Things To Do for Dia de Los Muertos in Los Angeles [2023]

Grand Park Dia de los Muertos
A Dia de los Muertos Altar in Grand Park with City Hall in background. Credit: Brian Champlin

In a city so closely tied to Mexican culture, it’s no surprise that Los Angeles has one of the most vibrant Día de los Muertos traditions of any city north of the border. And while the holiday of remembrance and celebration is traditionally held in the days after Halloween, here in L.A. there are special events, performances, festivals and altar displays on view starting from mid-October through the first weekend of November.

Most (but not all) of these public events are free to attend, and most (but not all) are readily accessible by Metro bus and rail service. Below, you’ll find a list of some of our favorites.

Día de los Muertos in Los Angeles

M = Metro Accessible

Grand Park from October 21 to November 2: M – Gloria Molina Grand Park’s Downtown Día de los Muertos welcomes park-goers to contribute to a community altar and to stroll through the park to view 20 altars, all beginning on October 21. Opening day will also feature including altar making and live music. The 13-day program concludes on November 2 with an evening screening of Macario presented by GuadaLAjara Film Festival. Altars are available to view from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily. Go Metro: Take the B or D Lines to Grand Park / Civic Center station.

Downtown San Pedro on October 22: The 11th annual San Pedro Día de Muertos celebration returns with an afternoon street festival featuring live performances (including the Mariachi Divas), traditional dance showcases, special vendors, altar and costume competitions, and a beer garden. The event runs from 3 to 9 p.m. and is free to attend. Go Metro: Take the J-Line 910/950 to Pacific / 7th.

Olvera Street from October 25 to November 2: M – In celebration of Día de Muertos, the Olvera Street Plaza will host nightly Novenario processions from October 25 through November 2, featuring a traditional Maya Blessing and Aztec dancers. Then, starting October 28, there will be an outdoor altar display accompanied by daytime and evening entertainment on select days. All events are free to attend. Go Metro: Take the A, B or D Lines to Union Station.

Hollywood Forever on October 28: M – The 24th Annual Día de los Muertos festival at Hollywood Forever returns featuring unique daytime and evening events, combining to make one of the largest Día de los Muertos events in the entire United States. Programming varies for the day/night events, but for both expect altars, traditional dance, art exhibits, culinary vendors, and a ceremonial procession. GA tix start at $35 for day, $60 for night. Go Metro: Take Line 4 to Santa Monica / Bronson

Santa Monica Pier on October 28: MThe Santa Monica Pier will host 8 days of altars on the iconic boardwalk to celebration Dia de los Muertos, kicking things off with a public festival on October 28. Programming will include a ceremonial blessing, face painting, live music, special food, and dancing. The opening celebration runs from noon to 9 p.m. and is free to attend. Altars will be on hand to view through November 4. Go Metro: Take the E Line to Downtown Santa Monica station.

Forest Lawn on October 29: SoCal cemetery chain Forest Lawn is hosting Día de los Muertos events at three locations throughout L.A. County on October 29. Each includes special altars plus traditional folklórico and mariachi music. All are free to attend.

LA Plaza on October 29: M – LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes hosts a Día de Los Muertos Family Day featuring live music and dance performances, plus art workshops on sand art, clay figures, and ofrenda printmaking. There will also be a giveaway for K-12 grade students. Programming runs from noon to 4 p.m. Free to attend. Go Metro: Take the A, B or D Lines to Union Station.

Downey Theatre on October 29: M – The City of Downey hosts a free Día de Los Muertos Art Festival at the Downey Theatre featuring local artists and vendors selling Day of the Dead-inspired works, plus live music, dance performances, and food options. Runs 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and free to attend. Go Metro: Take Lines 115 or 127 along Firestone Blvd.

MOLAA on October 29: M – The Museum of Latina American Art in Long Beach marks Día de Los Muertos with a public festival featuring 30+ merchants, nine food stations, beer & wine, a face-painting station, a children’s sugar skull workshop, printmaking station and a live tattoo artist, and DJ-spun tunes, all presented under this year’s theme: Hecho con Amor (Made with Love). Go Metro: Take the A Line to 5th Street station.

24th Street Theatre on November 2: M – Now in its 18th year, 24th Street Theatre’s Día de los Muertos Festival draws thousands of guests annually, offering an evening of live performances, food vendors, artisan booths, altars, art installations, and a cemetery of remembrance. Runs 6 to 10 p.m. Go Metro: Take Line 603 to Hoover / 23rd St.

Self Help Graphics on November 4: MSelf Help Graphics is hosting their 50th annual Día de los Muertos celebration to Civc Center Park in East LA. Expect an afternoon of altars, art, food, live music, and a special kids zone. Runs 3 to 8 p.m. and free to attend. Go Metro: Take the E Line to East LA Civic Ctr Station

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