Día de los Muertos Events in Chicagoland

Learn more about the Day of the Dead with these local events.

Dating back to the Aztecs of Mexico, Día de Muertos (often translated as Día de los Muertos) is a day for families to gather and remember their loved ones who have died. These celebrations include altars with photos and offerings, and often festivities at cemeteries.

Locally, you’re likely to see brightly colored skull candy, painted skull faces and pan de muerto (a traditional Day of the Dead bread). If you’re looking to get around the city and suburbs this year to learn about Día de los Muertos, there is plenty to do.

Día de Muertos, Living Presence

Sept. 22-Dec. 10, 2023

Head to the main gallery to see the museum’s 37th Day of the Dead exhibition to remember the thousands of people who died in the February 2023 earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Also, it will include a large installation to memorialize women who have disappeared or been violated or murdered.

Sugar Skull City

Oct. 15-Nov. 5, 2023

  • Address: Downtown Aurora
  • Cost: Free

Aurora is honoring Day of the Dead with Día de los Muertos art, activities, specials, videos and shopping.

Dia de los Muertos Clay Offerings Workshop

Oct. 16, 2023

Join Marquette (Jacques) Park for a family art workshop with visiting artist William Estrada to create clay sculptures.

Dia de los Muertos Sugar Skull Workshop

Oct. 23, 2023 

Join Marquette (Jacques) Park for a family art workshop with visiting artist William Estrada to create sugar skulls.

Day of the Dead – Sugar Skulls

Oct. 26, 2023 

Ages 6-12 can join Mayfair Park to create sugar skulls and strike a pose in the Dia de los Muertos photo booth. Registration required.

Carrera de los Muertos

Oct. 28, 2023

  • Address: Historic Pilsen Neighborhood, Chicago
  • Cost: $38-plus/timed, $45-plus/untimed

This annual race takes place in Chicago’s historic Pilsen neighborhood. There will be a post-race festival that includes music, dancing, food, costumes and more.

Celebrate “Dia De Los Muertos” with Jewel-Osco! in Chicago

Oct. 28, 2023

Jewel-Osco will showcase traditional items for your altar, provide meal solutions and help you get in the “spirit” as you honor and celebrate your loved ones. Enjoy fresh samples and drinks, face painting and a special dance performance by New Era Dance Group.

Day of the Dead Halloween Party

Oct. 28, 2023

The Halloween party is Dia de Los Muertos themed. Make sure to wear your costume because there will be a costume contest. Also, a live band, face painting, DJ, stilt walkers and more.

Dia de los Muertos

Oct. 28-29, 2023

  • Address: Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield
  • Cost: $29/95/ages 12-64, $24.95/ages 65-plus, $20.95/ages 3-11, free/2 and under

Celebrate the Day of the Dead at Brookfield Zoo with sugar skulls, face painting, coloring pages and music.

Dia de los Muertos

Oct. 28, 2023

Enjoy a family-friendly event to celebrate Dia de los Muertos. There will be music, crafts and nature stewardship activities. For all ages.

Día de los Muertos Xicágo 

Oct. 28, 2023

  • Address: National Museum of Mexican Art, 
  • Cost: Free

Celebrate Día de los Muertos by watching the museum and its surroundings transform into a beautiful space to remember loved ones. On this special day, guests can enjoy ofrendas created by community members, live musical performances, art activities and a large illuminated ofrenda projected outside of the museum.

Day of the Dead 5K Walk/Run

Oct. 29, 2023

Participate in a 5K run/walk to celebrate the Day of the Dead. Enjoy music and entertainment along the course. Also, the post-race celebration will have live music and food. Registration required.

Dia De Los Muertos Community Offrenda

Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2023

Stop by the Indian Prairie Public Library to leave a picture or memento of a loved one at its offrenda, located on the second floor. 

Day of the Dead Pumpkin Decorating

Nov. 1, 2023

Ages 6-12 can visit Hermosa Park Oct. 25-30 to choose a pumpkin to take home and decorate. Bring your Day of the Dead decorated pumpkin back to the park on Nov. 1 at 4:30 p.m. to be entered into a contest. Candy will be given out to all participants.

Dia de los Muertos Celebration

Nov. 3, 2023

Enjoy a family-friendly Day of the Dead celebration honoring the lives of loved ones that have passed away. There will be performances from Mexican Folkloric Dance, food and games.

Día de los Muertos Celebration

Nov. 4, 2023

Celebrate the Day of the Dead with music, art projects, face painting and dancing. Bring a picture to the event. 

Teen Night

Nov. 17, 2023

This Day of the Dead teen event will include art activities, live performances by Linda Sol & Los Skin, pizza and nachos and more. Parents will not be permitted to this event.

This post is updated annually.

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