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11 Activities You Can't Miss for Día de los Muertos

Updated: Nov 1, 2020

This may be the first time we haven't been able to cross the border to Tijuana for Día de los Muertos, but it hasn't stopped local San Diego artists, store owners, and community centers from celebrating!

Check out these online and in-person events happening over now through Nov. 1.


1. Let your creativity flow


The wonderful Maira Meza from Arte Hasta La Muerte is hosting a free paint night for Día de los Muertos. She's just the best teacher.


Painter Maira Meza with her canvas
Maira Meza from Arte Hasta La Muerte shows how to paint a sugar skull

We had a private class for our students earlier in October painting sugar skulls. And it was a lot of fun for children and adults alike. I've taken several classes with Maira now and have enjoyed every single one of them.



Join Maira in painting this beautiful and vibrant catrina.


When: Monday, Nov. 1 at 6pm Pacific

Where: Check out her Facebook or Instagram to sign up



2. Get your shopping on


Artelexia in North Park here in San Diego always has the best Mexican art, books, and decor. And it's stocked full for Día de los Muertos. We stopped by last weekend and picked up a couple Día de los Muertos and Mexican folk art coloring books to give as birthday gifts.


When: Now through Sunday, Nov. 1

Where: Visit Artelexia's online store or go in person to Artelexia in North Park, San Diego



3. Eat to your heart's delight


Try the pan de muerto at the Hija del Maiz pop up bakery. It's light and fluffy with the perfect flavor of orange blossom.


When: Saturday, Oct. 31 and Sunday, Nov. 1 from 11am to 7pm

Where: Artelexia in North Park


Or check out the Mercado International 2000 on Third Avenue in Chula Vista for the best large pan de muerto coated with sugar or sesame seeds.


When: Now through Sunday, Nov. 1

Where: Mercado International 2000, Third Avenue, Chula Vista


Or stay in with Chef Neftali Duran on a culinary journey through the foods and feasting associated with Día de los Muertos. Learn more about mole, a signature sauce associated with the celebrations, and delve into the rich history of pan de muerto. Hosted by the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Latino Center.


When: Sunday, Nov. 1 from 11am to 12pm Pacific



4. Bake for the ones you love


The Sherman Heights Community Center always does something grand for Día de los Muertos, but this year they've taken it to another level with online events in addition to their usual in-person events. They'll show you how to make pan de muerto in a free online tutorial.


When: Sunday, Oct. 25 at 12pm Pacific

Where: Facebook (video tutorial will be up on their Facebook page all week)



5. Honor your loved ones


The Sherman Heights Community Center will be hosting a special free online event about honoring loved ones along with a painting class with Maira from Arte Hasta La Muerte.


A special Paint Night with Arte Hasta La Muerte honoring our loved ones

Paint kits are available for purchase.


When: Friday, Oct. 30 at 6pm Pacific

Where: Zoom, sign up here.



6. Visit an ofrenda


The Sherman Heights Community Center has some of the loveliest altars, or ofrendas, in the local area for viewing. Take time to visit each ofrenda. Each family has added many personal touches so you almost feel as though you know their loved ones after looking at their photos and seeing their favorite foods and drinks placed out to honor them.


When: Starting Monday, Oct. 26 through Friday, Oct. 30 from 4-7pm Pacific

Where: Visit the center in Sherman Heights, San Diego



7. Build your own ofrenda


Building your own ofrenda has been made even easier thanks to the Sherman Heights Community Center. You can buy a kit online that includes these symbolic items.

  • Papel picado

  • Vela (candle)

  • Copalero

  • Canasta de palma con maiz (woven palm basket with maize)

  • Calavera azucar (sugar skull)

  • Plato de barro con tamalitos (clay vessel with tamalitos)

  • Cerillos (matches)

When: Now through Saturday, Nov. 1


Or if you're the do-it-yourself type, check out this page for details to build your own using your own materials. Live near San Diego? Then visit this page for where you can buy materials around town.



8. Celebrate with music


The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian will host their own weekend festivities for Dia de los Muertos. The band Quetzal from East LA will play.


When: Friday, Oct. 30 from 3-4pm Pacific



9. Tour an art studio


Sculptor and mask maker Zarco Guerrero about the role masks play in Día de los Muertos celebrations and tour his studio in Mesa, Arizona. Hosted by the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.


When: Friday, Oct. 30 from 3-4pm Pacific



10. Express your feeling with flowers


Make paper marigolds, called cempasúchitl, with the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Latino Center.


Evelyn Orantes (Quiche Maya) and Joaquin Newman (Yaqui/Mexica) show step-by-step how to make paper marigolds.


Recommended supplies:

  • Colored tissue or crepe paper, cut into squares ~ 6 x 6 inches (each flower uses 4 to 7 squares)

  • Pipe cleaners to hold the layers of petals together and be stems

  • Scissors

When: Sunday, Nov. 1 from 11am to 12pm Pacific



11. Test your knowledge


Take this short quiz about Día de los Muertos and find out if you're a true catrina or a struggling-to-keep-aflame vela.



Where: Our blog


Want to learn more about Día de los Muertos and other holidays in Latin America? Join a Spanish conversation class! Or for your kids, have them join our Spanish for Kids classes. We offer flexible schedules and super fun group classes!


Schedule a free assessment today by contacting us at jackie@amidonstudios.com or via phone or WhatsApp at 619-483-5874.

 

Jackie Donaldson is the owner and director of Amidon Studios Language Studies. She started Amidon Studios in 2017 after managing a language institute in Lima, Peru for six years. As a certified Spanish and English instructor with nearly 20 years of teaching experience, she's taught students from all over the world while living in Peru, Mexico, and the U.S. When she's not working or studying, you'll find her gardening, playing with her cat Frankie, swimming, baking, and exploring the globe.



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