Here’s how to celebrate Día de los Muertos in Houston!
Día de los Muertos, otherwise known as Day of the Dead, is a traditional Mexican holiday that celebrates the lives of passed loved ones. The thousands-of-years-old Aztec-originated tradition is celebrated throughout Latin America every year with feasts, costumes, and sugar skulls. Celebrate the rich, cultural holiday here in Houston with festivals, markets, and more! [Featured image via Shutterstock]
1. Experience a Magical Candlelight Concert November 2
A performance of some haunted classical music like you’ve never seen before. Fever’s Candlelight is an intimate performance set in a popular building that is almost as stunning as the pieces you’ll hear. Savor the music in a uniquely romantic atmosphere created by flickering candlelight and the other classical music lovers. Sit back and be taken into the clouds with classics from Día De Los Muertos: Celebrating the Day of the Dead. You’ll be hearing some selections from the best known composers in history – discover new music and classics that everyone loves in the most magical setting!
2-4. Get in on the Many Festivities
This year, Houstonians will be lucky enough to have the chance of catching a variety of different festivals honoring Día de los Muertos.
- This weekend, October 30 and 31, MECA will host its 25th annual celebration with two days of festivities at their colorful campus with live music and performances, cultural cuisine, artists and vendors, ofrendas, festival delights, and children’s art activities.
- On October 30, you can also celebrate the festivities of Día de los Muertos from noon to 6 pm at Magnolia Park, one of Houston’s most long-standing Latino neighborhoods. Festivities are set to include an ofrenda, local vendors, artwork from Laura Cano-Lopez, live music and performances.
- Galveston’s Kemah Boardwalk is hosting a special Día de los Muertos celebration on Saturday, October 30, with live ballet and folk dance performances, a freaky food eating contest, sugar skull craft activities, and more!
5. Celebrate at this Massive Parade
On November 6, Houston will have the chance to get in on the celebration with its first-ever Día de los Muertos nighttime festival and parade through the Sam Houston Park featuring arts and crafts, live music, cultural culinary delicacies, and more from 2 pm to 10 pm.
6. Paint and Sip at this Día de los Muertos Party
Celebrate Day of the Dead with a paintbrush in hand! Prime Art Gallery has organised some incredible painting parties that you won’t want to miss. Based in Houston, it is home to a unique gallery, paint studio and creative workspace. Release your inner creativity as you create your masterpiece with all the materials provided. Whether you go with friends, family, co-workers or other artists, you are guaranteed to enjoy this fun and stress-free experience.
7. Dine Down on a 4-course Meal with Wine Pairings
Culinary rockstars Chef Eduardo Palazuelos of Mexico and David Cordua will be preparing a special Día de los Muertos-inspired supper at Black Dinner at the CityPlace Houston Marriott on October 28. The alfresco dinner, held along the waterfront, will involve four separate courses, as well as complimentary floral crowns, traditional Catrina face painting, and the unveiling of a Día de los Muertos altar. Tickets costs $150.
8. Visit this Festive Market
This Saturday, October 30, from noon to 10 pm, City Place Plaza will be celebrating the third day of their Día de los Muertos festivities with a bustling themed market. Here a variety of Mexican folk-art vendors and artisans will be on the grounds, showcasing an assortment of handcrafted ornaments, art, jewelry, accessories, clothing, and more. Meanwhile, visitors can enjoy traditional music as well as DJs, photo-ops, activities for the kiddos, as well as face painters. At 8 pm, City Place will host a Candlelight Procession to the altar with traditional mojigangas. The mercado is free, though VIP tickets are available for $35 that which include a complimentary drinks, candle kit, face painting, floral crowns in the Houston CityPlace Marriott Canopy Room Salon.
9. Check Out Discovery Green’s Vibrant Skull Installations
Discovery Green is featuring a vivid installation of 10 painted skulls throughout the park grounds and Avenida de las Americas. Additionally, the organization will feature a community altar from local artist Angel Quesada on November 1, in which visitors are invited to place photos, photo copies, and/or mementos of loved ones at the altar from 4 – 9 pm.
10-12. Sip on Spirits
On Friday, October 29, City Place Plaza will also host a Calacas and Cocktail happy hour event from 5 to 9 pm on its Upper Plaza with Catrina face painting, floral crowns, live music, and access to the Candlelight procession to the altar. VIP tickets are for sale for $35.
- Arnaldo Richards Picos, an authentic Mexican institution, will raise a glass to Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos this fall. Picos’ Chief Marketing Officer, and Arnaldo’s daughter, Monica Richards, has masterfully concocted El Miedo and La Ofrenda presently featured on Picos’ cocktail menu through November 2. Meaning “The Fear,” The El Miedo ($13) puts a Halloween twist on the classic Negroni, blending Bombay Sapphire gin, Campari, Vittone Bianco, ST. Elizabeth’s all Spice Dram and orange agave nectar. The La Ofrenda ($13), meaning the offering, is a nod to Dia De Los Muertos traditions, featuring Cazadores silver, fresh grapefruit juice, lime juice, agave nectar and Mexican squirt served in a prayer glass.
- Additionally, Back Table Kitchen & Bar, is will offer an array of season libations from October 11-31. Spooky sips include the Witches Cauldron Martini ($15), a special brew of bourbon, maple, blood orange and prickly pear juices, sweet vermouth, orange whipped cream and sugar skulls, and for the kids or children at heart, The Skeleton Shake ($10), a devilish combination of Neapolitan ice cream, chocolate sauce, black and white sheet cake and house made white chocolate skeleton hands and skulls.
- Como Social Club at the Westin at The Woodlands will pay homage to Día de los Muertos with their Cantarito cocktail – made with Don Julio Reposado, Squirt grapefruit soda, lime, and orange juice – presented in skull-adorned clay mugs.
13. Learn about the Tradition at the Miller Outdoor Theatre
FLAS, Fundacion Latino Americana de Accion Social, will be hosting a presentation at the Miller Outdoor Theatre in which they discussed the detailed history of the Burgos family and Día de los Muertos at 7:30 pm on October 30.
14. Head Down to the Monkey’s Tail
The Lindale Park craft cocktail and Tejano bar has installed an ofrenda for visitors to bring photos of their passed loved ones. Additionally, the bar will be hosting a DJ’d weekend brunch, costume contest, and Mariachi band on Saturday, October 30. Visitors can also visit Monkey’s Tail brand new Cantario back patio bar.
15. Catch a Screening of Coco
To wrap of their weekend of festivities, City Place Plaza will host a screening of instant Pixar classic, Coco. The family movie night will take place on Sunday, October 31, at 6 pm on The Plaza with face paintings and activities for the kiddos. Admission is free; RSVP here.