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42 Events to Celebrate Día de Los Muertos in Los Angeles

Updated for 2023

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).

Traditional and Modern Día de Los Muertos Events in Los Angeles

Gloria Molina Grand Park’s Downtown Día de los Muertos
Gloria Molina Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Avenue, LA 90012

Honoring the people, places and ideas that merit reverence and commemoration, Gloria Molina Grand Park’s Downtown Día de Los Muertos welcomes parkgoers to contribute to a community altar and to stroll through the park to view 20 altars made by professional artists, local organizations and community partners. October 21 through Thursday, November 2, 5:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Día de los Muertos in Grand Park

Screening of “Coco”
El Capitan Theatre, 6838 Hollywood Blvd,  Hollywood,  CA,  90028

Continuing the celebration of Disney’s 100th anniversary with special engagements of eight classic films, the sixth feature in the celebration is Disney and Pixar’s Coco. COCO, a vibrant tale of family, fun and adventure, aspiring young musician named Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) embarks on an extraordinary journey to the magical land of his ancestors. There, the charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael Garcia Bernal) becomes an unexpected friend who helps Miguel uncover the mysteries behind his family’s stories and traditions. Daily showtimes for “Coco” September 15 through October 1 are 10:00am, 1:00pm, 4:00pm, and 7:00pm.

disney pixar Coco movie poster

Hollywood Forever Día y Noche de Los Muertos 
6000 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038

On Saturday, October 28th, celebrate at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery with Día de los Muertos from 9am to 3pm, and Noche de los Muertos from 5pm to 12am. The use of masks has always served as a form of cultural and religious expression dating back to ancient times. These ancient practices held a role in both, Mesoamerican funerary traditions and in contemporary folk celebrations in Mexico and Latin America. “Máscaras de México – Vida y Muerte en La Máscara” illustrates a multicultural approach around storytelling via rituals and practices passed down from generation to generation, it creates and supports a magical world of transcendence, an individual and collective spirit that is present in our lives. 

Los Muertos 5K
Olvera Street with race start at El Pueblo Historical Monument
125 Paseo de la Plaza, Los Angeles, CA

Everyone is invited to participate in a special 5K run/walk celebrating Day of the Dead on Saturday, October 28th beginning at 8:00 am. This family-friendly event gives you the chance to “tour historic Olvera Street and enjoy music along the course, beautiful finisher medals, and a post-race Día de los Muertos celebration.” Registration information is available online.  

Self Help Graphics Día de Los Muertos Celebration 
1300 E. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90033

Self Help Graphics and Art presents the 50th Annual Día de Los Muertos Celebration this year. Families are encouraged to “dress up in your favorite Día de Los Muertos fashion and take part in a community walking procession led by local Aztec dancers.” There will also be live performances, food vendors, artisans, and more. Register online for this free event.  

Día de Los Muertos at NHM
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles 90007

Join us on November 5 as we honor the customs and heritage around Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a cultural tradition observed in Mexico and throughout Latin America to remember and celebrate the lives of departed loved ones. Enjoy live music, participate in hands-on art activities, get an up-close look at NHM’s interpretive ofrenda (altar) for commemorating the dead in the Becoming Los Angeles exhibit, and more. Come together as a community and take part in this celebration of life!

decorations for Day of the Dead a skull and marigolds

Family Days: Día de Los Muertos 
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
501 N. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes is hosting Día de Los Muertos Family Day on Sunday, October 29th. This free event will be filled with festivities, providing families with the chance to “explore the historical and cultural significance of Day of the Dead traditions.” Enjoy live music and dance and join in a “celebration of life and death.”

Día de los Muertos Festival on Olvera Street
El Pueblo Historical Monument
125 Paseo de la Plaza, Los Angeles, CA

A nine-day Día de los Muertos Celebration will be held on Olvera Street, beginning on October 25th and continuing through November 2nd. The festivities include live entertainment, community altars, face painting, and more. In addition, “each night a vibrant and colorful procession sets the stage for our ceremony.” Check the website for all the details.  

Annual Día de los Muertos Festival
Main Street Canoga Park
On Sherman Way (between Canoga and Topanga), Canoga Park, CA

Main Street Canoga Park’s Annual Día de los Muertos Family Festival is happening on November 5th. Families will enjoy dance performances, live music, vendors, a classic car show, arts and crafts, food, altars, and much more. 

Día de los Muertos Celebration
Strathearn Historical Park
137 Strathearn Place, Simi Valley, CA

The Simi Valley Historical Society and Museum presents a Día de los Muertos Celebration on October 29th from 11 am to 5 pm. The festivities include musical and dance performances, food vendors, face painting, arts and crafts for kids, and more. Pre-sale tickets are available online.  

Día de los Muertos in Downey

Downey Día de los Muertos Art Festival
8435 Firestone Blvd., Downey, CA 90241

The Downey Día de los Muertos Art Festival is happening on October 29th from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. The Festival features performances, unique artwork, and more. Check the website for more details as they become available. 

Día de Los Muertos on Catalina Island

5th Annual Dia de los Muertos Family Festival
Catalina Museum for Art & History, 217 Metropole Ave, Avalon, CA 90704

Join us on Wednesday, November 1st, for the grand celebration of our 5th Annual Dia de los Muertos Family Festival, a mesmerizing tribute to the vibrant Mexican tradition. Immerse yourself in kids’ art projects, savor the flavors of tequila tastings, explore a delectable array of local food vendors, and bask in the rhythms of live music and captivating cultural performances, including the enchanting Ballet Folklorico Quetzal. Experience the kaleidoscope of colors that is the Mexican tradition, celebrating life while paying homage to our dearly departed loved ones. The festivities also include art projects, tequila tastings, local culinary delights, live musical performances, cultural showcases, and an exciting opportunity to win cash prizes in the Ofrenda/Altar and Art Contest.

