While the spooky season calls for visiting pumpkin patches, going to haunted places, and carving the perfect jack-o’-lantern, another significant holiday falls on November 1 and 2, the Day of the Dead. You can celebrate this rich blend of Mesoamerican ritual, European religion and Spanish culture with some of these popular Día de los Muertos events and more in Las Vegas.
1. Celebrate Día de los Muertos at Springs Preserve
The 180-acre nature preserve in Las Vegas hosts the city’s “most authentic and largest cultural Day of the Dead event”. This family-friendly festival is your one-stop shop for Día de los Muertos celebrations. Entertainment includes dance performances, live theater, music, and mariachis. You can try your hand at arts and crafts, and indulge in some great food served by food vendors. Don’t miss out on the highlight of the event—the altar dislays. Community groups, local artists, and residents create altars decorated with poems, candles, photographs, and more to honor the departed.
When: November 3-5
2. Immerse yourself in the Life in Death Festival
The 22nd annual Life in Death Festival takes place this November. As always, make your way to Winchester Dondero Cultural Center for Mexican dance troupes, readings of “calaveras”, the Day of the Dead art exhibit, craft sales, and more. Admission is free and traditions such as altar displays and special Day of the Dead bread will be carried out at the Life in Death Festival.
When: November 1-2
3. Go to a Día de los Muertos show at Reynolds Hall
A 90-minute family concert is coming to Reynolds Hall at the Smith Center featuring a vibrant tribute to the Day of the Dead. Presented by the producers of the Music of Star Wars and Harry Potter, the concert includes performances of music from the Disney and Pixar film Coco and Latin-American favorites emphasizing the cultural tradition. Voted Best of Las Vegas Arts & Culture Event, The Young Artists Orchestra will take to the stage this October 22. Costumes are encouraged!
You can also catch a touring bilingual/bicultural musical, Sugar Skull, on October 25 at Reynolds Hall. The musical relies on music and dance from Mexico to depict the story of twelve-year-old Vita Flores. Sugar Skull is recommended for ages 5+, so bring the whole family along to the musical adventure.
When: October 22 (Family Concert) October 25 (Sugar Skull)
4. Hands ON! Día de los Muertos at Nevada Museum of Art
For Nevada Museum of Art’s Hands ON! Second Saturday monthly event, this October 14, visitors can enjoy a Día de los Muertos-themed day. From decorating sugar skulls and building a piñata to making paper flowers, the Estelle J. Kelsey Foundation Hands ON! Second Saturdays is providing a special way to celebrate the Day of the Dead this year.
When: October 14
5. Attend a ceramic painting workshop
Get creative on October 29 and paint your own alebrije or calavera from 9:00 am -12:30 pm in the SAMFA Concho Clay Studio. You can choose to paint the mystic cat, faithful dog, or friendly skull during the painting workshop being held at SA Hispanic Heritage Museum & Cultural Center.
When: October 29
6. Indulge at a Día de los Muertos-inspired restaurant
Head to the restaurant Casa Calavera, where the calaveras glow, for an authenic Mexican culinary experience inspired by the Day of the Dead. The striking space is decorated with traditional calavera art and colorful wall murals. Every Friday and Sunday, a mariachi band performs live in the vibrant dining room. From the mango shrimp ceviche to the shredded beef tacos and spicy margarita cocktails, the food and energy at Casa Calavera is spectacular.