Los Angeles is hosting many special events in honor of Día de los Muertos, also known as Day of the Dead. While customs may vary, traditionally family and friends focus on the memories of deceased loved ones.
Families may construct Día de Los Muertos altars to honor their loved ones and ancestors who have passed away. These altars can be adorned with bright flowers, photos, candles, and meaningful objects.
Celebrations are joyous, and it is a way for families to connect and remember through generations. Additionally, family and friends may paint their faces to resemble skulls (Calaveras) while their bodies are in a skeleton costume (Calacas).
Día de los Muertos in Los Angeles
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038
Hollywood Forever’s 20th annual Dia de los Muertos celebration is happening on Saturday, November 2nd. This year’s theme is the “Monarch Butterfly and its winter home the Mexican state of Michoacán.” The Monarch Butterfly also serves as a symbol of “Dreamers and Immigrants whose personal journeys echo the annual migrations the butterflies make between Mexico and the U.S.” The event includes vendors (arts and crafts and food), more than 100 altars created by the community, hundreds of Aztec Ritual Dancers, five stages featuring music and theatrical performances, a costume contest, and more. Tickets are $25 a person, with children 8 years and under as well as seniors 65 and over free until 4:00 pm. Check the website for a complete schedule of events.
The Annual Olvera Street Muertos Artwalk is happening on Saturday, October 5th from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. This free, family-friendly event features more than 30 artists from throughout Los Angeles selling original artwork, clothing, jewelry, and more. Families will enjoy food, live music and face painting. The Muertos Artwalk will bring together artists from the greater Los Angeles community and will create awareness for the work being done by Olvera Street Merchants Association Foundation to keep cultural traditions alive in Los Angeles.
Día de los Muertos on Olvera Street
El Pueblo Historical Monument
125 Paseo de la Plaza, Los Angeles, CA
Celebrate Día de los Muertos on Olvera Street on Friday, November 1st and Saturday, November 2nd from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm each day. The festivities include live entertainment, art exhibits, and exquisitely decorated altars. A nightly procession is held each night at 7:00 pm from Friday, October 25th through Saturday, November 2nd.
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Carrera de los Muertos 5k
Olvera Street with race start at El Pueblo Historical Monument
125 Paseo de la Plaza, Los Angeles, CA
Carrera de los Muertos is happening on Saturday, October 26th. This 5K event is a special way to honor and remember loved ones who have passed. “You will experience a great sense of community through a little exercise, art, music and a lot of fun.” Check the website for prices (it’s less expensive the earlier you register).
Día de los Muertos Library Activities
Several Los Angeles Public Library branches will be hosting special Día de los Muertos activities throughout September and October. Activities include making papel picado, sugar skulls, mini-shrines (or Altars) – and much more. Some activities are also in honor of Latino Heritage Month. Check the main calendar listing to see all the options and branches.
Downtown Dia de los Muertos: Noche de Ofrenda
200 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Downtown L.A.‘s Grand Park is kicking off its 9 days of celebration of Día de los Muertos on October 26th at 7:00 pm. This free event features a traditional Noche de Ofrenda ceremony honoring the dead and featuring a “communal circle and blessing led by the indigenous community.” At this special event, families will see the unveiling of a “master altar that invites contributions from the entire community.” Enjoy Grand Park’s Día de los Muertos Altars and art installations developed by local artists and community groups that will be on display in Grand Park from October 26th to November 3rd.
Fowler Families: Celebrate Día de los Muertos
308 Charles E. Young Dr. N., Los Angeles, CA 90024
Families can celebrate Día de los Muertos at the Fowler Museum on Sunday, November 3rd from 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm. The festivities will celebrate “the Mexican cultural tradition of honoring departed loved ones through music, dance, regalia, and storytelling.” Following the performance, children will have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on art making workshop.
Annual Día de los Muertos Festival
24th Street Theatre
1117 W. 24th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007
24th Street Theatre invites families to its annual Día de los Muertos Festival happening on Saturday, November 2nd from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. This free event features food, live performances, face painting, altars, and more.
Día de los Muertos in the Valley
19th Annual Día de los Muertos Festival
Main Street Canoga Park
On Sherman Way (between Canoga and Topanga), Canoga Park, CA
This annual event is scheduled for Sunday, November 3rd from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Families will enjoy chalk artists, dance performances, live music, vendors, a classic car show, arts and crafts, food vendors, and more.
Día de los Muertos on the Eastside
Old Pasadena Day of the Dead
Throughout Old Pasadena, Pasadena, CA 91105
Old Pasadena is celebrating the Day of the Dead with a two-day event on Friday, October 25th and Saturday, October 26th. This free event features a Salsa dance party, community altars, Calavera face painting, craft activities, and much more. Check the website for a complete list of each day’s activities.
Día de los Muertos at Castle Park
3500 Polk Street, Riverside, CA 92505
For families looking for more cheer than fear, Castle Park’s Dia De Los Muertos daytime fun-tivities is the perfect place. Reveling in Mexico’s annual celebration of the connection between family members that have passed and those still present, Guests 12 and under can enjoy fright-less family fun on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am – 5:30pm. The fun begins at 11am when the ride park opens with arts and crafts such as pumpkin painting, Halloween costume contest, trick or treating, entertainment throughout the park, and more!
Día de los Muertos at Forest Lawn
Glendale: 1712 S. Glendale Ave., Glendale 91205
Covina Hills: 21300 Via Verde Drive, Covina 91724
Cypress: 4471 Lincoln Ave., Cypress 90630
Cathedral City: 69855 East Ramon Road, Cathedral City 92234
Forest Lawn brings traditional Mexican Day of the Dead customs to life with four authentic and family-friendly Día de los Muertos celebrations. There will be floral displays, community altars, folkloric dancers, Mariachi music performances, traditional cuisine, bilingual programs, face painting, arts & crafts, giveaways, and more. These events are free, and take place on Sunday, October 27 at Forest Lawn’s Glendale, Cypress, and Covina Hills locations and on Friday November 2, at the Cathedral City location.
Día de los Muertos in San Pedro
San Pedro’s 8th Annual Día de los Muertos Festival
398 W. 6th St., San Pedro, CA 90731
San Pedro is celebrating Día de los Muertos on Sunday, October 27th from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm. “Historic downtown San Pedro will be the place to celebrate Día de los Muertos as the streets come alive with art, culture, delicious cuisine and live entertainment.”
Día de los Muertos in Santa Monica
Day of the Dead
Woodlawn Cemetery, Mausoleum, and Mortuary
1847 14th St., Santa Monica, CA
Woodlawn Cemetery is hosting a Day of the Dead celebration on Sunday, November 3rd from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. This “family-friendly event celebrates the cycle of life and the remembrance of ancestors with live music and dance, storytelling, workshops, altars, craft vendors, and food trucks.”
Create Sugar Skulls At Home
If schedules prohibit you and your family from enjoying one of these celebrations around town, or if you’re looking for a fun way to get your kids involved in Día del los Muertos at home, try making sugar skulls.
It’s a simple process that only requires a few ingredients. Best of all, it can be adapted so you can make enough just for your family or a large batch to share with your child’s class, as Yvonne did.
Take a look at the video and step-by-step instructions below or see Yvonne’s post about how to make sugar skulls.
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