Celebrate Día de los Muertos by honoring the lives of friends, relatives and loved ones who have passed away. Also called Day of the Dead, this traditional Mexican holiday starts on Oct. 31 and ends on Nov. 2.
Festivities include creating small altars at home, citywide festivals filled with processions, family altars, dance, music, costumes, face painting and food. Participate in San Diego’s Día de los Muertos events—make crafts and remember the people who have filled your life with love, wisdom and guidance.
Dia de los Muertos Fun at SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular. Guests can enjoy a themed area that will include colorful papel picado flags, vibrant ofrendas and large catrinas. Weekends through Oct. 28; visit website for park hours and admission. Interstate 5, Exit SeaWorld Dr., San Diego. www.seaworldsandiego.com.
FREE “Coco” Outdoor Screenings. Catch this heartwarming, animated film that celebrates the beloved Mexican tradition. Oct. 12 at Allied Gardens Community Park; Oct. 19 at Tierrasanta Community Park; Oct. 26 at Doyle Community Park, University City & Flinn Springs County Park, El Cajon. Screenings start at dusk. More screening dates at www.summermoviesinthepark.com.
FREE Day of the Dead Festival in North Park. Craft workshops, face painting, music, food trucks and artisan vendors at this event hosted by Artelexia. Oct. 27, 11 am-5 pm. Along Ray St. www.dayofthedeadfestivalnorthpark.com.
FREE Encinitas Celebrates Dia de los Muertos. Art-making workshops, live mariachi, a community ofrenda, artist demos and student exhibitions. Oct. 27, Noon-4 pm. Encinitas Community Center, 1140 Oakcrest Park Dr. www.encinitasarts.org.
FREE Sherman Heights Dia de los Muertos Festival. Includes an official blessing of the community altars, live performances, altar tours, Day of the Dead-themed workshops, food and shopping. Oct. 27, 10 am-6 pm. Sherman Heights Community Center, 2258 Island Ave. www.facebook.com/events/349491185577940.
FREE City Heights Dia de los Muertos Celebration. Community altars, mask-making, face painting, music and dancing, and prizes for the Best Catrin and Catrina Contest. Oct. 27, 11 am-5 pm. Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park, 3795 Fairmount Ave. www.facebook.com/cityheightsdiadelosmuertos.
FREE AXIS Day of the Dead Celebration. This family event will touch upon some of the traditions that encompass this celebration of deceased loved ones. Oct. 28, 11 am-2 pm. The Old Globe’s Copley Plaza, Balboa Park. www.theoldglobe.org.
FREE Dia de los Muertos at Old Mission San Luis Rey. Featuring altars, a chalk cemetery, a car show, arts and crafts, food and entertainment. Oct. 28, 10 am-4 pm. 4050 Mission Ave., Oceanside. www.mslrdiadelosmuertos.com.
FREE Old Town San Diego’s Dia de los Muertos Celebration. See more than 50 traditional and contemporary altars created by restaurants, businesses, museums and shops. A public altar will be located in El Campo Santo Cemetery where visitors are encouraged to add their own mementos, photos and written tributes to loved ones. The event also includes street food, vendors, and family activities. Don’t miss the traditional candlelight procession (Nov. 2, 6 pm) that starts at the entrance of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park and ends at El Campo Santo Cemetery. Nov. 1-4. www.oldtownsandiego.org.
FREE Dia de los Muertos Festival in Escondido. Create altars to remember lost loved ones, join a parade, watch a ballet folklorico performance and let the kids have fun with arts and crafts, and face painting. Nov. 1, 5 pm. On Nov. 2, come to the Cultura Fest SD Noche de Muertos where you can watch the movie, Coco, and enjoy live music and vendors. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd. www.artcenter.org.
FREE Dia De Los Muertos at The Village. Celebrate life, death and the vibrant Mexican culture in honor of Dia De Los Muertos at The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch! The Village will be hosting a fiesta to commemorate this beloved tradition with free face painting and a live Mariachi band in the Village Square from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Also enjoy food and drink specials at participating restaurants. Nov. 2, 5-8 pm. 13490 Pacific Highlands Ranch Pkwy., San Diego. www.phrvillage.com.
Dia de los Muertos crafts and art projects:
Make a personal NICHO (small shadow box), honoring a loved one.
Decorate a sugar skull mask that looks good enough to eat.
Craft a beautiful calavera (skull) with felt and embellishments you may already have on hand.
Photo courtesy of SOHO (Save Our Heritage Organisation).
Updated: October 2018