Día de los Muertos Events and Activities

Looking for a fun ways to celebrate the Day of the Dead this year? Our Día de los Muertos guide is here to help.

Día de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday celebrated the first two days in November that commemorates lost loved ones with colorful ofrendas (altars), calacas (skeletons), calaveras (skulls), spoken word performances, food and more. 

Families in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor celebrate this holiday at a ton of community events and in a wide variety of different ways. Here, we’ve rounded up some great Day of the Dead events for 2023.

Plus, for families that don’t want to venture out, we have some fun crafts and traditional recipes for you to try with your kids. 

Local Events and Activities 

During Día de los Muertos, families traditionally fill the day with dancing and meetings at their loved ones’ grave sites, but there are plenty of local groups that host events to commemorate the day, too. 

Here is a selection of some of 2023 options: 

Ofrendas: Celebrating el Día de Muertos 

Sept. 23-Nov. 5, 2023 (Tuesdays-Sundays)

The DIA and the Mexican Consulate of Detroit partner to put on this display, which features ofrendas altars created by members of the community. 

Día de los Muertos Celebration

Oct. 28, 2023

Celebrate Dia de los Muertos on the Detroit Riverfront. This family-friendly event features live music, food, ballet folklórico, children’s activities and more.

Dia de los Muertos Skate

Nov. 1, 2023

Celebrate Dia de los Muertos at a skating event with where you’ll listen to Pop, Reggae and Latin music, have your face painted and create your very own Sugar Skull. 

Fall Spanish Story Time: Dia de los Muertos

Nov. 2, 2023

Join the library for a story time and activities to celebrate and learn about Dia de los Muertos. Crafts and snacks, too.

The décor 

Traditional Day of the Dead celebrations include blue, pink, red, yellow, orange and other brightly colored sugar skulls, skeletons, flowers (particularly marigolds), an array of garlands and more. 

You can buy Day of the Dead decorations in most big box stores or on Etsy, but you can also make your own traditional décor. Pinterest is full of great ideas.

You can also build your own Día de Mueros Ofrenda with this step-by-step guide from Tejas Made

The food 

Like many Mexican families, your family probably has recipes for traditional pan de muerto, tamales and other signature Day of the Dead dishes, but if you’re looking to mix things up this year, Food and WineGrowing Up BilingualDelish and other blogs offer some yummy Day of the Dead ideas. Some standouts include Candied Pumpkin and Oaxacan Hot Chocolate, Guatemalan molletes, Day of the Dead Cookies and Margarita Punch. 

This post was originally published in 2020 and is updated regularly.


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Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano is a mom of one and Metro Parent's Audience Development Coordinator. She tracks down the best events every week and shares the inside scoop with families in print and online. She enjoys reading, traveling and exploring metro Detroit with her son.

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