Día de los Muertos in Glendale

Día de los Muertos at Forest Lawn
4 Locations
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 will bring traditional Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) customs to life with in-person events across its four Southern California locations. The community celebrations will honor the memories of the dead while illuminating the rich history of the Mexican holiday with vibrant altars, larger-than-life Catrina and alebrijes (spirit guides) art works, folkloric dance and Mariachi performances, arts & crafts, face painting, and refreshments. The free, family-friendly events take place on Sunday, October 29, 2023, in-person from 12:00-3:00 PM at Forest Lawn’s Cypress, Covina Hills, and Glendale locations. The event at Forest Lawn-Cathedral City will take place Thursday, November 2, 2023, from 3:30-6:30 PM

boys with faces painted like calaveras for Day of the Dead

Día de los Muertos in Orange County

Mexican Day of the Dead Festival
Bowers Museum – Key Courtyard
2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92706

The Bowers Museum invites families to its free Mexican Day of the Dead Festival happening on November 5th. The festivities include live musical and dance performances, art-making opportunities, face painting, and more.  

Día de los Muertos Festival
Muckenthaler Cultural Center 
1201 W. Malvern Ave., Fullerton, CA 92833

Celebrate Día de los Muertos at The Muckenthaler on October 26th. This event features a concert by Grupo Bella and activities for the whole family including arts and crafts, live music, local artisans, food, and more.  

Día de los Muertos
Pretend City Children’s Museum
29 Hubble, Irvine, CA 92618

Pretend City Children’s Museum is celebrating Día de los Muertos October 28th – Novemeber 1st. Families will have the chance to “join in these joyful and vibrant festivities that are a tradition in Mexico, the United States, and throughout Latin America.” Activities include art projects, story time, face painting, and more. All activities are included in general admission. Tickets are available online. 

Día de los Muertos in San Gabriel

Día de Los Muertos
Mission Playhouse Plaza
320 S. Mission Dr., San Gabriel, CA 

Celebrate Día de Los Muertos in San Gabriel on November 2nd. Enjoy live music, a community altar, and more!

Día de los Muertos in Long Beach:

Día de los Muertos Festival
Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA)
628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, CA 90802

The Museum of Latin American Art invites families to its Día de los Muertos Festival happening on October 29th from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. “MOLAA’s Day of the Dead: Strength and Hope is all about overcoming challenges, love, and emerging heroes. Together we will celebrate the past and its difficulties, while looking forward to the future.” Check the website for more details. 

Dia de los muertos at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles is one of the amazing events in Los Angeles to celebrate Dia de los Muertos. #diadelosmuertos #muertos #altar #diadelosmuertosaltar #losangeles #hollywoodforevercemetery
Hollywood Forever Cemetery (photos by Yvonne Condes)

Día de los Muertos in San Pedro:

San Pedro’s Annual Día de los Muertos Festival
398 W. 6th St., San Pedro, CA 90731

San Pedro’s Annual Día de los Muertos Festival is happening on October 22rd from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm. This special event includes live music, craft vendors, local food, altar competitions, and more. 

Día de Los Muertos Events in Los Alamitos

Día de los Muertos
St. Isidore Historical Plaza
10961 Reagan St., Los Alamitos, CA

A Día de los Muertos celebration is happening at St. Isidore Historical Plaza on Saturday, October 28th from 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The celebration includes altars, food, music, raffles, and more.

Día de los Muertos Celebration
Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum
18127 S. Alameda St., Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220

Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum is hosting a Día de los Muertos Celebration on Saturday, November 4th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. “View ofrendas honoring the dead, live performances, Mexican cuisine, and shop from local artisans.” This is a free event.

Día de los Muertos
Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 

Celebrate Día de los Muertos at the Santa Monica Pier on Saturday, October 28th from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm. At this special public art installation, families can “contribute to the community altar as well as to view the altars made by local artists, Sylvia Sanchez and Daniel Alonso.” Additional festivities include live musical and dance performances, food, face painting, and more. Check the website for all the details. 

Celebrate Día de los Muertos
Third Street Promenade (between Broadway and Wilshire), Santa Monica, CA

Downtown Santa Monica is celebrating Día de los Muertos on Saturday, October 28th. Enjoy live entertainment as well as a “display of nine La Catrina sculptures,” created by Los Angeles-based artist Ricardo Soltero.

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.

There are great places to celebrate Día de los Muertos in Los Angeles. #losangeles #diadelosmuertos #muertos #muertoslosangeles

Wendy Kennar is a mother, writer, and former teacher who has lived her entire life in the same Los Angeles zip code. You can read more from Wendy at her website where she writes about books, boys, and bodies (living with an invisible disability).

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Disclaimer: MomsLA has made every effort to confirm the information in this article; however, things can often change. Therefore, MomsLA makes no representations or warranties about the accuracy of the information published here. MomsLA strongly urges you to confirm any event details, like date, time, location, and admission, with the third party hosting the event. You assume the sole risk of relying on any of the information in our list. MomsLA is in no way responsible for any injuries or damages you sustain while attending any third-party event posted on our website. Please read our Terms of Use which you have agreed to based on your continued use of this website. Some events have paid to be listed on MomsLA.

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