Editor’s Note: On Tuesday October 28th, Denver made the three restrictions on ordering at home safer. This limits the capacity of both events and restaurants. Please check with the event to see if any changes have been made. You can find more information about the new restrictions here.
Fall weather sets in and Coloradans are experiencing early winter conditions – meaning it’s time again for the Día de Los Muertos celebrations. Día de los Muertos – also known as Day of the Dead – is a Mexican holiday celebrityon November 1st and 2nd In which celebrants gather to pray for and remember their loved ones who have passed away. The holiday is anything but sad – instead, it is full of celebrations, food, altars and skull decorations. Denver is fortunate to host many events that will honor Día de los Muertos this year. Read on to see how to celebrate this year and learn about the vibrant Mexican holiday.
Day of the Dead at the Longmont Museum
When: Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Longmont Museum, 400 Quail Road, Longmont
Costs: $ 8 adults, $ 5 students and seniors
The lowdown: The latest exhibition to celebrate the Día de los Muertos is now on display at the Longmont Museum. It shows offrendas (altars) by members of the local community as well as art by Colorado artist Tony Ortega. The exhibition aims to shed light on the culture and experiences of the Latinx community. This year you can either visit the exhibition in person or take a virtual tour. The city also hosts free online events – from mariachi performances to reading poetry. Visit the Longmont website for more information.
Day of the Dead in Stanley Marketplace
When: November 2, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Where: Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas St., Aurora
The lowdown: The Village Exchange Center has partnered with a number of local organizations to bring a family-friendly Day of the Dead to Stanley Marketplace. The event will include music, performances, a pumpkin patch, and altars throughout the property. The event is free – but make sure you distance yourself socially and always wear a mask. Please visit the Eventbrite page for more information.
Colorado Day of the Dead
When: Weekends from October 30th to November 22nd
Where: La Plaza Colorado, 15200 East Colfax Ave., Aurora
Costs: $ 10 for adults and $ 5 for children
The lowdown: Norberto Mojardin – founder of Latin Fashion Week – presents a month-long celebration of the Día de los Muertos at the La Plaza shopping center in Aurora. Visitors can view a large display of altarpieces while visiting local vendors and many food trucks. Reservations are required and tickets are cheaper if you buy them online in advance.
When: October 29th – October 31st
Where: 1890 Elders St., Denver
Costs: Free admission
The lowdown: Kachina Cantina is known for an annual Día de los Muertos food festival. This year the vacation menu includes Chileatole Verde, Chicken Chile Rellenos and Pato con Mole. You can also enjoy the restaurant’s Christmas decorations and an authentic altar.
Run 3 miles with Cheluna Brewing
When: 1st of November
Where: 2501 Dallas St., Aurora
Costs: 30 USD per ticket
The lowdown: Cheluna Brewing is running a 5K run on the theme of Día de los Muertos. Participants will receive a free craft beer, a pint glass for collectors, the chance to win prizes, and access to live music and activities. The run is open to everyone – families, strollers and dogs are welcome. A portion of the proceeds will go to local charities. For more information and to register, click here.
Sugar skull and margarita party
When: November 2
Where: 5175 W 68th Ave., Arvada
Costs: $ 35 per ticket
The lowdown: The Mexican restaurant Los 3 Garcias is hosting a painting and swallowing party. Participants will receive a sugar skull mug, art supplies, a free cocktail, and live music. If you’d prefer to attend from home, the restaurant offers a take away option with all supplies and drinks. There are only 50 tickets available to allow social distancing. So grab your tickets quickly. Further information and a reservation can be found here.
Make altars and paint skulls with Refresh Studios
When: Various dates in October
Where: 950 Jersey St. Unit C, Denver
Costs: $ 50 per person or $ 90 for two
The lowdown: This local yoga studio hosts several altar-making sessions throughout October. Participants will receive all the supplies they need to make an altar, as well as tacos and drinks from Bertha’s Baja Bistro. You are encouraged to bring photos of loved ones who have passed away to include on your altar. For more information and to register, click here.
View “Xólotl: Dog God”
When: October 13th – November 14th
Where: Anythink Wright Farms, 5877 E. 120th Ave., Thornton
Costs: Free admission
The lowdown: Anythink Libraries partnered with the Mexico Cultural Center and Adams County to showcase a giant 140-pound sculpture created by contemporary artist Óscar Becerra Mora. The sculpture represents Xólotl – an Aztec deity who represents the lord of the underworld. In addition to viewing the huge work of art, guests can contribute to a communal altar to commemorate loved ones. Please visit the Anythink website for more information.
Take a virtual mole cooking lesson
When: 1st of November
Costs: $ 120 per kit
The lowdown: Hosted by Denver Botanic Gardens – join Chef Edwin Sandoval as he guides you through a virtual mole cooking lesson. The lesson lasts an hour and a half and the cost includes a kit with all the ingredients needed to make the mole. Kits will be collected from the York Street location of the Denver Botanic Gardens. More information can be found here.
Day of the Dead from Art District on Santa Fe
When: November 1st and November 6th
Where: Different places
The lowdown: The Art District on Santa Fe is hosting in-person and virtual events for Día de los Muertos this year. You can contribute to a community altar, experience a dedication by Día de los Muertos, and submit photos of deceased loved ones. As part of the Night Lights Denver program, photos of loved ones are shown atop Daniels and Fisher Towers every night during the week. The district also hosts various virtual events for those who wish to attend from home. For a full schedule of events and locations, click here.
Visit the Hecho en Colorado exhibit at the History Colorado Center
When: July 6th – January 10th
Where: 1200 Broadway, Denver
Costs: 14 USD per person
The lowdown: If you haven’t seen the Hecho en Colorado exhibit at the History Colorado Center, now is the time. While the exhibit isn’t specifically dedicated to celebrating the Día de los Muertos, it is a great way to learn more about Colorado’s Chicano culture and Mexican-American culture. The exhibition shows works by various artists and recognizes the achievements of the Latino community. In addition, the museum has a communal altar to which you can add your dedications. Visit the History Colorado Center website for more information.
Dia de los Muertos at Lola Coastal Mexican
When: November 2
Where: 1575 Boulder St., Denver
Costs: The prices vary
The lowdown: Lola Coastal Mexican is hosting a Día de los Muertos Food Festival. The menu consists of either pork pozole or family tamales. If you order the cocktail special, you will be entered into a raffle to win a free bottle of tequila. The restaurant also features live music by Ricardo Peña. If you want to eat at the restaurant, secure your reservation before seats are full. If you’d rather celebrate at home, you can pick up your order at the restaurant and eat at home. Click here to secure a reservation or a pick-up order.
Dia de los Muertos altar in honor of victims of hate crimes
When: Until November 2nd
Where: The Center on Colfax, 1301 E Colfax Ave., Denver
The lowdown: The Center on Colfax has installed an ofrenda in the building windows visible from Colfax. The altar honors lives killed as a result of police violence, as well as 33 transgender people who lost their lives to hate crimes in 2020. Some of the lives to be remembered are George Floyd, Elijah McClain, Breonna Taylor, and Monica Roberts. The Center on Colfax also has virtual events and video series which you can find on its website.