Sort by

Showing  Places
A Dia De Los Muertos ofrenda with marigolds, fruit and candles at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in 2021
Marigolds, fruit and candles are among the adornments on an ofrenda at Hollywood Forever in 2021.
(Nick Agro / For The Times)

35 ways to celebrate Día de Muertos in L.A. and O.C.

Share via

From community events like one in Lynwood to large-scale festivals including Olvera Street’s nine-day event, people are coming together across Los Angeles and Orange counties to celebrate Día de Muertos, the traditional holiday with deep roots in Mexican Indigenous culture.

Día de Muertos (also called Día de los Muertos) is a celebration, a time to honor and remember the life of a deceased loved one. But it’s not limited to departed family members and friends; people also honor singers, actors and even their pets by building ofrendas, or altars, in their homes or in community spaces.

For the record:

4:21 p.m. Oct. 27, 2022An earlier version of this listing said the Bowers Museum event was Nov. 5; the event is on Nov. 6.

2:00 p.m. Oct. 25, 2022An earlier version of this listing said the downtown Santa Monica event would include DJs, a market and face painting. Those activities are not included, Santa Monica says.

Altars come alive with colorful papel picado, fresh or paper marigolds, food and drink and mementos. The ofrenda is a portal for the souls of the departed to return to the land of the living for a day and be with the friends and family who loved them.

This year many Día de Muertos event organizers and communities around Southern California are building altars so the public can contribute a photo or memento of the person or pet they want to celebrate.


The Los Angeles Times is taking part by building an altar at Hollywood Forever Cemetery’s 23rd Day of the Dead celebration Oct. 29. The altar is being designed and built by Latino scenery director and stage-set designer Ricardo Soltero. It will be a tribute to Times employees and employees’ families as well as submissions from The Times’ digital ofrenda from last year.

The digital ofrenda is making a comeback this year — anyone can submit a memory of a loved one to be published online.

In honor of Día de Muertos, we’ve created a digital altar and invite you to make an ofrenda to celebrate the memories of your loved ones.

Oct. 26, 2022

If you want to contribute to an altar or celebrate Día de Muertos, here are several places or events in Southern California to check out.

Showing  Places
A glass case in a museum exhibits an ofrenda, or Day of the Dead altar, to Los Angeles.
The “Altar to el Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles” (The Altar to the Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels), 2018. Created by Ofelia Esparza and Rosanna Esparza Ahrens.
(Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County)

An Altar for Los Angeles

Exposition Park Museum
Altaristas Ofelia Esparza and her daughter Rosanna Esparza Ahrens pay homage to the people and history of a small pueblo turned metropolis in an altar as part of the permanent “Becoming Los Angeles” exhibition at the Natural History Museum.

The display has photos of people from different ethnicities and backgrounds along with relics from various cultures. The diverse display is accompanied by Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Ángeles, who watches over the Pueblo de Los Angeles. In an interview with the museum, the artists said they want their altar to convey ”L.A., its culture, its people, and its art” and leave people with the message that when you really explore Los Angeles with an open heart, these communities are welcoming.

Museum hours are Monday through Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed the first Tuesday of every month.

L.A. County residents get free museum admission from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; tickets must be acquired on-site. Otherwise, general admission can be purchased online or onsite.
Route Details
Woman with calavera face painting, wearing a traditional Mexican embroidered blouse.
Self Help Graphics in Boyle Heights hosts the yearly Noche de Ofrenda.
(Self Help Graphics)

Noche de Ofrenda at Self Help Graphics

Boyle Heights Community Center
This annual Boyle Heights community event will be held Nov. 2. Centered on honoring friends and ancestors, it invites visitors to contribute a photo to a community altar and to share memories of loved ones. Visitors also can see several altars created by artists and community partners, and enjoy live poetry, music and refreshments.

There is limited street parking, so Self Help Graphics recommends carpooling, rideshare or taking the Metro L (Gold) Line to the Pico/Aliso station.
Route Details
Sugar skulls, food and candles are offerings to honor a loved one on a Day of the Dead altar.
Altars at Grand Park’s Día de Muertos installation honor departed loved ones with offerings that include food, candles and sugar skulls.
(Vanessa Crocini for Grand Park)

Grand Park's Downtown Día de los Muertos

Downtown L.A. Event
In its 10th year of honoring people, places and ideas through commemorating Día de los Muertos, Grand Park is once again calling on Angelenos to contribute to a community altar.

