The arrival of fall means the return of Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, and various North County cities are planning celebrations featuring ofrendas, traditional dance, marigolds, and more.
Lasting from Nov. 1 to Nov. 2, the traditional holiday is a time to honor and celebrate ancestors and loved ones who have passed on, and its roots go as far back as 3,000 years ago to the pre-Hispanic Mesoamericans.
Whether you celebrate the Day of the Dead with your family or want to learn more about this rich cultural tradition, check out the following celebrations taking place in the weeks leading up to and the week of the holiday:
Día de los Muertos at Leo Carrillo Historic Ranch — The park will host a family-friendly celebration with dinner, a no-host bar, crafts for kids and the movie “Coco,” all set in the beautiful historic home and gardens of a Hollywood legend. Prior registration is required online at $25 per person; children 3 and below enter free but still need to register. Visit bitly.ws/XwWw. Event from 5-8:30 p.m. Oct. 28, Leo Carillos Historic Ranch, 6200 Flying Leo Carrillo Ln, Carlsbad.
Día de los Muertos Celebration at Mira Costa College — The 8th annual celebration at Mira Costa’s San Elijo campus in Cardiff will include art-making workshops, artist demonstrations, student exhibitions, performances like live Mariachi, and a community ofrenda that residents can participate in. Hosted by Encinitas Friends of the Arts. Visit bitly.ws/X7vT. Event from Noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 29, MiraCosta College’s San Elijo Campus, 3333 Manchester Ave, Encinitas.
Día de los Muertos at North County Mall — Prepare to celebrate the upcoming holiday with activities including a raffle, face painting, crafts and performances by ballet folklórico, Caliztlan and Aztec dancers. Free entry. Located in the center court on level 1 of the mall. Visit bitly.ws/XwYz. Event from 2-4 p.m. Oct. 29, North County Mall, 272 E Via Rancho Pkwy, Escondido.
Día de los Muertos at California Center for the Arts — The unforgettable cultural celebration will include performances like ballet folklórico and Aztec dance, lowrider car show, vendors, music, a catrina contest and more. Entry is free. Visit bitly.ws/X7w4. 4 p.m. Nov. 1 at California Center for the Arts, 340 N Escondido Blvd, Escondido.
Día de los Muertos Festival — Downtown Oceanside’s 22nd annual Día de los Muertos Festival features the Por Siempre Car Show, live entertainment including music and ballet folklórico, vendors, and a chalk cemetery. Entry is free. Visit friendsofoceansidediadelosmuertos.org. 10-5 p.m. Oct. 22, Downtown Oceanside.
Día de los Muertos at La Colonia Community Park — The historic community of La Colonia de Eden Gardens will celebrate the Day of the Dead and pay tribute to ancestors who worked in the agricultural groves of Rancho Santa Fe. Altars, food, music and vendors await. Entry is free. Visit bitly.ws/XwWI. Event from 10-4 p.m. Oct. 22, La Colonia Community Park, 715 Valley Ave, Solana Beach.
Día de los Muertos at Rancho Guajome Adobe — Arts and crafts, live entertainment, wagon rides, food and altars await attendees at this celebration at the historic hacienda. Hosted by Tierra Caliente Academy of the Arts and San Diego County Parks. Admission is $4 for ages 13 and up, $2 for ages 4 to 12. Cash only. Visit bitly.ws/XwX5. Event from 10-4 p.m. Oct. 28, Rancho Guajome adobe, 2210 N Santa Fe Ave, Vista.