You can almost hear the mariachis. The spirits are descending on San Diego for Dia de los Muertos and there’s no shortage places to pay homage by way of altars, traditional food, drink, dance, and of course, traditional music.
North Park Day of the Dead Festival
This event hosted by artsy boutique Artelexia promises a huge variety of artisan vendors and food trucks. Children can partake of traditional face painting and sugar-skull decorating while parents indulge in tequila and mezcal tastings.
Where: Ray Street between University Avenue and North Park Way
When: Oct. 26, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
3803 Ray St
Bazaar del Mundo’s Día de los Muertos
Turn shopping into a festive fall afternoon with the Bazaar del Mundo’s Día de los Muertos celebration. Watch performances from Ballet Folklorico dancers, listen to mariachi music, and grab some food and drink in the beer (and margarita) garden.
Where: Old Town
When: Nov. 1 and 2 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Nov. 3 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
4133 Taylor St
Old Town San Diego’s Día de los Muertos
You’ve got all weekend to check out 50 altars spread around Old Town for this event. But you may not want to miss the candlelight procession starting on Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. at the entrance to Old Town State Historic Park
Where: Old Town
When: Nov. 1 to 3
San Diego Avenue - Old Town San Diego
City Heights Día de los Muertos
You’ll have to be, uh…dead sexy to win the best catrina and catrin contest at this celebration in City Heights? Win or not, your consolation prize will be altar-viewing, face painting, and crafts, not ot mention entertainment from The Old Globe, Azteca Dancers, Fern Street Circus, and a parade featuring Drummers Without Borders.
Where: Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park
When: October 26, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
3795 Fairmount Ave
Encinitas Día de los Muertos Celebration
Mariachis and folkloric dancers will add ambience to this afternoon filled with food trucks, a lowrider car show, a community ofrenda, and artist demos.
Where: Encinitas Community Center
When: October 26, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
1140 Oakcrest Park Drive
Día de los Muertos at Rancho Guajome Adobe
The festivities at the historic Rancho Guajome Adobe will include community offerings, performances by Ballet Folklorico, live traditional music, and food and craft vendors.
Where: Rancho Guajome Adobe
When: October 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Price: Free for children 3 and under, $2 ages 4 to 12, $4 ages 13 and older
2210 N Santa Fe Ave
19th Annual Día de los Muertos
At the historic Old Mission San Luis Rey, families will find the Por Siempre car show and live entertainment. There will be plenty of fun for little ones, too, with the mission’s all new kids’ zone.
Where: Old Mission San Luis Rey
When: October 27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
4050 Mission Ave.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Día de los Muertos
Spend el día with some desert critters when you board the tram tour (available in English and Spanish). Tasty treats like Mexican nitro coffee and skull cookies will be served. Mariachis, stilt walkers, and dancers will make rounds during the late afternoon.
Where: San Diego Zoo Safari Park
When: November 1 to 3, tours at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Price: Children 11 years old and younger are free when accompanied by a paid adult
15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd
Carrera de los Muertos
Run along downtown’s San Diego Bay in a festive 5K or 10K. Afterwards, complement your runners high with mariachi music, dancers, face painting and food.
Where: Embarcadero Park South
When: November 3, 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Price: $39 to $74 (depending on age and package selection)
200 Marina Park Way
Day of the Dead Altar Viewings
The opening reception for this Centro Cultural de la Raza event commences on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. The next day at 4 p.m., learn flower-making, followed by a procession at 5 p.m. Community altars will be open for viewing from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. from Nov. 1 to 10, if you can’t make the earlier festivities.
Where: Balboa Park
When: November 1 to 10
2004 Park Blvd