While Halloween may be the big holiday this time of year in most of the United States, Dia de los Muertos is just as important in Greater Phoenix. Originating in Mexico, Dia de los Muertos, or day of the Day, is usually held on November 1st and 2nd, honoring family, friends and loved ones who have died. Despite its focus, the holiday is one of joy, featuring staples such as sweet bread, or pan de muertos, calaveras or sugar skulls, and altars adorned in beautiful marigolds to remember those we loved. 

Greater Phoenix has strong Mexican roots that are still celebrated in every part of the city today. Find the best things to do in Greater Phoenix to celebrate the Day of the Dead.

 

Dia de los Muertos Festival at Mesa Arts Center

Oct. 22-23

The annual free event offers a variety of features, performances and more in celebration of the memories of the deceased.

Mesa Arts Center
1 E. Main St., Mesa

 

Mikiztli Dia De Los Muertos Festival

Oct. 30

The annual Mikiztli Dia De Los Muertos Festival will feature music, dance, masked performances, kids art activities, artists mercado and candlelight closing procession with ceremony and celebration. This festival is a unique and exciting artistic event that keeps families connected to their cultural heritage and traditions.

Steele Indian School Park
300 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix

 

Dia de los Muertos at Desert Botanical Garden

Oct. 29-30

Celebrate the colorful and vibrant Mexican tradition of Día de Muertos at the Garden with new and memorable experiences. The two-day festival will be filled with Mexican music, dance, storytelling y más! Honor a loved one at the Community Altar by artist Rufina Ruiz López. At day’s end, Garden guests are invited to join performers in La Procesión, a procession honoring passed loved ones, through the Garden.

Desert Botanical Garden
1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix

 

Kids in Focus Noche para los Niños

Nov. 10

The Arizona Heritage Center at Papago Park will be transformed into a spectacular Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) themed celebration to benefit Kids in Focus. Guests will stroll the beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces of the museum, enjoying festivities. Dress code for this event is festive black cocktail attire with splashes of color in keeping with the Day of the Dead theme.

Arizona Heritage Center
1300 N. College Ave., Tempe

 

Las Cafeteras presents Hasta la Muerte

Oct. 28

Hasta La Muerte is an enthralling new production rooted in the Indigenous Mexican practice of celebrating life and death, universally known as Día de Los Muertos. In honoring the ancestors who came before us, Hasta La Muerte is a passionate, multi-dimensional performance filled with Zapateado, dance, song, altares y flores. Hasta La Muerte will feature original and new works from Las Cafeteras, as well as inspired interpretations of traditional folk songs, such as “La Llorona,” “La Bruja,” “La Morena.” With a traditional altar on stage, alongside mesmerizing beauty of folkloric choreography, the Hasta La Muerte show will be a night of transcendent color and sound, a moving invitation to travel through time, rhythm and memory.

Chandler Center for the Arts
250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler

 

Ofrenda, a Dia de los Muertos Celebration

Oct. 29

Celebrate Día de Los Muertos with the nation’s premier Mexican folk dance company, Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles, and the musicians of Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar. Ofrenda pays tribute to traditional music and dances from different regions, including “La Bruja” from Veracruz and “Retablo Purépecha” from the state of Michoacán, along with music from the Disney movie Coco, plus an homage to Mexican artists Juan Gabriel, Selena, Pedro Infante, and José Alfredo Jiménez.

The Vista Center for the Arts
15660 N. Parkview Place, Surprise