Día de Los Muertos is a festive holiday meant to celebrate the dead and honor those that have passed. Here in the East Bay, there are often many ways to celebrate with your community – including food, colorful crafts, sugar skulls, and festive fun! But this year — sigh — is different. Participating in in-person community celebrations is largely prohibited.
Read on to find out where and how you can honor your loved ones with children in a special way.
Dia de los Muertos Activities and Crafts
Oct. 15 to Nov. 15: Virtual Dia Oakland: We are going to miss the Fruitvale’s Dia de Los Muertos Festival and Dia de los Muertos workshops this year, but Dia Oakland is curating a list of #DIYDIA videos of different traditional crafts that you can make at home and creating a really cool virtual festival complete with the Muertos Marketplace with merchandise from local shops, like this three-pack of sweet masks.
With the cool #DIYDIA collection, we can all learn how to build an altar, make papel picado, improve our face painting skills, cook traditional dishes, play music for honoring the ancestors, and so much more. For more videos and to follow along this year’s virtual festival, visit DiaOakland.com and follow Dia Oakland on Facebook.
Oct. 28 2 pm. Kids Drawing Tutorial. Kids can follow along a simple tutorial on drawing a sugar skull. Register here >
Anytime. Make a papier-mâché sugar skull (carton piedra). North Oakland artist, Daniel Camacho, shows others how to make fantastic sugar skulls.
Dia de los Muertos Performances
In addition to the virtual festival, there are some more special local and virtual performances to celebrate the special day.
Oct. 30 at 7 pm: Luna Mexicana Soiree by Oakland Ballet Company: Enjoy Ballet Folklórico México Danza, Jalisco Harpist Salvadore Vazquez, hear about the elements of an ofrenda with Daniel Camacho, learn to construct papaer marigolds, and see excerpts of Oakland Ballet in Luna Mexicana all from the comfort of your own home for $25 per household. For an additional $48 per person, upgrade your soiree to include a feast from Agave. Purchase tickets >
Nov. 1 at 11 am: Una Ofrenda Musical with Cascada de Flores by Rhythmix Cultural Works: Dance and sing on a musical journey sharing Días de Muertos traditions from Mexico and Central America. Together you will write messages for your muertitos on barriletes (kites), learn about calaveras (sugar skulls), and build an ofrenda (altar) with music, dance and memories for your muertitos. Pay what makes you happy. Purchase tickets >
Dia de los Muertos Food and Treats
Oct. 25 to Nov. 1: Fruitvale Restaurant Week: In celebration of the 25th year anniversary of Oakland’s Dia de los Muertos Festival, participating restaurants along our International Blvd. will offer a special $15 menu. Grab something delicious, save on cooking, and you will be supporting a Fruitvale small business. See which restaurants are participating >
Sweets anytime. of my favorite Berkeley sweet shops are offering lots of treats you’ll want to eat! The Xocolate Bar on Solano has special beautiful organic chocolate calaveras. Casa de Chocolates in Elmwood will let you pre-order a number of super tasty Mexican pastries or their famous frozen hot chocolate.
Do you have any other favorite traditions you plan to keep this year with children for Day of the Dead?