The Pilsen neighborhood offers many reasons to visit, but expect even more as Dia de los Muertos-The Day of the Dead-draws near.
If you go
National Museum of Mexican Art
- 1852 W. 19th St., Chicago
- (312) 738-1503
- 1508 W. 18th St., Chicago
- (312) 733-7788
Starting at the National Museum of Mexican Art, you’ll find several large and beautiful altars created by artists and families. The meaning and traditions behind the art make them something very special. While at the museum, check out the many activities for children, including Family Sundays, art classes and special projects such as decorating sugar candy skulls and creating Dia de los Muertos art of your own.
The gift shop there is a treasure trove, with something for every pocketbook.
For younger children, seeing images of skulls and skeletons presented as both comical and loving tributes may help alleviate fears around Halloween. It’s hard to be afraid of a skull when you’re going to decorate it with frosting and candy!
Older kids and teens will be fascinated by the diversity and detail of each altar. They will be drawn in by the spooky nature of the skull masks and calacas-skeleton figures often dressed as famous characters, wrestlers, or in fancy costumes and set into silly scenes.
Make a day of your visit by strolling to 18th Street to take in the local shops and murals. Pilsen, well known as a Chicago Arts District, shows off its modern and traditional murals proudly. The kids will have fun looking for them.
While there are many panaderias and sweet shops in the neighborhood, for a special treat, stop at Bombon Bakery. Choose a sweet to take home, from the luxurious mini tres leches cake, jewel-like fruit tarts, flans and rich red velvet cookies.
A short walk up the block brings you to two great places to eat lunch or dinner: Nuevo Leon Resturant or el Milagro. Both are very family friendly and you will quickly sit down to a hearty meal. It is the perfect end to a day of celebrating Day of the Dead and seeing the art and culture of Pilsen.
That is, until you get home to dig into your bakery treats.