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!
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!
Where to celebrate Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) in Southern California
Day of the Dead events in Anaheim
FREE El Dia de los Muertos
Anaheim Town Square | October 24, 2021
Costume contest, kids crafts, chalk art with kids chalk zone, face painting, mariachi and more.
Day of the Dead events in Bellflower
FREE Day of the Dead Celebration
Bellflower Towne Center | Oct. 29, 2021
We will be having Altar Contests and Kids Costume Contest both with some awesome prizes! There will also be vendors from 5 pm – 10pm and to end the night we will be showing “The Goonies”.
Day of the Dead events in Costa Mesa
Day of the Dead events in Fullerton
FREE Honey Babe Market
723 S Harbor | Oct. 30, 2021
Comunidad, cultura y tradición! It’s going to be a day filled with fun, excitement and freebies!
JOIN US FOR: Music, Baile Folklorico, Build an Altar ($25), Costume Contest, and FREE Face Painting! This event will be contributing to @estrellafamilyfoundation where they focus on small businesses and there growth!!
FREE Día de los Muertos
The Muckenthaler Cultural Center | October 30, 2022
Join us to celebrate Día de los Muertos! We will have festive activities for the whole family, live music, local artisans, and arts and crafts for kids.
Day of the Dead events in Garden Grove
FREE Dia De Los Muertos Rosary and Mariachi Concert
Dimond & Shannon, 10630 Chapman Avenue | November 7, 2021
Complimentary coffee, hot chocolate, and sweet bread. An ofrenda will be set. Bring a picture of your loved one to be added to the community ofrenda.
5:30PM-5:45PM – Rosary prayer service
6:00PM – Family pictures with real-life La Catrina
6:00PM-8:00PM – Mariachi concert
Email [email protected] for more information.
Day of the Dead events in La Habra
Day of the Dead events in Long Beach
FREE Day of the Dead Spooktacular
4141 Norse Way | Oct. 30, 2021
Evening of Altars, Costumes, Vendors and Food! We will be ending the evening with a movie under the stars “Hocus Pocus”
Day of the Dead events in Los Alamitos
FREE Dia de los Muertos
St Isidore Historical Plaza | Oct. 23, 2021
There will be an Altar Display 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 Orange
FREE Community Ofrenda
El Modena Branch Library | October 27-November 3, 2021
The El Modena Branch Library will display a community Día de los Muertos ofrenda beginning October 27 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.
Day of the Dead events in Santa Ana
Gente Night Market
Heritage Museum | October 17, 2021
Family & Pet friendly, Live Entertainment (special guests TBA) , 75+ Latino owned businesses to support , Food and Drinks, Sugar skull face painting , Photos with La Catrina + other photo ops, Kids craft area, Altars and fun activities for the whole family
Dia de los Muertos
FREE Fairhaven Memorial Park and Mortuary | November 2, 2021
HONORING THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE US with a special Bi-Lingual Remembrance Service featuring a Traditional Offertory and Special Entertainment by Mariachi Tapatío & Relampago de Cielo
CONCHA TREATS for the first 100 in Attendance
CDC Guidelines will be Observed
Contact [email protected] for more information
FREE Dia de los Muertos
Bowers Museum | October 24, 2021
Observe Mexican Day of the Dead as we remember friends and family members who are no longer with us. Celebrate the joy and happiness they brought into our lives with music by Joel Aceves and Los Cuates, dance by Relampago del Cielo, art, and special foods. Bring a photo for our ofrendas (memorial altar), honoring our loved ones and that special pet that left too soon.
FREE for Bowers members age 62+ | General $7 Mexican Day of the Dead Sugar Skulls
Bowers Museum (John Lee Court) | October 28, 2021
A very special arts engagement program for seniors, Anne’s Treasures workshops will be held in-person. Decorate a Day of the Dead sugar skull with icing, sequins, flowers, and ribbons. Present it as a gift to a friend or place it on a memorial altar as a sweet offering for a departed loved one.
FREE Viva La Vida Santa Ana
Downtown Santa Ana | November 6, 2021
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 Día de los Muertos
MainPlace Mall | Oct. 31, 2021
This free event will take place on Saturday, October 30th from 2pm – 5pm throughout the center! The first 200 kids to check in to the welcome table in Macy’s Court will receive a free goodie bag! During the event there will be live performances, live art, and workshops for guests to participate in.
2pm – 3pm- Folklorico dancing will entertain onlookers in Macy’s Court.
2pm – 5pm- Live artwork demonstration by artist Roger Eyes R in Macy’s Court, Día de los Muertos-inspired caricatures by Gianmarco Oriniano, a mural with photo op in Center Court, and an opportunity to have a live painter add the names of lost loved ones to an altar in Center Court.
3:30pm – 5pm- A live
Cumbia band performing in Macy’s Court.
Throughout the event, there will be three art workshops: painting a Haunted House on a small canvas with easel, painting a wooden Sugar Skull (both activities in Macy’s court), and an opportunity to learn wax resist watercolor painting (in Center Court).
Day of the Dead events in Santa Fe Springs
FREE Dia de Los Muertos
Heritage Park | October 16, 2021
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 $10 or in a bundle of 3 for $25. 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 21st at 10:00 a.m.
Day of the Dead events in Stanton
FREE Day of the Dead Skull Craft – Calavera Luminaries
Stanton Library | November 1, 2022
Color and craft a festive luminary for your departed loved ones!
We will color bright skull “calaveras” on milk jugs for Day of the Dead, then fill with glowing lights to light up our homes and graveyards.
Free, no registration required. Fun for the whole family. All supplies will be provided.
Day of the Dead events in Tustin
Day of the Dead events in Yorba Linda
$28 Dia de Los Muertos Evening Tea
Yorba Linda Community Center | October 30, 2021
Age 8+ recommended, geared towards children. Tea In Time holds the passing of a loved one is sacred, and does not want to mix Halloween with the true meaning of Dia de Los Muertos .
Because it is an evening tea, a full meal will be served with pan dulce for dessert and of course tea.
Bring a picture of a loved one(s) to tea and come dressed as CATRINA, your loved one or modern festive attire. Costumes are not required, but we encourage wearing a dress, sweater, scarf, tie, hat, piece of jewelry or an item you may have inherited to make the evening special.
Originally published on September 1, 2022. Last Updated on September 21, 2022 by Pattie Cordova