Día de los Muertos

Honoring the Spirit of Día de los Muertos Around Town

Downtown Santa Monica, Grand Park, the Bowers Museum, Olvera Street, and LA Zoo all feature altars, events, and moments of remembrance as November begins.

Ricardo Soltero/Downtown Santa Monica

What to Know

  • Artist Richard Soltero's La Catrina sculptures are on view around Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica through Nov. 2
  • Olvera Street is hosting a nightly procession through Nov. 2
  • Stop by LA Zoo through Nov. 2 to contribute a photo or drawing to the Beloved Pets Ofrenda

Baking some colorful conchas, placing a votive, a string of lights, or a lamp in just the right place, and making sure all of the photos you want to include are printed and on display?

Making sure that your at-home altar is as merry and as meaningful as you'd like it to be is one of the poignant ways that many Southern Californians greet the start of November, a month that begins with the continued observances of Día de los Muertos, an occasion that traditionally commences at the close of October.

But if you're also seeking a public expression of the ethereal-of-spirit celebration, there are locations around the region that are festively featuring sculptures, ofrendas, and nightly Novenario processions, all to lovingly honor the world beyond this one and those who've gone before us.

Look for artist Richard Soltero's large-scale La Catrina sculptures at nine spots around Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. These dramatic, under-the-sun (or stars) artworks, a returning favorite to the area, feature a bevy of flowers and festive details.

They're free to see, too, through Nov. 2.

Grand Park's Día de los Muertos installations are on view through the first two days of the month, and they're all free to see at the DTLA destination. Great swaths of marigolds, amazing altars dotted with cherished mementos and memories, and other tender touches add layers of emotion to this presentation.

A community ofrenda is on view through Nov. 2 at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. Just head for the museum's Historic Courtyard Annex from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and feel free to leave "a photo or trinket" in tribute to someone in your heart.

Don your calaveras make-up and costume and play a part in the nightly Novenarios weaving through Olvera Street. The gatherings, which summon the spirited side of the occasion, are free to see or join through Nov. 2.

The Beloved Pets Ofrenda, an inaugural altar from the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, is on view through Nov. 2.

A project that was created in partnership with Plaza de la Raza's Cultural Center for the Arts & Education, the ofrenda features hundreds of sweet pictures or drawings of our now-gone, forever-missed pets.

Viewing or contributing to the ofrenda is included with zoo admission.

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