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Fall Events in OC

Day of the Dead Events (2023)

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is coming up soon, and we have your list of where to celebrate this holiday. Family fun and cultura all wrapped into one!

Day of the Dead altar

About Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead celebrates the unity of life and death, considered by many to be the most important holiday of the year in Mexico and other Latin American countries. This is the time when the spirits of loved ones who have died return to earth to celebrate this holiday with friends and family. It is not Halloween, nor is it meant to be scary. The holiday is spent in celebration with friends and family, as a time to offer hospitality to the spirits and to honor and remember loved ones.

Every year, I create a Day of the Dead altar in memory of my dad then visit a few Day of the Dead celebrations to share my memories with others. The events highlighted below are those loved by families year after year, and organized by city. Don’t see a favorite on the list? Let me know!

Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) events in Southern California - Where to celebrate Dia de los Muertos in Orange County, Los Angeles, Inland Empire and San Diego. | #LivingMiVidaLoca #DayoftheDead #SouthernCalifornia #DiadelosMuertos #OrangeCounty

Where to celebrate Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) in Southern California

Day of the Dead events in Corona del Mar

$5 La Ofrenda – Día de los Muertos
Sherman GardensOctober 16 – November 6, 2023
10:30am – 4:00pm
To celebrate Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead the Sherman will be creating an ofrenda in the garden.

Sherman Horticulturist, Tim Chadd, will create the 2023 Sherman Ofrenda. Please feel free to add a photo of your loved one to our ofrenda.


Day of the Dead events in Fullerton

FREE Día de los Muertos
The Muckenthaler Cultural CenterOctober 26, 2023
5:30PM-7:30PM
Free arts and crafts to make sugar skulls, papel picado, and paper marigolds! There will also be a little market with vendors and a community ofrenda, where the community is welcome to bring something to add to the ofrenda in memory of a loved one.
Free family events from 5:30-7:30pm

Grupo Bella takes the state at 7:30pm!
Tickets on sale at themuck.org
$35 Non-Member; $20 Member


Day of the Dead events in Costa Mesa

$15 Dia de Los Muertos Celebration
Hana Field by Tanaka Farms – 427 Anton Blvd November 2-4, 2023
Thurs. & Friday: 12pm to 6pm; Saturday: 10am – 6pm
Ofrenda Altar, Artisan Craft Vendors, Face Painting, Live Entertainment, Mexican Cuisine, Flower Picking: Select and pick your own vibrant flowers to create your personal Ofrenda. Animal Encounters: Visit and interact with friendly farm animals at our Barnyard Educational Exhibit. Free parking.

Day of the Dead events in Garden Grove

FREE Sugar Skull Decorating
Garden Grove Tibor Rubin Library – 11962 Bailey St. October 24, 2023
3:00PM-6:00PM
Decorate a calavera de azucar, or sugar skull, for Dia de los Muertos! No registration required. All materials provided. Free!


Day of the Dead events in Irvine

FREE Día de los Muertos Celebration
Irvine Barclay TheaterNovember 2, 2023
4:00PM-8:30PM
Toyaacan Danza Azteca opens the event with traditional rituals and Ballet Folklorico de UCI welcome guests as they join our celebration in the plaza.

Guests can participate in the virtual community altar, enjoy a Mariachi concert while visiting the face-painting and sugar skull crafts booths. 

Headline entertainment will be provided by the Mariachi Divas.

This event is free and open to the public. Space is limited, so please RSVP.


Day of the Dead events in Los Alamitos

FREE Dia de los Muertos
St Isidore Historical PlazaOct. 28, 2023
2:00PM-9:00PM
There will be an Altar Display Contest, Costume Contest, Face Painting, Folkloric Dancing, Live Music, and delicious food and drinks. The public is invited to participate in the creation of Altars. The altars are truly the heart and soul of this important cultural event. Altars can be created through a wide spectrum of dedications, depending on one’s creative desire. This is your opportunity not only to honor your loved ones who have departed from this world—it is also an opportunity to come together as a community to embrace this celebration of life. Reserve your altar display space – Call (562) 596-9918 for information.


Day of the Dead events in Mission Viejo

FREE  Día de los Muertos Fiesta
Norman P. Murray Community CenterOctober 28, 2023
2:00pm – 7:00pm
The Mission Viejo Activities Committee invites the community to join us for food, fun, and fiesta in celebration of Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at the Norman P. Murray Community Center.

Explore the rich history and cultural significance of Day of the Dead traditions and festivities. Enjoy Mariachi entertainment, Folkloric Dance, face painting, and craft activities & workshops. Browse the Multi-cultural artisan market and taste authentic food, beverages, beer, wine, and Sangria. Celebrate departed loved ones by placing their framed photo at the community Ofrenda (memorial altar) or get creative and build your own individual memorial altar (application required). A family favorite, Pixar’s “Coco”, will be showing indoors at 5pm. 

