Go Metro to EIGHT FREE events for the Day of the Dead

We have big events coming up for The Day of the Dead – one of the largest and oldest celebrations in Mexico, where loved ones who are no longer with us are remembered and honored. But while the word “death” often evokes sadness and pain, this holiday is joyful because it celebrates the return of the dead to the world of the living. 

 According to tradition, altars are the portals that allow this crossing. This spiritual ‘visit’ is particularly special, which is why people decorate the altars with confetti, marigold flowers, sugar skulls, and photographs of deceased family members. You’ll also often see  food, drinks, candles, and incense on the altars. 

Although the roots of this celebration go back centuries, movies like The Book of Life (2014) and Coco (2017) have made this festivity known everywhere –– and especially in Los Angeles. That’s why we have compiled a list of eight FREE events where you can celebrate, learn, and commemorate the Day of the Dead ––  that you can easily reach by train or bus with Metro. 

Gloria Molina – Grand Park 

For almost two weeks, 19 altars made by professional artists and local community organizations will be on display in Grand Park. At the event, which has been held for 12 consecutive years, the community will help set up the 20th altar to honor the Monterey Park victims of gun violence and those who died during the wildfires in Maui. 

  • When: From Saturday, October 21 to Thursday, November 2 
  • Where: Gloria Molina Grand Park – 200 N. Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90012 
  • Time: Altars will be on exhibit all day 
  • Go Metro: Take the B (Red) / D (Purple) Line subway to Civic St./Grand Park OR take the A (Blue) or E (Gold) to Historic Broadway. 
  • For more information visit here 

Olvera Street  

For nine days, Olvera Street will host a variety of events. One of them is a theatrical presentation called ‘The Dance of Death,’ where you can learn in an entertaining way about the history of the Day of the Dead. The presentation will be followed by a parade with Aztec dancers to honor loved ones. 

The exhibition of altars will start during the last weekend of October along with dances and a face painting stall in case you want a catrina makeup  – a skull design worn during this celebration and that symbolizes the way Mexican people see death and the afterlife 

  • When: The theatrical performance will run from Wednesday, October 25 to Thursday, November 2. The altars exhibition starts on Saturday, October 28 
  • Where: Olvera St. Los Angeles, CA 90012 
  • Time: The performance starts at 6:00 pm. The weekend entertainment begins at 11:00am 
  • Go Metro: Take the B (Red) / D (Purple) / A (Blue) Line subway to Union Station. 
  • For more information visit here  

    Cortesía: Placita Olvera.

Plaza de la Cultura y Artes 

If you are looking to explore the cultural and historical meanings of the Day of the Dead, this is the right place for you! There will be live music, dance, food for sale, and art workshops. 

  • When: Sunday, October 29 
  • Where: LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes – 501 N. Main St. Los Angeles, CA 90012 
  • Time: 12:00 pm 
  • Go Metro: Take the B (Red) / D (Purple) / A (Blue) Line subway to Union Station 
  • For more information click here  

Glendale – Forest Lawn Memorial Parks & Mortuaries   

The cemetery, which opened in 1906, will have a dedicated space for altars, folk dancing, and a mariachi performance.  

  • When: Sunday, October 29 
  • Where: Forest Lawn Memorial Park – 1712 S. Glendale Ave. Glendale, CA 91205 
  • Time: 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm 
  • Go Metro: Take the bus 94 to Brand / Eulalia OR bus Line 180 to Brand / Los Feliz. 
  • For more information click here  

Canoga Park 

Spanning several blocks on Sherman Way, the festival will highlight several altars and feature live folkloric performances and Aztec dancers. It will also have a variety of food carts, craft sales, chalk art, and even a classic car show. You can not miss this! 

  • When: Sunday, November 5 
  • Where: On Sherman Way, between Canoga Ave. and Topanga Canyon Blvd, Canoga Park, CA, 91303 
  • Time: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm 
  • Go Metro: Take the G (Orange) Line to Sherman Way OR take the bus Line 162 to Sherman Way / Owensmouth. 
  • For more information click here 

Art in East LA 

For those who want to express their creativity, Self Help Graphics & Art has prepared several community art workshops that will take place every weekend at the East Los Angeles County Library. You will be able to learn how to make papel picado and paper marigolds. You can also create your own calaca and decorate a pre-made calaca magnet. The event is free, but it is recommended that you register in advance to reserve a spot (use the QR code in the picture below). The workshops are in English and Spanish and wheelchair accessible. 

  • When: Saturdays, October 14, 21 and 28 
  • Where: East Los Angeles County Library: 4837 E. 3rd. St. Los Angeles, CA 90022 
  • Time: 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm 
  • Go Metro: Take the E (Gold) Line to East LA Civic Center Station 
  • For more information click here 

Festival at Sunset Boulevard  

The outdoor celebration will be full of color, music, and tradition. The Purépecha group, originally from Michoacán, will be selling traditional food from that part of Mexico. The event will feature traditional altars and will have singers, dancers, and artisan craft sales. 

  • When: Saturday, October 28 AND Sunday, October 29  
  • Where: 4810 West Sunset Boulevard Los Angeles 90027 
  • Time: 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm 
  • Go Metro: Take the B (Red) Line to Vermont / Sunset. 
  • For more information click here 

This is a ‘catrina’. / Foto; Mey Mitteenn

Santa Monica    

If you like catrinas, put a visit to Santa Monica on your Day of the Dead list. Artist Ricardo Soltero will display catrinas sculptures that are up to 14 feet tall. He will also unveil another large-scale piece called an alebrije – a brightly colored folk art sculpture that represents fantastical creatures. Ricardo’s alebrije will take the shape of a giant chihuahua. 

  • When: Thursday, October 26 to Sunday, October 29 
  • Where: 1300 Third Street Promenade Santa Monica, CA, 90401 
  • Time: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm 
  • Go Metro: Take the E (Gold) Line to Downtown Santa Monica 
  • For more information click here 
  • The main celebration with altars, dances, food and more will be on Saturday, October 28. 



Categories: Transportation News

1 reply

  1. Each of these can also be reached by a number of bus lines, in addition to what’s suggested above – both Metro and other agencies. Sometimes it helps to use Google Maps or Apple Maps, so your phone gets you the best route.