Pay tribute to the deceased with these Día de los Muertos events around San Francisco
While the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is known for its colorful displays, eye-catching skeletons and elaborate face painting, it is so much more than the fanfare might suggest. Celebrating Día de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead is a time of remembrance and a celebration of lost loved ones. This joyful Mexican tradition brings families and communities together to eat, sing, dance, celebrate culture and more. Grab your friends and family and get ready to join in on the fun at one of these Bay Area festive celebrations.
San Francisco Day of the Dead Events
23rd Annual Day of the Dead Show at SOMArts: Marking its 23rd year, SOMArts’ annual Día de Los Muertos exhibition is one of the most internationally diverse Day of the Dead celebrations in the United States. Founded by beloved San Francisco artist and curator René Yañez, the event merges traditional altars with contemporary multi-faceted art installations. Bring the family to explore this year’s exhibition To Love and Be Loved in Return: Día de Los Muertos 2022, a presentation exemplifying how the love between us and our dead continue to help us to navigate the world. Event details.
When: Now through Nov. 4
934 Brannan St.
Day of the Dead Festivals on the Peninsula
Redwood City’s Casa Círculo Cultural’s Day of the Dead Event: Redwood City’s Courthouse Square will be transformed into a play, where musicians, dancers, artists and family altars are all on display. Families can decorate sugar sugar skulls and get creative with marigolds and more. Catrinas (elegantly dressed skeletons) will be walking around the plaza greeting visitors, and a procession will walk through downtown Redwood City. The community event is a collaboration between Casa Circulo Cultural, the San Mateo History Museum, Friends of the Redwood City Library and the Redwood City Parks & Arts Foundation. Event details.
When: Nov. 5
Redwood City Courthouse Square
Day of the Dead Events in Oakland
OMCA’s Día de Los Muertos Festival: Various art forms will be in abundance this year at OMCA’s 23rd annual Day of the Dead Festival. From folkloric ballet to poetry readings, kids crafts and more, the community event is sure to help families remember their loved ones while celebrating life. Event details.
When: Oct. 23, noon-4 p.m.
Cost: $10 for general public and free for members (festival access only)
Oakland Museum of California
1000 Oak St.
Fruitvale Día De Los Muertos Festival: This vibrant outdoor community festival will celebrate its 27th year with world-class live music, Aztec rituals, and artistic installations to commemorate the Day of the Dead. Honoring essential workers this year, the event will feature family-friendly games, carnival rides and festival food favorites from local vendors. Event details.
Fun Fact: This Día de los Muertos Festival was inducted into the U.S. Library of Congress by Congresswoman Barbara Lee as a "Local Legacy."
When: Oct. 30; 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
International Blvd. & Fruitvale Ave.
Day of the Dead Events in Santa Clara County
Community Day: El Día de los Muertos: Celebrate the Day of the Dead with the San Jose Museum of Art. Guaranteed to be a day packed with fun including live entertainment, cultural demonstrations and an eclectic mix of art-making, the event will have something for all ages to enjoy. Get ready to decorate calaveras de azúcar (sugar skulls), make monarch butterfly bookmarks and get creative with marigolds, a popular flower during the holiday. Event details.
When: Oct. 29; 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Free but order tickets ahead
San Jose Museum of Art
110 South Market St.
Celebrate Your Ancestors with Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose: Families are invited to a joyful Día de Los Muertos program honoring the lives of departed ancestors and loved ones. Translated "The Day of the Dead" the Mexican holiday is traditionally celebrated on Nov. 1 and 2. The special event is part of the museum’s Cultural Celebration Series, a regional diversity effort to help families of all backgrounds explore the many cultures and traditions in Silicon Valley. Event details.
When: Nov. 5; 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.; 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
Cost: $15 for non-members and free for members
180 Woz Way
Día de los Muertos in Gilroy: The Gilroy Downtown Business Association is hosting a celebration of Día de los Muertos on Oct. 30th from 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Get ready to dance and feast on local goodies from vendors in a fun-packed cultural celebration. The event will be held in Gourmet Alley between 4th and 5th Streets. There will be folkloric dancing, mariachis, vendors, food, and more! Event details.
When: Oct. 30
Downtown Gilroy (Gourmet Alley) between 4th & 5th Street
Santa Cruz Day of the Dead Events
Día de los Muertos Community Festival: Road trip anyone? Journey south to Santa Cruz for a community celebration of traditional music, dance, and art at Evergreen Cemetery. Attendees can enjoy live performances by Senderos’ Centeotl Danza y Baile and Ensamble Musical de Senderos. Families can also stroll through the cemetery in a self-guided presentation of community altars. Event details.
When: Oct. 29, noon-4 p.m.
261 Evergreen St.