Things to Do

7 Ways to Celebrate Día de Los Muertos in the DC Area

Commemorate the Day of the Dead with live music, ofrendas, dancing, and more.

Mexico’s indigenous music ensemble Pasatono. Photograph courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian.

Block Party at Bryant St Market

670 Rhode Island Ave., NE

The Edgewood food hall is hosting a free block party for the holiday on October 27 from 5 PM to 11 PM. Activities include face painting, altar displays, dancing, and more. 


Comedy Show at Room 808

808 Upshur St., NW

Comedy Club Room 808 in Petworth is celebrating Dia de los Muertos with show featuring six Spanish-speaking comedians on October 27 at 8 PM. Tickets for the event are $10. 


Events at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Latino

4th St., SW

The National Museum of the American Latino is commemorating the Dead of the Dead with family-friendly programming on October 28 and 29 from 10 AM to 5 PM. All events are free and will take place at the National Museum of the American Indian. Watch performers dance in costume, work on a holiday craft, and stop by the museum’s ofrenda. Visitors are encouraged to bring photos or mementos from loved ones to leave at the butterfly memorial arch.


Exhibit at Dupont Underground

19 Dupont Cir., NW

Head to Dupont Underground to walk through Mágica Muerte, an exhibit featuring works by contemporary women artists from Oaxaca. The collection aims to educate viewers on the spiritual tradition of the holiday. Mágica Muerte is on display from October 29 to November 19, and tickets cost $10. 


Picnic at the Museum of Contemporary Art

3550 Wilson Blvd., Arlington

The art museum is hosting a free evening picnic on November 1st from 5 PM to 8 PM. The event on the lawn will feature art, spoken word, food trucks, and music from Grupo Fénix, plus a massive altar.


Party at the Mexican Culture Institute

2829 16th St., NW

Get dressed up and don a mask for a night of live Mariachi music and dancing on November 4th from 8:30 PM to 11 PM. The event also features a masquerade contest, Day of the Dead altar, and a buffet serving traditional foods. Early bird tickets are $135. 


Festival on the National Mall

1600 Constitution Ave., NW

The 7th annual Dia de los Muertos Benefit Festival takes place from November 4 at 4 PM to November 5 at 4 AM. Stop by the National Mall for a history of the holiday, as well as skull face-painting, live performances, a candlelight vigil, and more.

Malcolm Ferguson
Editorial Fellow