Editor’s note: On Tuesday, October 28 Denver moved to level three restrictions for the safer-at-home order. This limits both event and restaurant capacity. Please check with the event to see if any changes have been made. For more information on the new restrictions, go here.
Fall weather is setting in and Coloradans are experiencing early winter conditions — which means it’s that time of the year again for Día de Los Muertos celebrations. Día de los Muertos — also known as Day of the Dead — is a Mexican holiday celebrated on November 1 and 2 in which celebrants gather to pray for and remember their deceased loved ones. The holiday is far from a sad one — it is instead filled with celebration, food, altars and skull decorating. Denver is lucky to be home to many events that will honor Día de los Muertos this year. Read on to see ways in which you can celebrate this year and learn more about the vibrant Mexican holiday.
Día de los Muertos at the Longmont Museum
When: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday
Where: Longmont Museum, 400 Quail Road, Longmont
Cost: $8 adults, $5 students and seniors
The Lowdown: The latest exhibition celebrating Día de los Muertos is now on view at the Longmont Museum — featuring ofrendas (altars) made by local community members — as well as art by Colorado artist Tony Ortega. The exhibition aims to shine a light on the culture and experiences of the Latinx community. This year, you can either view the exhibition in person or take a virtual tour. The city is also offering free events online — from mariachi performances to poetry reading — you can find more information on the Longmont website.
Día de los Muertos at 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 teamed up with a number of local organizations to bring a family-friendly Day of the Dead celebration to Stanley Marketplace. The event will include music, performances, a pumpkin patch and altars throughout the building. The event is free — but make sure to stay socially distanced from others and wear a mask at all times. More information is available on the Eventbrite page.
Colorado Day of the Dead
When: Weekends from October 30 – November 22
Where: La Plaza Colorado, 15200 East Colfax Ave., Aurora
Cost: $10 for adults and $5 for kids
The Lowdown: Norberto Mojardin — founder of Latin Fashion Week — presents a month-long Día de los Muertos celebration at La Plaza shopping center in Aurora. Visitors can view a large altar display while also visiting local vendors and plenty of food trucks. Reservations are required and tickets are cheaper if you purchase them online in advance.
When: October 29 – October 31
Where: 1890 Wazee St., Denver
Cost: Free admission
The Lowdown: Kachina Cantina is known for holding a yearly Día de los Muertos food fest. This year — their holiday menu includes chileatole verde, chicken chile rellenos and pato con mole. You can also enjoy the restaurant’s holiday decor and an authentic altar.
Run a 5k with Cheluna Brewing
When: November 1
Where: 2501 Dallas St., Aurora
Cost: $30 per ticket
The Lowdown: Cheluna Brewing is hosting a Día de los Muertos themed 5k fun run. Participants will receive a free craft beer, a collector’s pint glass, an opportunity to win prizes and access to live music and activities. The run is open to everyone — families, strollers and dogs are welcome. Part of the proceeds will be going to local charities. For more information and to register, click here.
Sugar Skulls and Margarita Party
When: November 2
Where: 5175 W 68th Ave., Arvada
Cost: $35 per ticket
The Lowdown: Los 3 Garcias Mexican Restaurant is hosting a paint and sip party. Participants will receive a sugar skull mug, paint supplies, a free cocktail and be treated to live music. If you’d rather participate from home — the restaurant is offering a to-go option with all supplies and drinks included. Only 50 tickets are available to allow for social distancing — so grab your tickets fast. You can find more information and request a reservation here.
Make Altars and Paint Skulls with Refresh Studios
When: Various dates in October
Where: 950 Jersey St. Unit C, Denver
Cost: $50 per person or $90 for two
The Lowdown: This local yoga studio is hosting multiple altar making sessions throughout October. Participants will receive all supplies needed 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 to include in your altar. For more information and to register, click here.
View “Xólotl: Dios Perro”
When: October 13- November 14
Where: Anythink Wright Farms, 5877 E. 120th Ave., Thornton
Cost: Free admission
The Lowdown: Anythink Libraries has partnered with the Mexican Cultural Center and Adams County to present a giant 140-pound sculpture created by contemporary artist Óscar Becerra Mora. The sculpture represents Xólotl — an Aztec deity that represents the lord of the underworld. Along with viewing the giant work of art — guests can contribute to a community altar in remembrance of their loved ones. For more information, visit the Anythink website.
Participate in a Virtual Mole Cooking Lesson
When: November 1
Cost: $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 is an hour and a half long and the cost includes a kit with all of the ingredients needed to make the mole. Kits will be picked up from the Denver Botanic Gardens’ York Street location. For more information, click here.
Día de los Muertos by Art District on Santa Fe
When: November 1 and November 6
Where: Various locations
The Lowdown: 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 Día de los Muertos dedication and submit photos of passed loved ones. Photos of loved ones will be displayed nightly for the week on Daniels and Fisher Tower as part of the Night Lights Denver program. The district is also hosting various virtual events for those who would like to participate from home. To find a complete schedule of events and locations click here.
Visit “Hecho en Colorado” Exhibition at History Colorado Center
When: July 6 – January 10
Where: 1200 Broadway, Denver
Cost: $14 per person
The Lowdown: If you have yet to visit the exhibition titled “Hecho en Colorado” at History Colorado Center — now is the time to do so. While the exhibition is not specifically geared as a Día de los Muertos celebration — it is a great way to learn more about Chicano and Mexican-American culture in Colorado. The exhibit features works from various artists and honors the accomplishments of the Latino community. On top of this — the museum is featuring a community altar that you can add your dedications to. For more information, visit the History Colorado Center website.
Dia de los Muertos at Lola Coastal Mexican
When: November 2
Where: 1575 Boulder St., Denver
Cost: Pricing varies
The Lowdown: Lola Coastal Mexican is hosting a Día de los Muertos food fest. The menu consists of either pork pozole or family-style tamales. If you order the cocktail special — you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a free bottle of tequila. The restaurant will also have live music by Ricardo Peña. If you’d like to eat at the restaurant, make sure to secure your reservation before spots fill up. If you would prefer to celebrate at home, you can pick up your order from the restaurant and eat it at home. To secure a reservation or a pickup order, click here.
Dia de los Muertos Altar Honoring Victims of Hate Crimes
When: Through November 2
Where: The Center on Colfax, 1301 E Colfax Ave., Denver
The Lowdown: The Center on Colfax has set up an ofrenda in the building windows which are visible from Colfax. The altar honors lives taken due to police violence, as well as 33 transgender people who have lost their lives due to hate crimes in 2020. Some of the lives remembered are George Floyd, Elijah McClain, Breonna Taylor and Monica Roberts. The Center on Colfax is also offering virtual events and video series, which you can find on its website.