Pan de muerto and other items arranged as an ofrenda during Day of the Dead festivities
It'd be easy to think that a holiday called Day of the Dead would be a bit of a downer. But Día de los Muertos, as it's called in Spanish, is a festive holiday celebrated in Mexico and several other Latin American countries on Nov. 1 and 2. It does focus on deceased ancestors, but in the spirit of family, remembrance and connection. Whether this holiday is part of your family tradition or not, we all have departed relatives and ancestral roots worth honoring.
Join a family Día de los Muertos celebration in the coming days. We've rounded up some virtual and in-person offerings here. If venturing out, remember to mask up and keep your 6 feet of distance.
- Oct. 20–31: Celebrate Día de los Muertos at the Tacoma Art Museum by visiting any time during open hours to view the community-built ofrendas (altars) and the tapetes (sand paintings). Included with admission ($15–$18; ages 18 and younger free).
- Saturday, Oct. 23, 11 a.m.–noon: Join KCLS online for instruction on how to draw a traditional Catrina head and learn about its origins. Free, ages 5 and older.
- Saturday, Oct. 23, noon–4 p.m.: Come down to newly revamped Pier 62 for live music, dance and art in celebration of the Day of the Dead. Check out the array of unique Mexican jewelry, crafts and gifts for sale, too. Free.
- Oct. 29–Nov. 10: Check out the Seattle Art Museum's annual tapete (sand painting) exhibit and snag a take-home art project on your way out; free (does not include entry to galleries). Admission to SAM is $13–$20; 14 and younger free.
- Saturday, Oct. 30, 1–6 p.m.: Celebrate the dearly departed at Calavera Collective's Día de Los Muertos gathering at the Eastside Community Center in Tacoma with a community altar, food, tribal blessing and more. Free, food for purchase.
- Oct. 30–Nov. 7: Stop by Bainbridge Island Museum of Art to view the beautiful ofrenda honoring those who have passed. Add your own memento to honor a departed loved one. Free.
- Oct. 30–Nov. 7: Seattle Center's Festál series welcomes all for a hybrid edition of its annual Día de los Muertos Festival. Check out the community altars at Fisher Pavilion and/or join the virtual celebration online Sunday, Oct. 31, at noon.
- Nov. 1–5: Burien has a mix of virtual and in-person offerings to celebrate the Day of the Dead this year. Jump on Facebook for storytelling with KCLS's Adriana Morales (date and time TBA). Stop by the Discover Burien booth at the Burien Farmers Market to pick up a free Catrina felt ornament craft kit (Thursdays, Oct. 21, Oct. 28, Nov. 4; 11 a.m.–6 p.m.) Then watch the provided tutorial to make your own Day of the Dead décor. And/or, get out and about to view the ofrendas displayed around town. Free.
- Nov. 1–6: The Outlet Collection in Auburn hosts a six-day celebration of Día de los Muertos. Come by to view the ofrenda display, hear a story read by Mrs. Señora of Washington 2021, make a themed craft, watch the movie “Coco,” join a Catrina dress-up contest, get your face painted and more. Check the schedule for dates and times of each activity. Free.
- Tuesday, Nov. 2, noon–5 p.m.: Gather photos and mementos of your loved ones to add to the community altar at the ShoreLake Art Gallery. Pick up a free sugar skull sticker on the way out. Virtual activities are planned as well, details TBA. Free admission; donations appreciated.
- Tuesday, Nov. 2, 5–8 p.m.: Enjoy music, play games, do crafts and feast on Mexican cuisine at Issaquah's Día de los Muertos celebration at the Issaquah Community Center. Free; food for purchase.
- Sunday, Nov. 6, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.: Join the Phinney Neighborhood Center to celebrate Día de los Muertos with arts and crafts, food and drinks, live performances and a community altar. Bring along small photos or mementos of departed loved ones to add to the altar (through the end of November). Free entry; $5 tickets for live performances.