Where to Celebrate Dia de los Muertos in San Diego

dia de los muertos in san diego

Dia de los Muertos (or “Day of the Dead” for all us gringos out there) is one of the most important Mexican holidays and a highly anticipated weekend even in the US. The celebration takes place over the course of three days, Oct 31 – Nov 2, and consists of several activities to honor the deceased. Private altars called ofrendas are built and many honor the dead using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed; many families visit graves of their loved ones with these as gifts. Check out all the ways to celebrate Dia de los Muertos in San Diego right here.

Old Town San Diego Dia de los Muertos
When: Saturday Nov 1 – Sunday Nov 2
Where: Old Town
Time: 12pm-9pm
Cost: Free
Commemorate the “Day of the Dead” by touring the museums and shops within Old Town San Diego! There will be face painting, live entertainment, sugar skull making, a traditional altar cemetery, and a procession to the Cemetery on Saturday night. An official “Day of the Dead” art exhibit will display original works of art, prints, and t-shirts depicting traditional and contemporary images. The primary tradition connected with the Día de los Muertos holiday is the building of altars or orofrendas (offerings) honoring the deceased; over 40 Old Town businesses, museums, and historic sites will be building them in honor of the celebration.

SEE ALSO: Halloween Events in San Diego

Sherman Heights Dia de los Muertos
The Sherman Heights community organizes one of the most authentic and varied Dia de los Muertos experiences in San Diego! Embrace Mexican culture and experience a traditional celebration through various events leading up to the Dia de los Muertos Weekend of November 1 and 2. Check out Sherman Heights’ full listing of events:

Noche de Mole – Opening Reception & Altar Preview
When: Thursday, October 23
Where: 2258 Island Avenue San Diego, CA 92102
Time: 6:30 to 9:00 PM
Cost: $25-$30
Thursday kicks off the weekend with an opening reception for the 20th Annual Día de los Muertos Celebration, which serves as the Historic Barrio District CDC’s Annual Fundraiser. The highlight of the evening is the delicious variety of mole sauces, a traditional Mexican cuisine which is also a common offering during Día de los Muertos. The event also features live entertainment and a silent auction. Guests also get to enjoy a sneak preview of the community altars before they are open to the public.

Altar Viewing & Community Tours
When: October 24-31
Where: 2258 Island Avenue San Diego, CA 92102
Time: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Cost: Free
Visit all of the Day of the Dead Community Altars! Traditionally, Day of the Dead altars are built in remembrance of a deceased loved one, and include offerings (ofrendas). Guests will have the opportunity to view over 25 community altars within the Sherman Heights Community Center.

Muertos Festival
When: Saturday, November 1
Where: 2258 Island Avenue San Diego, CA 92102
Time:10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: Free
This fun-filled day begins with an official blessing of the community altars, followed by live performances, food, shopping, altar tours and Day of the Dead themed workshops!

Desayuno Con Los Muertos
When: Sunday, November 2
Where: 2258 Island Avenue San Diego, CA 92102
Time: 9:00 to 11:00 AM
Cost: Cost varies by item
Guests are invited to a community breakfast in memory of those who have passed away. Menu includes: Menudo, Tamales, Champurrado, Aguas Frescas, Café de Olla, Pan de Muertos. Our Dia de los Muertos Tiendita (Market) will be open from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM where you can expect to find traditional items needed to build your very own Day of the Dead altar at home.

Muertos Candlelight Procession
When: Sunday, November 2
Where: 2258 Island Avenue San Diego, CA 92102
Time: Starts at 6:00 PM
Participate in the Annual Muertos Candlelight Procession from the Sherman Heights Community Center to the Historic Chicano Park in Barrio Logan. Feel free to bring a candle and/or pictures of departed loved ones as you march in their memory. Dia de los Muertos face painting and/or costumes highly encouraged!

Other Celebrations
14th Annual Día de los Muertos at Old Mission San Luis Rey
When: Sunday Oct 26, 10am-5pm
Where: Old Mission San Luis Rey at 4050 Mission Ave. Oceanside, CA 92057
Time: 10am-5pm
Cost: Free
The Mission will come alive at this free family-friendly event with entertainment, carnival rides, altar displays and a classic car show! Children will be entertained all day with a variety of craft activities and exciting carnival rides. You won’t want to miss out on over 90 diverse vendors, traditional food, chalk cemetery, and the classic car show showcasing trunk altars put on by the Por Siempre Car Club. Admission is free but parking is $5.

Dia de los Muertos at Suzie’s Farm
When: Saturday Nov 1, 6pm-10pm
Where: 2570 Sunset Avenue, San Diego, CA 92154
Cost: Adult – $65.00; Child Ticket (12 and under) – $35.00 includes food.
Gather with family and friends at Suzie’s Farm for a Dia De Los Muertos celebration to pray for and remember those who have passed. In true Suzie’s Farm style, they will be celebrating with delicious, seasonal Mexican food stations from The Wild Thyme Company. Bring remembrances to place at the Main Altar to commemorate your loved ones. While this is a holiday to remember those who have passed, it is also a fiesta!

Encinitas First Annual Dia De Los Muertos
When: Saturday Nov 1
Where: Encinitas Library – 540 Cornish Dr. Encinitas 92024
Time: 12-4pm
Cost: free
Presented by Encinitas Friends of the Arts. A family friendly filled day with art exhibits, food trucks, hand-on workshops, ballet folklorico, prize drawings and giveaways! Bring an offering or photo to contribute to the Surfing Madonna Community Ofrenda in honor of the memory of a loved one or friend.

Escondido’s 19th Annual Día de los Muertos Festival
When: Saturday Nov 1
Where: CA Center for the Arts at 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido, CA 92025
Time: 6pm
Cost: Free
The 19th Annual Día de los Muertos festival will feature live entertainment by Mariachi Los Caballeros de San Diego, and guests are invited to participate by creating altars in honor of their loved ones in a special area outside of the Center’s museum. Candles will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring mementos, pictures, flowers, and other items for their altars. [artcenter.org]

More Festivals:

Where will you be celebrating this year? To stay up to date with Halloween and other local holiday events, check our Events page online.

[image: utsandiego.com]

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