On May 5, 1862, the Mexican Army defied the odds and defeated French forces in the Battle of Puebla. Today in the United States, we use this great Mexican victory as the perfect excuse to drink margaritas and eat tacos. And why not? If you're looking for a great reason to throw a get-together this weekend or you just need a way to entertain the kids, Cinco de Mayo is that reason.

Eat, Drink, and Be Festive

Chances are you have most, if not all, of the ingredients for a classic Mexican meal right in your cupboards. Cinco de Mayo is an opportunity for you to introduce your children to a new culture of food.

There's the well-known guacamole with chips, the always-popular fajita, and the surprisingly delicious fish taco. You can even set up a taco bar for your family so that each member can create her own unique meal. Include the options of beef, chicken, and fish as well as a variety of salsas, lettuce, tomatoes, cheeses, and avocado.

And for the adults, you can enjoy a refreshing Mexican beverage such as a classic margarita. Don't forget to turn on some Mexican music.

Mexican-Themed Activities

A party's not a party without some fun games to play. For Cinco de Mayo, keep it cultural. Your local party store is likely to have some great decorations as well as piñatas ready to be filled with candy.

You can also teach your children some fun games such as Mexican kickball and the Mexican sombrero dance, or you can get creative with some arts and crafts by making your own piñatas or maracas.

Community Fun

Many areas hold local Cinco de Mayo celebrations, including Denver's festival, which includes traditional food, art, crafts, and music. This lively and family-friendly event attracts 400,000 people. Other major cities that hold Cinco de Mayo celebrations include Chicago, Omaha, Phoenix, Portland (OR), Reno, Kansas City, San Antonio, San Marco (TX), San Francisco, and San Diego.

Even if you don't live near a large city, you can find a party, or at least some drink specials, at your local Mexican restaurant. This way, you get the fun of the Cinco de Mayo celebrations without the clean up.

It's easy to enjoy Cinco de Mayo, either by inviting people to your home, laying low with the family, or heading out into your community. No matter how you choose to celebrate, use it as an opportunity to teach your children about a different culture and an important event in Mexico's past.