Día de Los Muertos

It is time for Día de Los Muertos in Old Town San Diego! This pre-Hispanic tradition originated in Mexico and pays tribute to loved-ones who have passed away. The holiday is celebrated with uniquely decorated ofrendas (altars), elaborate costumes and face-painting, and time spent with family and friends.

Download the Official Event Map & Program Below

Experience San Diego's finest Día de Los Muertos celebration! Take a tour of more than 40 unique ofrendas. Bring the family for amazing art and activities in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park and stroll a fabulous street market for treasures on October 28 & 29. Watch a free screening of Disney Pixar's "Coco" under the stars. Join our annual candlelit procession on November 2. Learn more below!

Día de los Muertos Events & Activities 2023

Ofrenda (Altar) Tours

Community-Wide Self-Guided Tours

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Stroll through the historic streets of Old Town at your own pace, discovering beautifully crafted altars created by local businesses and museums.

Self-guided tours of all Old Town altars will be published continuously as altars are set-up.

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State Park Guided Tours

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Join us in celebrating lives and legacies of Old Town San Diego’s historic families on a guided 45-minute tour through the State Park's multiple altars.

Tours are provided FREE by California State Parks, and begin at the Robinson Rose Visitor Center. Prior registration required; see link for dates & times.

Learn more.

Weekend Mercado

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Shop amazing art and crafts on Saturday, October 28 & Sunday, October 29, 2023 along San Diego Avenue and Harney Street. Featuring Día de Los Muertos must-haves and fine crafts, this exciting event will include activities for the whole family! Interested in being a vendor? Learn more by clicking HERE.

Sat: 10am-5:30pm & Sun: 10am-4:30pm.

State Historic Park: Art & Activities

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Throughout the weekend, visitors are invited to explore our historic museums, showcasing altares de muertos created by local artists honoring influential Old Town citizens. Engage in hands-on activities and sign up for a sugar skull painting workshop (additional material fee applies). In the Plaza de Armas, San Diego artists will create fabulous art celebrating the diverse communities that have shaped Old Town throughout the centuries.

We encourage visitors to honor loved ones by contributing their names to the Community Altar located in the Plaza de Armas. This project is made possible through the State of California's Arts in Parks program, a partnership of the California Department of Parks and Recreation and the California Arts Council. Join us on Saturday, October 28, from 11am to 9pm, and Sunday, October 29, from 11am to 5pm, for a journey through history and art!

"Coco": Free Outdoor Showing

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The San Diego Public Library is delighted to present a free community screening of Disney Pixar's beloved film "Coco" in the Plaza de Armas (Old Town San Diego State Historic Park) on Saturday, October 28, at 7pm.

Gather with friends and family for a heartwarming cinematic experience under the stars.

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La Experiencia at Fiesta de Reyes

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Visit Fiesta de Reyes from October 1 through November 2 to enjoy the wonder of La Experiencia! Featuring professional face painters, captivating art demonstrations, live entertainment, and both traditional and contemporary altars on display. Wander through this charming plaza in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park on Thursday through Sunday for live mariachi music and beautiful folklorico dancers.

Live Music

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As the vibrant celebration of Día de Los Muertos unfolds, the air will be filled with the enchanting melodies of live music. From Saturday, October 28, to Thursday, November 2, prepare to be entertained by a lineup of talented musicians and dancers, each adding their unique flavor to this culturally rich event.

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Annual Procession

Experience our candlelit procession after sunset on Thursday, November 2, starting at Immaculate Conception Church with blessings and traditional dances by Danza Azteca Atlachinolli. The procession will travel down San Diego Avenue to El Campo Santo Cemetery. Kick off at 6:00pm.

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Travel to Día de los Muertos Events

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Driving? There is plenty of free parking at the CalTrans Parking Lot at 4050 Taylor Street available on evenings after 5pm and all day on Saturdays and Sundays. Check out the Parking Map for more information on additional parking options.

Want to avoid traffic? Take transit! Old Town Transit Center serves San Diego MTS Blue & Green Line Trolleys and local bus lines; North County Transit Coaster commuter trains; Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trains; UCSD "Campus to Hillcrest" shuttle; USD "Campus to Old Town" shuttle.

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