able to create the patterns over the whole paper, and repeat the patterns. I just used trial and error to find ones that worked. I also used a few paper punches, and a simple hole punch to make my designs.
Part of their charm is in their imperfections and hand-made look. I made sure they all had some holes along the top, and hung them by threading them randomly onto string, and using sticky hooks to attach the strings to the ceiling. I also used some large rectangular white paper doilies, but in half, and thought they looked really really pretty too.
On the table I used my metal lanterns from the garden, I love the rustic metal for a Mexican feel. I also used some succulents and cactus in tall glass vases. See exactly how I made the cactus centre pieces here.
The cauctus definitely added the fiesta feel! The smaller tea light holders are from the dollar store. They didn’t come in my party colours, so I had to break-out the old spray paint, despite the cold-cold winter temperatures.
I was so pleased with how they turned out in bright pink and red, and added the bright hit of colour I needed to the table.
DIY Mini Pinatas
We also made some simple mini heart pinatas. I made them by cutting out two matching hearts from some thin cardboard cereal boxes, and some long straight pieces for the sides.
To make the boxes, I just used masking tape to tape the side pieces to one of the hearts. Then, I filled up the hearts with a few treats, and then taped the second heart on top.
Once the boxes were made, I decorated them with streamers. I wrapped the edge of the hearts first, then cut fringes into streamers folded in half, glued them on to the boxes, front and back, and finally trimmed around the outside.
These were such a hit with the kids. They kept shaking them and asking if they could open them. I sent one home with each of my little guests as a party favour, along with a special balloon from the kids table.
Fiesta Kid’s Table
Because we had 18 guests, we sat the kids at their own little table, right beside the grown ups.
For their table, I gathered up all the little tables and chairs I could find, and used a pretty cloth, and more mini heart pinatas to decorate. But my favourite detail of the kid’s table was the pretty centrepieces.
I found the balloons at the dollar store. They aren’t helium, they’re just air filled on a stick, which helped with being able to get them early and not having to wait until the last-minute.
I decorated the balloons by adding streamers, ribbons, gold foil ribbon, and silver tinsel yarn. I cut them to random sizes and tucked them into the top of the balloon sticks. My girls loved them and said they looked like magical Valentine wands!
One last fun decor detail, in the kitchen where the food was set up. I usually have this chalkboard there anyway, so I added this fun message…”taco bout a party”.
Family Friendly Drinks Cart
I set up my favourite little bar cart for the party with some non-alcoholic family friendly drinks. I loved including the little donkey as a decoration too, I picked him up at the dollar store in a pack of farm animals, in case you’re looking for some too.
On top we had a punch -not yet made when I took the pictures before our guests arrived. It was Strawberry-Lemonade, made with pink lemonade, strawberry drink, ginger ale, and some frozen strawberries as ice-cubes. It was a huge hit with kids and grown-ups.
Sometimes when I set up the bar cart, I make a little “cheers” banner to go over it, so this time I made one in Spanish, “Salud!”.
We also served an assortment of Jarritos Mexican soda pop. I went to a few ethnic grocery stores to find them, and these also were a real hit with the guests. They liked trying all the exotic flavours.
Grown-up Fiesta Drinks
In the kitchen there were a few Fiesta drinks for the grown-ups, including Corona beer and limes, and some tropical coolers. I thought about making a Sangria, but decided coolers were easier, and they were so yummy too.
Family Friendly Games
After everyone arrived and had a drink, we played a few easy games. I set up a couple in the living room on the ottoman.
Chopstick Candy Challenge
The fist game we played was with chopsticks. Players had 30 seconds to move as many pieces of candy from one bowl to the other using the chopsticks.
It’s always fun to see who the real competitors and strategists are at a party!
Conversation Heart Stack
For the second easy game, you had 30 seconds to see how many conversation hearts you could stack up like a tower, if they fell you could start over until your time was up. The great thing about these little games was has that both kids and adults could join in, and they were easy.
Pin The Tail On The Donkey
I also picked up a classic, old school, pin the tail on the donkey game. It was fun too; easy and certainly fit our theme.
Easy Valentines Day Fiesta Centre Piece
I set up all the food on the kitchen table, just to make things easier. I used some more of the succulents in glass containers for a centre piece, as well as another donkey, a vintage valentine, and the roses my sweet husband got me for Valentine’s Day.
For dinner we had:
- home made baked beans in the slow cooker (see my great recipe here)
- spanish rice
- tortilla chips
- tortillas (ordered from a local Tex-Mex restaurant)
- taco shells
Our meat options were:
- pork carnitas (Mexican pulled pork, also made in the slow cooker, I got the great recipe here)
- chicken with peppers, onions, and mushrooms
- ground beef with taco seasoning
As toppings we had:
- monterey jack cheese
- cheddar cheese
- shredded lettuce
- diced tomatoes
- green onions
- homemade guacamole
- fresh salsa
- hot sauce
- sour cream
It was so, so yummy, and even some of the kids went back for seconds!
Mexican Ice Cream Sundaes
After dinner, it was time for dessert! I did struggle with this one a little. We wanted something Mexican, but relatively easy. I know myself. And after decorating and cooking and hosting all day, I know that by the time I get to dessert I’m starting to run out of steam.
I originally wanted to fry some churros, but I’m so glad I went with Mexican Sundaes. They were delicious and fun. I made some home made spicy Mexican chocolate sauce for the ice cream, as well as some dolce de leche and they were both amazing!
Dulce de Leche Sauce
For the Dulce de Leche sauce, start with a can of sweetened condensed milk. Remove the paper label, but leave the can completely sealed. You submerge the can in a large pot of water, making sure the can is completely covered, and then boil it.
There is a warning that if the pot boils dry, the can could explode, so make sure to check it periodically and top it up with water if needed. Don’t let that warning scare you, if you make sure it’s covered in water you will be fine.
I’ve made this lots of times and never had a problem. I usually make it for Banoffee Pie, and boil it for 3 hours for a really thick sauce. For the ice cream sauce, I wanted it more runny so I boiled it about an hour. It came out perfectly. I may have even had trouble stopping myself from tasting it before the party.
Spicy Mexican Chocolate Sauce
The second sauce was the spicy Mexican Chocolate sauce. I’m not even a real chocolate fan, but there was something about the spice of the cinnamon, and the heat of the cayenne pepper that kept me coming back for more and more. And it was perfect to combine the heat with the cold ice cream. Serve both sauces warm.
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 340 g bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 - 3/4 tsp cinnamon (to taste)
- 1/2 - 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
- Heat whipping cream in a pot over medium heat.
- Add the chocolate chips and sugar to the cream, and stir until completely dissolved.
- Add the cinnamon, and cayenne pepper to taste, depending on how spicy and hot you like it.
- Serve warm over ice cream.
We served chocolate and vanilla ice cream, the dolce de leche sauce, spicy Mexican chocolate sauce, and Valentine sprinkles and candies along with whip cream, and cherries.
I also picked up an easy all ready prepared plain chocolate sauce in case the kids didn’t want anything spicy. This dessert was the perfect sweet ending to the night. With great friends, great food, and a quick trip to Mexico for the night in the middle of a cold winter, life really is a party!
You might also like our Backyard Fiesta here.
Also check out How To Make Your Faux Succulents Look Real post here.
You might also enjoy our Valentine’s Day Pizza Party here.