Feliz cumpleanos is how you say "happy birthday" in Spanish, but you don't have to know the language to understand the appeal of this fiesta. Your backyard, decorated with store-bought paper garlands, is the ideal setting. Mismatched table linens and dishes fit the theme, as long as they explode in a riot of color. An ice-cream-sundae bar is a welcome alternative to cake when the temperatures reach tropical levels: Set out toppings with Mexican flair, like spicy candies and lime garnishes; kids can make spoons out of cinnamon-sugar tortilla wedges to eat their dessert. A pinata supplies uproarious fun that escalates the moment it breaks, releasing a shower of toys and sweets. Even if your address is north of the border, everyone's sure to have an afternoon that's muy bueno!
Glue crepe paper fringe to blank notecards for invitations; use rubber stamps to state the occasion.
Fruits, candies sweet tortillas, nuts and caramel sauce make up the help-yourself sundae bar.
A pinata guarantees fun for all; make your own or decorate a store-bought version. When the pinata breaks, everyone makes a mad dash for the treats -- candies, whistles, and inexpensive toys. Be sure to keep extras on hand, just in case any kids miss out in the scramble.
Treat bags are handed out for collecting all of the goodies from the pinata. They're really just plain colored bags with fringed crepe paper and paper festooning glued on in rows.