This year, the community altar is dedicated to the victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas. The altar is created by artist and educator Consuelo Flores, who is also the curator for this year’s Grand Park’s Downtown Día de Muertos event.

Attendees can expect to see 21 altars throughout the park made by professional artists and local community organizations. The 12-day free public art installation is open through Nov. 2 from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Route Details
Día de Muertos altar on display in a storefront featuring colorful skulls, marigolds and photos.
Take a self-guided tour of altars around Playhouse Village through Nov. 4.
(Jonathan Kwok / Playhouse Village Assn.)

Playhouse Village Altars Exhibit

Pasadena Public art
Mercadito Monarca and Playhouse Village invite people to experience and learn about Día de Muertos by visiting installations in shop and storefront windows. The ofrendas by artists and community partners include objects important to deceased loved ones, such as favorite foods, mementos and pictures.

The altars will be on display until Nov. 4.
Route Details
Altar decorated with black-and-white photos, colorful paper flowers and papel picado.
Pasadena invites people to contribute to a community altar at the Villa Parke Community Center.
(Yosio Montes / City of Pasadena)

Villa Parke Community Center

Pasadena Community Center
The Villa Parke Community Center invites people to an evening of dance performances, arts and crafts, food and ofrendas on Oct. 28 from 5 to 9 p.m.

Attendees can see ofrendas decorated by community organizations, such as the Pasadena Job Center, the Latino Heritage Parade and Festival Committee, Peace Over Violence, Pasadena City College, Safe Streets and the YWCA. The free event also includes a community ofrenda, where you can contribute a photo or a story.
Route Details

Día de los Muertos at Mission Playhouse Plaza

San Gabriel Valley Event
The San Gabriel community is invited to honor the Día de Muertos tradition with live music, family-friendly activities and a community altar at the Mission Playhouse Plaza on Nov. 3 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Community members are encouraged to submit a photo for the altar ahead of the event. For more information on how to submit a photo, call (626) 308-2875.
Route Details
Altar in the trunk of a blue car.
Ofrendas are all over the Main Street Canoga Park Día de los Muertos Family Festival, including in the trunks of cars in the car show.
(Main Street Canoga Park)

Main Street Canoga Park’s Día de los Muertos Family Festival

Canoga Park Event
The 22nd edition of this family event on Nov. 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., includes music, vendors and a classic car show, as well as unique community-created ofrendas — at a booth, in store windows or in the trunk of a classic car.
Route Details
An electric ofrenda that has a photo of a man standing by a jeep and a large paper skull outside of Pacoima City Hall.
L.A. Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez hosts the annual Día de Muertos festival in her district.
(The Office of Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez)

L.A. Council District 7 Día de Muertos celebration

Pacoima Event
Monica Rodriguez, the city councilwoman for Los Angeles’ Council District 7, hosts a Day of the Dead celebration at Pacoima City Hall on Oct. 29 from noon to 8 p.m. Rodriguez’s office plans to close part of Van Nuys Boulevard and line the street with community ofrendas provided by her office and decorated by local organizations including Chicas Mom Inc., Pacoima Beautiful, North Valley Caring Services and SEIU 2015. Beyond the ofrendas, expect live music, resource booths, food trucks and artwork.

The office also put out a call for community members to submit digital photos of their loved ones for an electronic ofrenda that will be displayed outside of Pacoima City Hall the week of the event until Nov. 2. To learn more, call (818) 485-0600.
Route Details
Día de los Muertos altar decorated with framed photos, food, paper flowers and mementos.
(Simi Valley Historical Society)

Strathearn Historic Park and Museum’s Día de los Muertos

Simi Valley Event
The Strathearn Park and Museum invites the public to its eighth annual celebration from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 30.

At least 17 ofrendas will be on display, with people on hand to answer questions. The ofrendas are created by Simi Valley families and organizations, including the Knights of Columbus, Daughters of the American Revolution and Hillside Middle School. Attendees are encouraged to contribute to a community altar.

