From quick food options and tasty cocktail recipes to festive decor and fun games, featured here are easy entertaining ideas for hosting a Day of the Dead Party.
What is the Day of the Dead?
“Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration takes place on October 31, November 1 and November 2. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.” [Source: Wikipedia]
Day of the Dead Party Cocktail Recipe
When you want to make your Day of the Dead party come alive, serve your guests a spirited spirit that will quench their thirst and put them in the mood for a fiesta. Featured here is a quick and easy cocktail called the “Lively Libation” that is an intoxicating combination of sweet and sassy.
1 Shot Casa Noble Tequila Reposado
1/2 Cup Pineapple Juice
Splash of Apple Juice
2 Tbsp. Agave
Pineapple Slice (for garnish)
Pour the shot of Tequila, the Pineapple Juice, and the Apple Juice in a cocktail mixer. Add the Agave (for sweetness) and ice cubes. Mix everything together, and pour into a Margarita glass using a strainer. Garnish with a slice of pineapple.
Day of the Dead Party Food & Desserts
Since the Day of the Dead is actually viewed as a festive celebration recognizing and honoring the people who have passed, the party should reflect a happy, joyful tone. That’s why having tasty food is always a must when hosting a Day of the Dead party.
If you’re not a culinary expert, have no fear. An easy, fast, and affordable way to serve your guests Mexican food is to warm up a prepared meals. Whole Foods carries delicious, pre-made Mexican meals (like the Amy’s line of natural and organic Mexican meals, such as the Enchilada Dinner with Spanish Rice & Beans shown below), which only takes a few minutes to heat up in a Microwave or about 45 minutes in a conventional oven.
In addition to serving your guests traditional Mexican food, display the food on vibrant, colorful plates (like these festive paper plates). It instantly adds color, pattern, and a punch of pizazz to your table display.
When it comes to desserts, instead of trying to make a traditional Flan or cake, opt for pre-made, Skull-shaped marshmallow pops that features colorful Day of the Dead traditional decorations on them. Day of the Dead Marshmallow Skull Pops are adorably authentic (and a treat that kids of all ages will love!). Soft, sweet and decorated in traditional Day of the Dead designs, these lollipops make a great addition to any Day of the Dead party. These marshmallow pops are carried at Cost Plus World Market for less than $2 each.
Day of the Dead Party Activities
One of the most enjoyable and easy activities that you can provide your guests to partake in is the creation of their own Day of the Dead skull masks. Simply find a Day of the Dead skull mask template online (the one shown below was designed by Yucca Flats), print the template on a piece of card stock or heavy weight paper, and use scissors to cut out the shape of the mask. Provide your guests with colored pencils, crayons, and other decorative accessories (like sequins and glitter), and let them use their imaginations to create their own masks. The masks can either be put on by attaching a string (to either side of the mask), or with a popsicle stick taped or glued to the backside of the mask (similar to wearing a Venetian Feather Stick Mask).
Day of the Dead Party Decor
When hosting a Day of the Dead party, go for bright, colorful decorations. Warm, autumnal colored fresh flowers make for a lovely table centerpiece, while playful Day of the Dead clip-on skull masks can be used to adorn the table or affix to glasses, place settings, and other items.
No matter how you choose to celebrate the Day of the Dead, make it a festive occasion that your guests will both enjoy and remember, and a special time to commemorate and honor the people in your life who have passed on.
[Disclosure: Complimentary product provided by Casa Noble Tequila; Image credits: Inspirations & Celebrations]