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Culturally sensitive Día de los Muertos events around Seattle

Día de los Muertos celebrations at Seattle Center features a community altar, music and dance performances, and face painting for little ones.

Photo: Jonathan Beck | courtesy of Seattle Center


It’s easy to be enamored with the colorful artwork, whimsical skeletons and sweet treats that are a part of Día de los Muertos. But it’s not just some Halloween-style event to have fun with – it’s an important cultural tradition for many Mexicans and Latinos, one that dates back hundreds of years to the Aztec empire. 

Far from being macabre or sad, Día de los Muertos is about fondly remembering loved ones who have died, encouraging their souls to come back for a visit, and accepting that death is a natural part of life.

Several Día de los Muertos events are taking place around Seattle, where families can explore the art, activities, food and symbols that define this meaningful celebration.


Seattle Public Libraries

Make Día de los Muertos mono prints at the South Park branch Oct. 28, clay skull magnets Oct. 29 and paper dolls Oct. 31 at the Southwest branch, and enjoy games and songs with Teatro Imaginario at the Northgate branch Oct. 29 and South Park branch Nov. 7.


Burien Community Center

Burien celebrates Día de los Muertos on Oct. 30 with storytelling, music and dance performances, sugar-skull making and other hands-on crafts, games and a community altar. Food will be available for purchase. 


Seattle Art Museum

Photo: Catherine Anstett | Seattle Art Museum Facebook

A tapete de arena, a large sand painting made to decorate graves in Mexico's Oaxaca region.

Want to see a large, beautiful tapete de arena, or sand painting? Come to SAM’s Día de los Muertos Celebration on Oct. 30. They’ll also have music and dance performances, art-making and other hands-on activities. The event is FREE, but reserve your tickets online.


Seattle Center

The Día de Muertos celebration at Seattle Center takes place Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, and features a community altar, music and dance performances, food, face painting, a procession and more.


Tacoma Art Museum

TAM has been hosting a public celebration of Día de los Muertos for 11 years now, and this year’s event on Nov. 1 features art-making, face painting, a community altar, a tapete (sand painting) and performances.


Phinney Neighborhood Center

Celebrate Día de los Muertos the evening of Nov. 1 with a procession, performances, sweet treats, art-making and a community altar.


Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

BIMA celebrates Día de los Muertos Nov. 1 with face painting, crafts, and a community altar. Mexican hot chocolate, pan de muerto, and tamales will be available for sale (while supplies last) in the bistro. Bring a 4-by-4-inch or smaller photo of a loved one you’d like to remember for the community altar, which will be on display through Nov. 8.


El Centro de la Raza

Through Nov. 20, El Centro de la Raza will have an exhibit of Día de los Muertos ofrendas, or altars, with this year’s focus being the Black Lives Matter movement. They’ll host an opening celebration with food and activities on Nov. 2. 

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