The Aztec dance troupe from CSU Channel Islands, Resistencia Mexicayotl Chalchiuhtlicue, will perform at 12:45 p.m.
Route Details
A community altar covered with orange marigolds and photos, with a large cutout of a pot of calla lillies.
(Ashley Santisteven)

Downey Día de los Muertos Art Festival

Downey Event
The Downey Día de los Muertos Art Festival — from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 29 — will feature family-friendly arts and crafts as well as a community altar. Festival coordinators ask people to bring a framed photo, drawing, poetry or other items to be included in the large outdoor ofrenda. Space is limited to the first 50 contributions so please submit, along with a community altar application form, by Oct. 26 at 5 p.m. Submit the form to festival coordinator Ashley Santisteven at For questions, call (562) 861-8211.
Route Details
Orange marigolds create a path to a decorated altar with a blue spirit animal to the side.
Forest Lawn florists craft altars at Día de los Muertos events.
(Forest Lawn Memorial Parks)

Día de los Muertos at Forest Lawn

Forest Lawn is celebrating Día de los Muertos in four locations: Glendale, Covina Hills, Cypress and Cathedral City. Three locations will host free activities Oct. 30 from 2 to 4 p.m., but Cathedral City will have its event Nov. 2 from 4 to 6 p.m.

All events will include an altar, Expresiones Culturales Grupo Folklórico and mariachi music. The altars are designed and constructed by Forest Lawn’s floral specialists and the community is invited to enliven the altar with offerings.

Glendale: 1712 S. Glendale Ave., Glendale CA 91205
Covina Hills: 21300 Via Verde Drive, Covina CA 91724
Cypress: 4471 Lincoln Ave., Cypress CA 90630
Cathedral City: 69855 E. Ramon Road, Cathedral City CA 92234
Route Details

Pretend City Children’s Museum Día de los Muertos

Irvine Museum
Families are welcome at Pretend City Children’s Museum’s educational, hands-on Día de Muertos celebration Oct. 29 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Visitors can bring a photo, drawing or written message to leave on the ofrenda.
Route Details
Four Día de Muertos sculptures of female skeletons with marigold crowns and colorful dresses.
L.A.-based artist Ricardo Soltero created nine sculptures of “La Catrina” that will be on display starting Oct. 28.
(Downtown Santa Monica Inc.)

Downtown Santa Monica

Santa Monica Public art
Nine “La Catrina” sculptures, standing 14 feet tall, will be on display on three blocks of Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade from Oct. 28 to Nov. 2. The sculptures are by Los Angeles-based artist Ricardo Soltero and inspired by illustrator José Guadalupe Posada, who created “La Calavera Catrina” in 1910.
Route Details
Four girls in traditional dresses with their faces painted as calaveras.
Olvera Street’s Dia de Muertos event spans nine days.
(Olvera Street Merchants Assn. Foundation )

Día de los Muertos at Olvera Street

Downtown L.A. Event
Día de los Muertos at Olvera Street is a nine-day festival with a nightly procession, community altars on display in the plaza (from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.), face painting and entertainment. It’s the only event of its kind in Los Angeles and has evolved to incorporate the pre-Columbian, Aztec, Mayan and Catholic rituals surrounding death.

From Oct. 25 to Nov. 2, at 6 p.m., there will be a theatrical performance, “La Danza de la Muerte,” telling the story of Día de los Muertos presented by Teatro del Barrio, followed at 7 p.m. by the colorful Novenario Procession, which starts and ends with a special Mayan blessing/soul cleansing.
Route Details
A woman in traditional clothing stands in front of an altar decorated with papel picado.
Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum welcomes the community to celebrate Día de Muertos.
(Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum)

Día de Muertos Celebration at Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum

Rancho Dominguez Event
The free event takes place on Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attendees can see ofrendas honoring the dead and enjoy live performances, Mexican cuisine and local artisans’ shops.
Route Details

Día de los Muertos Vigil Service

Mission Hills Event
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles will hold a Día de Muertos prayer vigil Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with a welcome at 6:45.
Route Details
An altar decorated with a calavera inspired by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Music, food, a movie screening and ofrendas are the attractions at Lynwood’s event.
(Mark Flores)

Lynwood’s Día de Muertos Celebration

Lynwood Event
The city of Lynwood will host a Dia de Muertos Celebration at the Lynwood Union Gallery on Nov. 1 from 5 to 10 p.m. Enjoy live music from L.A.-based band Betty’s Mustache, plus an art exhibition, food, a screening of the movie “Coco” and more.

