Día de los Muertos, also known as Day of the Dead, stands as one of Mexico's most significant holidays. Traditionally observed on November 1st and 2nd, this celebration brings families and friends together to pay tribute to their departed loved ones. The atmosphere is filled with jubilation, marked by an array of festivities: feasts, music, vibrant face painting, dances, and the creation of ornate ofrendas, or altars, adorned with gifts and photographs of the departed.

If you’re a Houstonian or visitors seeking to immerse yourself in the rich and diverse cultural tapestry the city has to offer, there are some incredible Día de los Muertos events you shouldn't miss. These events beautifully capture the essence of this traditional Mexican celebration and offer a unique cultural experience. Let's take a look at some of the must-visit gatherings that will make your Day of the Dead celebrations memorable.

MECA Día de Muertos Festival

11 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 28-29. 1900 Kane St.

In Houston, the most time-honored Day of the Dead celebration is undoubtedly MECA's Día de Muertos festival. Now in its 23rd year, this beloved festival takes place in the historic Dow School within the Old Sixth Ward of Houston. Over two vibrant days, visitors can revel in an array of cultural delights, including performances on three distinct stages, a captivating exhibition of ofrendas and altars, artisan vendors showcasing their crafts, hands-on children's activities, and a delectable selection of culinary delights. Best of all, it's a free-to-enter event, making it accessible to all who wish to join in the festivities.

Día de los Muertos WonderWeek

Oct. 31-Nov. 5. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 1500 Binz St., Houston

The Children's Museum of Houston is set to host a week brimming with themed activities. During this exciting period, guests can engage in crafting sessions to create stunning papel picado banners, craft intricate monarch butterfly puppets, design personalized shadowboxes destined for ofrendas, and fashion their very own sugar skull masks. It's a creative and immersive experience that promises fun and learning for all participants.

City Place Festival — Spring

Oct. 27-29, 1250 Lake Plaza Dr., Spring

Spring's City Place is now the proud host of one of the most intricate Día de Los Muertos celebrations in the vicinity of Houston. In its fourth annual installment, this vibrant festivity commences with an exclusive "Art of the Spirit" cocktail reception and the grand unveiling of altars. This ticketed event takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. on October 27 and offers food stations, tequila tastings, face painting, cigar rolling, and live music in a captivating tented space overlooking City Place Park.

For the public, the enchanting Dia de Los Muertos altar and a brand-new labyrinth installation, complete with an onsite photo printer, will be accessible from October 28 to November 3, running from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The following day, the streets of the city will transform into a bustling mercado, hosting a plethora of vendors and artisans offering Mexican art, accessories, clothing, and a dynamic entertainment lineup featuring a mariachi band and a mesmerizing Dance Houston performance. As the sun sets, the festivities continue with "Calacas and Cocktails," accompanied by food trucks and a cash bar, between 6 and 9 p.m. The three-day celebration will draw to a spectacular close on Sunday with a special screening of the beloved film "Coco" at 6 p.m. on October 29, featuring meet and greets with beloved "Coco" characters.

2023 Houston Dia De Muertos Parade

Nov. 4, 2:00 PM - 10:00 PM at Sam Houston Park

The 3rd Annual Houston Dia de los Muertos Festival stands as a cherished tradition for the City of Houston. With the heartfelt parade, the purpose is to celebrate the living and pay homage to our beloved departed. The evening that promises live music, a beautiful procession, delectable concessions, engaging arts and crafts, and much more! There will also be time to honor some of Houston's esteemed leaders for their dedicated service to our great city.

Dia de los Muertos Festival, Museum Family Day

October 28 · 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts, 6815 Cypresswood Dr 

This special event boasts an outdoor art market, a captivating Storytime & Craft session, free art activities, complimentary face painting, enchanting performances by Ballet Folklorico and Aztec Dance troupes, and so much more! 

In keeping with the tradition, the museum will feature a public ofrenda, and they encourage visitors to contribute by bringing art, photos, and cherished items of their loved ones to add to this meaningful tribute. Attendees are encouraged to embrace the festive spirit by dressing in accordance with these cherished traditions. 

Día de los Muertos — Kemah

1-9:30 p.m. Oct. 29. 215 Kipp Ave., Kemah

The Kemah Boardwalk is gearing up for a delightful, day-long event on October 29, welcoming families for a fusion of Día de los Muertos and Halloween celebrations. Beginning at 1 p.m., young ones can let their creativity flourish as they craft intricate sugar skulls, all while a captivating skeleton sugar skull stiltwalker parades along the boardwalk. The rhythm of live music will set in at 2 p.m., with a skilled DJ in command, followed by a mesmerizing ballet folklorico performance and the melodic talents of Tejana musician Cristina Amaro. To cap off the day, there's a Halloween costume contest for the kids, commencing at 6:30 p.m. It's a fantastic opportunity to enjoy both cultural traditions and spooky Halloween fun!

Cole’s Flea Market — Pearland

Hosted 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 4. 1014 N Main St, Pearland

Every weekend, throughout the year, a bustling flea market in South Houston welcomes over 1,000 vendors. This dynamic marketplace is about to embrace the spirit of Día de Los Muertos with themed culinary delights, refreshing drinks, and captivating entertainment.