Artisanal wares, food, beverages, wine, beer, and Sangria will be available for purchase. All craft activities are included in admission, while supplies last (waiver required). Please contact the MVAC office for the individual Ofrenda (memorial altar) registration and application 949-830-7066.


Day of the Dead events in Orange

FREE Community Ofrenda
El Modena Branch LibraryOctober 2-November 4, 2023
OPEN
The El Modena Branch Library will display a community Día de los Muertos ofrenda beginning October 1 through November 3 to honor the memories of loved ones who have passed away. If you would like to add a photograph of a loved one to the library display, please bring your family friendly picture(s) to the One Desk at the El Modena Branch Library between these dates. Photographs must be 5” X 7” or smaller.

$22 Dia de los Muertos – Live Lecture
940 W Chapman AveOctober 21, 2023
7:00pm – 8:00pm
This is a holiday and tradition that comes at the end of October and ends on November 2nd as All Souls Day. In this lecture, Charles Spratley will cover the history of this holiday, an interesting blend of Mesoamerican ritual, European religion and Spanish culture. We will discuss the history of the Ofrendas and the Marigolds, as well as other parts of this festive holiday when we remember our loved ones that have passed. See less


Day of the Dead events in Placentia

FREE Dia de los Muertos Paint Night
Placentia LibraryOctober 12, 2023
6:00pm – 7:00pm
Participants will follow step-by-step painting instructions to create their own Día de los Muertos painting. No registration needed, space is limited. 


Day of the Dead events in Santa Ana

Dia de los Muertos
FREE Fairhaven Memorial Park and Mortuary | November 2, 2023
11:00am-3:00pm
In North Gardens at Fairhaven Memorial Park. Join us to Celebrate, Remember and Honor our Loved Ones
• 11:15—11:30am Holy Family Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
• 11:30—12:00pm Blessing of the Souls in North Garden
• 12:00—12:45pm Marimba Music by Marimba Tropical
• 12:45—1:00pm Prayers (English)
• 1:00—1:30pm Folkloric Dance Performance by Las Estrella’s Dancers
• 1:30—1:45pm Prayers (Spanish)
• 1:45—2:30pm Mariachi Trio Los Salazar 
• 2:30—3:00pm Blessing of the Souls in Waverley Garden

FREE Dia de los Muertos
Bowers MuseumNovember 5, 2023
11:00AM-3:00PM
Enjoy a full day of fun for the entire family! Each Festival includes complimentary face painting, art projects, live performances, and more!

This event is part of Bowers Museum’s monthly Free Family Festival series, generously sponsored by the Nicholas Endowment.

FREE for Bowers members age 62+ | General $7 Mexican Day of the Dead Sugar Skulls
Bowers Museum (John Lee Court) October 26, 2023
10:00AM-12:00PM
A very special arts engagement program for seniors. Decorate a sugar skulls to place on an ofrenda (memorial altar), or to gift a friend, during this traditional Mexican holiday.

FREE Viva La Vida Santa Ana
Downtown Santa Ana November 4, 2023
2:00PM-10:00PM
Celebrate life the Latino way—artistic and compassionate. Santa Ana’s Dia De Los Muertos Festival captures this spirit through live performances, art installations and vendors, traditional altars, live music and community closeness. So, get your face paint ready and celebrate the Day of the Dead at Viva La Vida Santa Ana.

FREE Valley de los Muertos
Valley High School November 2, 2023
5:00PM-8:30PM
Face painting and crafts. Food sales at 5pm. Special performances by SAUSD students at 6pm. In front of the gym.


Day of the Dead events in Santa Fe Springs

FREE Dia de Los Muertos
Heritage ParkOctober 21, 2023
5:00PM-10:00PM
An evening of traditional music, delicious food, artisan vendors, and entertainment for all. Bring the whole family to learn the art of decorating traditional sugar skulls through our Sugar Skull Workshop. Honor a member of your family by participating in our Community Ofrenda Showcase. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Skulls can be purchased individually for $8 or in a bundle of 3 for $20. Sugar skull decorating is geared for individuals 8 years of age and older, as we will utilize icing and other craft materials. Registration for the sugar skulls decorating begins September 4th at 10:00 a.m.


Day of the Dead events in Westminster

FREE Dia de Los Muertos
Westminster Memorial ParkOctober 29, 2023
12:00PM-4:00PM
Come celebrate and enjoy entertainment, vendors, food, and more! There will be complimentary sugar skulls, face painting, ice cream, pan dulce and champurrado. To RSVP, please contact [email protected]

day of the dead events in orange county

Originally published on September 19, 2023. Last Updated on October 31, 2023 by Pattie Cordova

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