Dead or Alive: Where to Celebrate Dia De Los Muertos in L.A.


Fright season is hitting its peak, and no autumn celebration is complete without honoring the dead during Dia De Los Muertos, a mystical night when the veil between the material and the spirit realms is lifted. The holiday is traditionally celebrated on November 1st, but here in Los Angeles festivities start long before and continue through mid-November. Come out among the living and celebrate with, as Coldplay put it, Death and all his friends.

29th Annual Day of the Dead Altars & Ephemera Exhibition
WHERE: The Folk Tree
WHEN: Oct. 6 – Nov. 4
COST: Free
Taking a deeper glimpse into Dia De Los Muertos, this exhibition features installations that deal with contemporary issues and concepts about death. More information.

Cactus Gallery Dia de los Muertos Art Show
WHERE: Cactus Gallery
WHEN: Oct. 13 – Nov. 3
COST: Free
Experience the Day of the Dead in the 21st century with Dia de los Muertos inspired paintings, 3D works, and an interactive altar. More information.

Avenue 50 Studio Day of the Dead Exhibit
WHERE: Avenue 50 Studio
WHEN: Oct. 13 – Nov. 14
COST: Free
Photographer Cidne Hart uses her pictures of Guatemalans celebrating their ancestors and juxtaposes them with text about the genocide that the Guatemalan military aimed at the indigenous Mayan population during the 1980s. More information.

Dia De los Muertos: Children’s Workshops
WHERE: Olvera Street/El Pueblo Historical Monument
WHEN: Oct. 17 – 19; Nov. 1 – 2
COST: Free
Join other kids at this family-friendly event where you can attend mask and necklace-making workshops. The best part is being showered with candy after a festive piñata-breaking that concludes the workshops. More information.

Sacred Memories
WHERE: Pico House
WHEN: Oct. 21 – Nov. 18
COST: Free
The exhibition explores Dia de los Muertos and other rituals memorializing the dead. For more information on Dia de los Muertos festivities, call (213) 485-6855. More information.

Dia de los Muertos: Candlelight Novenario Processions
WHERE: Olvera Street/El Pueblo Historical Monument
WHEN: Oct. 25 – Nov. 2; beginning 7 p.m. each night
COST: Free
The candlelight Novenario processions will be held nightly on Olvera Street with colorful pageantry and indigenous blessings. Following each procession, free pan de muerto (sweet pastry) and champurrado (a Mexican hot beverage) will be served. More information.

Dance de los Muertos
WHERE: 326 Hewitt St., Downtown
WHEN: Oct. 26, 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Costumes are encouraged at this night of dance. What better way to benefit Art Share L.A. than to get your groove on? More information. More information.

Cooking Class with Taqueria Vista Hermosa
WHERE: Mercado La Paloma
WHEN: Oct. 26, 6-9 p.m.
COST: $60
Join Chef Raul Morales of Taqueria Vista Hermosa as he instructs a mini course on how to prepare a traditional Day of the Dead Menu from Michoacán. More information.

Olvera Street Altar Display
WHERE: Olvera Street/El Pueblo Historical Monument
WHEN: Oct. 26 – Nov. 4
COST: Free
Anyone is welcome to view the Dia de los Muertos community altars on display in the Plaza area. It’s a perfect opportunity to celebrate departed loved ones and reflect on the beauty of life–even in death. More information.

¡Vivan Los Muertos! Day of the Dead Celebration
WHERE: Autry Museum
WHEN: Oct. 27
COST: Museum Admission Rates Apply / Free for Autry Members
Discover Aztec and Mexican folkloric dance, storytelling, face painting, elaborate altars, a mercado, and more at the Autry’s celebration of the dead. More information. 

Dia de Los Muertos at Hollywood Forever

WHERE: Hollywood Forever Cemetery
WHEN: Oct. 27, noon – 2 a.m.
COST: $10. Children under 8 years and under free until 4pm, Seniors 65 and over free until 4pm.
What better place to celebrate Dia de los Muertos than at the Hollywod Forever Ceremony? Ozomatli headlines this year’s annual celebration. The ceremonial altar set-up will begin the day before at 5 pm. More information.

Noche de Ofrenda / Community Altar Night
WHERE: Self Help Graphics and Art
WHEN: Oct. 27, 6 – 9 p.m.
COST: Free
Led by premier altar-maker Ofelia Esparza, Noche de Ofrenda invites participants young and old to contribute their offerings to the community altar. Enjoy poetry readings, pan de muerto, and xocolatl. There will be readings and performances including one by Ruben “Funkahuatl” Guevara. More information.

Day of the Dead Celebrations at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
WHERE: Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
WHEN: Oct. 27 – 28
COST: Aquarium admission
Nothing fishy about this: Celebrate Halloween and Dia de los Muertos with an aquatic theme. Enjoy story time, marine animal graveyards, face painting, and more at this family-friendly event. More information.

Mercado La Paloma’s Dia De Los Muertos Festival
WHERE: Mercado La Paloma
WHEN: Oct. 28; 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
COST: Admission to Mercado La Paloma
Food, music, and dance—what more could you ask for at Mercado La Paloma’s Dia de los Muertos Festival? More information.

Muertomania II
WHERE: Solidarity Ink
WHEN: Oct. 28, 2 – 10 p.m.
COST: Free
This year, Muertomania II honors luchadors EL Santo and Blue Demon, who are recognized all over the world as icons of Mexican wrestling. More information.