Attendees can walk through altar displays made by a mix of local artists, residents, city staffers, community groups and school groups. People can honor departed loved ones by leaving a photo or memento at a designated community altar.
Route Details

Centro Cultural de Mexico's Noche de Altares

Santa Ana Event
El Centro Cultural de Mexico has been organizing its Noche de Altares event since 2002. The volunteer-coordinated event is from 1 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 5, and families can enjoy cultural performances, live music, face painting and art workshops at Birch Park. In the evening, people are invited to commemorate a loved one or raise awareness about a social issue by building an altar. Visit the website for details.
Route Details

Viva la Vida Día de los Muertos Festival

Santa Ana Event
The eighth annual Viva la Vida Día de los Muertos Festival takes over Santa Ana’s downtown Nov. 5 from 2 to 10 p.m. The streets will come alive with culture, tradition and beautiful tributes to loved ones. The area will be lined with altars filled with memories. In the evening La Catrina will emerge among a procession visiting each altar and lighting the first candle in the ceremony. Attendees also can expect live musical entertainment. Go to the website for more details and to reserve an altar.
Route Details

St. Isidore Historical Plaza's Día de los Muertos

The community center at St. Isidore Historical Plaza, the oldest public building in Los Alamitos, hosts a Día de Muertos altar contest from 2 to 9 p.m. Oct. 29. It includes food, music and a raffle. The altars will be set up after noon and judging will take place from 6 to 7 p.m.

A community ofrenda also will be set up for the public to leave photos and mementos of departed loved ones. There will be a memorial gazebo decorated with marigolds where people will be able to leave messages.
Route Details
Two dolls with clown face paint sit in front of a mini vintage blue car displaying a sugar skull and a picture frame.
(Debi Del Grande)

Hollywood Forever presents Día and Noche de los Muertos

Hollywood Event
This year, Hollywood Forever honors Mayahuel, the maguey (agave) goddess, and her gifts, while acknowledging the grief of recent years and the hope for better days.

Hollywood Forever’s events are Oct. 29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to midnight. During the day, activities include a children’s plaza and cultural performances, an altar exhibition, dance performances, arts and crafts vendors and food. The nighttime activities have a similar lineup minus the children’s plaza. Tickets range from $35 to $150.
Route Details

Saddleback College Día de los Muertos

Orange County Event
Saddleback College is welcoming students and the community to celebrate Día de Muertos by leaving a flower or photo at one of its public ofrendas. Celebrate the lives of departed loved ones with free tacos (while they last), live music and dance, and activities for all ages, including workshops to create paper flowers, headdresses, sugar skulls, custom T-shirts and more.

The event is Nov. 1 from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Fine Arts Courtyard. Reserve free tickets on Eventbrite.
Route Details

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Guests can remember loved ones by placing their names on a Día de Muertos ofrenda in the 18th century historic Sala of the Mission San Juan Capistrano. The ofrenda is accessible daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Tuesdays) through Oct. 30.
Route Details

Westminster Memorial Park & Mortuary's Día de los Muertos

Westminster Event
The cemetery is hosting a free, family-friendly Día de Muertos event Oct. 30 from noon to 4 p.m. Guests will be greeted with complimentary sugar skulls, ice cream, pan dulce and champurrado. Expect a raffle, dance performances and face painting.

Families are encouraged to add to a community altar.
Route Details
Women in colorful costumes dance onstage.
“Ofrenda: A Día de los Muertos Celebration” is at the Carpenter Center at Cal State Long Beach.
(Julie Salas-Rodriquez )

'Ofrenda' at the Carpenter Center

Long Beach Performing arts center
The Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles and Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar will perform “Ofrenda: A Día de los Muertos Celebration” on Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. at the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center at Cal State Long Beach

“Ofrenda” pays tribute to the traditional music and dances from different regions, including “La Bruja” from Veracruz and “Retablo Purépecha” from Michoacán, and pays homage to Mexican artists such as Juan Gabriel and Pedro Infante. It also will feature songs from Disney’s animated Day of the Dead-themed “Coco.” Tickets are $45 and can be purchased online.
Route Details
Two children with calavera face paint, flower headpieces and traditional dresses.
Museum of Latin American Art welcomes families and the community to its Día de Muertos festival.
(David Espinoza)

MOLAA’s Day of the Dead: Strength and Hope

Long Beach Art Museum
The Museum of Latin American Art’s event on Oct. 30, which has the theme “Strength and Hope,” starts at 11 a.m. and includes live music and dance, exhibitions, vendors and a Q&A with Emmy winner Jorge Gutierrez (“El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera”). The events ends with a screening of Gutierrez’s “The Book of Life” at 6:15 p.m.