Día de los Muertos: A Day of the Dead Celebration
WHERE: Olvera Street/El Pueblo Historical Monument
WHEN: Oct. 28, noon – 4 p.m.
COST: Free
The Olvera Street celebration has something for everyone. Go back to the roots of Day of the Dead with traditional performances by Semillas Sociedad Civil: Indigenous International School, Xipe Totec, Teatro Tatalejos, and more. Feeling crafty? Make calavera masks and learn silk-screening. Feeling healthy? Make traditional sugar skulls using coconut grits instead. More information.

Detrás de las Calaveras: Behind the Skeletons
WHERE: Olvera Street/El Pueblo Historical Monument
WHEN: Oct. 28, 4 p.m.
COST: Free
Explore a story of love in George Newnam’s installation, Casa de Calaveras: The Day of the Dead Attraction. More information. 

Day of the Dead Traditions: A Oaxacan Celebration
WHERE: Autry Museum
WHEN: Oct. 28, noon – 5 p.m.
COST: Museum Admission rates apply, free for Autry members
Squeeze in a quick history lesson as you learn about the Oaxacan tradition at the Autry Museum, then head outdoors to a mercado on the plaza. More information.

3rd Annual Dia de los Muertos at Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary
WHERE: Rose Hills Memorial Park
WHEN: Oct. 28, 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
COST: Free
From food trucks to folklorico groups, Rose Hills Memorial Park will come to life—along with the dead. More information.

Tía Chucha’s Presents 8 Day Series: “Dia de los Muertos In the North East San Fernando Valley”
WHERE: Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural
WHEN: Oct. 28 – Nov. 4
Watch a children’s movie, build a community altar, decorate sugar skills, and more in a span of eight days. More information.

San Pedro Day of the Dead
WHERE: Historic Downtown San Pedro
WHEN: Nov. 1, 3:30 – 10 p.m.
COST: Free
Dress up, get your face painted, and enjoy delicious cuisine in festive downtown San Pedro. The Grammy Award winning Mariachi Divas will be there as you browse through altar exhibitions featuring the work of artists and community members. More information.

1st Annual Dia de los Muertos Festival at East LA College
WHERE: East LA College
WHEN: Nov. 1, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
COST: Free
Special performances by Xipe Totec, Conjunto Hueypan, Quetzl, and Ixtli Yolotl commemorate East LA College’s first annual Dia de los Muertos festival. Don’t forget to bring a new toy for their toy drive. More information.

Al Borde Dia de los Muertos Music & Art Festival
WHERE: Al Borde
WHEN: Nov. 2, 7 – 11 p.m.
COST: Free
Al Borde brings a psychedelic twist to a traditional festival. This year, indie rock band Santoros will headline the event, which will also include art and altar exhibitions, food and drink, and knick-knacks for purchase. More information.

Día de los Muertos Celebration: Recuerdos Que Nunca Mueren (Memories That Never Die)
WHERE: Self Help Graphics and Art
WHEN: Nov. 2, 5-11 p.m.
COST: Free
Self Help Graphics’ celebration is distinct to the East Side, reminding participants of the ancient comedy of life. Paint your face as half-calaca and half-human to represent this duality. More information.

Eastside Luv’s Night of the LUVing DEAD
WHERE: Mariachi Plaza
WHEN: Nov. 2, 2 p.m. – 2 a.m.
COST: Free
Eastside Luv opens its doors to all ages for a Night of the LUVing DEAD. Hosted by Richard Montoya of Culture Clash and Alexis De La Rocha of Beatmo & MorrisseyOke, the free event will feature an array of musical acts, arts and crafts, and of course, face painters. More information.

El Velorio Day of the Dead
WHERE: KGB Studios
WHEN: Nov. 2, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.
COST: $15-20
The Getdown Collective presents a community art exhibition and benefit for Las Fotos Project hosted by Wilmer Valderrama and featuring the work of RETNA, Shepard Fairey, and many more. 21+. More information.

Downtown Dia de los Muertos at Grand Park
WHERE: Grand Park
WHEN: Nov. 2, 5 – 11 p.m.
COST: Free
Celebrate Dia De Los Muertos in downtown L.A. with altar exhibits, food trucks, and a beer garden. Yes, a beer garden. More information.

Voices of the Heart
WHERE: Homeboy Industries
WHEN: Nov. 2, 6:30 p.m.
COST: Free
Celebrate homeboys and homegirls as they share poems of life, death, and the healing power of love. Homeboy Industries founder Father Greg Boyle will be in attendance. More information.

24th Street Theater Day of the Dead
WHERE: Estrella Park
WHEN: Nov. 2, 5 – 10 p.m.
COST: Free
Join the procession and celebrate the life of loved ones through all forms of art. More information.

ALA “Dia De Los Muertos-Celebration of Life”
WHERE: San Gabriel High School
WHEN: Nov. 3, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
COST: $5 donation; children 5 & under free
Sponsored by Alhambra’s Latino Association, the event celebrates life as well as death, funding five scholarships for college-bound high school students. More information.

Day of the Dead at the Echoplex

WHERE: Echoplex
WHEN: Nov. 4, 5 p.m.
COST: $12-14
The Day of the Dead has never been hipper than at the Echoplex. With pre-show festivities like face-painting and giveaways followed by live performances from Chicano Batman, Quita Peñas, DJ Anthony Valadez (KCRW), and more, this is one night that just might raise the dead. More information.

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