RSVP’s are encouraged but walk-ins are welcome. On-site parking costs $15 per car.
Route Details

Mount Wilson Fundraising Concert and Día de Muertos Celebration

Mount Wilson Observatory is hosting the Adams Pack Station Fundraiser, featuring two concerts by the Mariachi Lindas Mexicanas — L.A.’s all-female international mariachi group — on Oct. 30. Proceeds go toward supporting the Adams Pack Station, which has been closed since 2020’s Bobcat fire. Performances will be at 3 and 5 p.m. inside the historic 100-inch telescope dome.

Attendees also will be celebrating Día de Muertos with an ofrenda to honor those from the Mount Wilson Observatory and Adams Pack Station who left their mark on both institutions. Ticket holders are invited to a reception from 4 to 5 p.m. for Mexican-style hors d’oeuvres and assorted beverages. Buy tickets online.
Route Details

Family Festival at Catalina Museum

Avalon Museum
Catalina Museum invites the public to its fourth Día de los Muertos Family Festival with an art project for kids, local vendors, a tequila tasting and live performances on Nov. 1 from 5 to 9 p.m. Attendees can enjoy performances by Mariachi Las Catrinas and local band Sin Frontera as well as a dance by Ballet Folklorico Quetzal.
Route Details
Artist standing in front of an altar decorated with papel picado, yellow marigold flowers and framed photos.
Artist Dalila Paola Mendez’s altar is on display at FIGat7th.
(Javier Guillen / FIGat7th)

FIGat7th Dia de Muertos altar

Downtown L.A. Shopping mall
Downtown’s open-air mall FIGat7th has partnered with artist Dalila Paola Mendez, a queer first-generation Central American artist based in L.A., to create a Día de Muertos altar. This year Mendez addressed water issues affecting the nation and the world. Mendez’s altar is on display on the M1 level until Nov. 2.
Route Details

Día de los Muertos Family Day

Downtown L.A. Event
Join LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes’ education team for free hands-on art and culinary workshops, as well as live dance and music, Oct. 30 starting at noon.
Route Details

Día de los Muertos Festival at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center invites the public to its Día de los Muertos Festival on Oct. 30 from noon to 4 p.m. The free event includes live music, local artisans, and arts and crafts activities for kids.
Route Details

Bowers Museum’s Día de los Muertos Festival

Santa Ana Art Museum
The Bowers Museum holds its free festival Nov. 6 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Attendees can expect music by groups including Mariachi Anacatlan and the Mariachi Kids, dance by Xipe Totec Danza Azteca, art, face painting and more. Access to the museum is free on Festival Sundays for members and Santa Ana residents.
Route Details

24th Street Theatre Block Party

University Park Event
Celebrate Día de Muertos at 24th Street Theatre’s annual block party Nov. 2 from 6 to 10 p.m., this year headlined by musical acts Angel Peaches with Combi Darks band; duo Ampersan from Mexico City; and singer Margarita Luna de Guadalajara. The free event will include craft booths, rides, homemade tamales and an area where families can make ofrendas. The evening starts with a procession led by ceremonial dancers at 5:45 p.m.
Route Details

Smorgasburg L.A. Día de los Muertos

Downtown L.A. Event
Smorgasburg L.A. invites you to bring photos and notes to add to its public altar from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m on Oct. 30. They’re celebrating Halloween too with music, trick-or-treating and a costume contest at 1 p.m. in the family friendly beer garden.
Route Details

Grand Parade Día de Muertos

Long Beach Parade
Long Beach and Councilwoman Mary Zendejas are starting a new tradition — a Día de Muertos Grand Parade on Nov. 5 that will include Catrinas, calaveras, musical groups, dancers and more. The route starts at 10 a.m. at 3rd Street and Pine Avenue and ends at Shoreline near Marina Green Park. After the parade, look for art and ofrendas at Rainbow Lagoon Park until 10 p.m.
Route Details