Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday celebrating life and death of one’s ancestors. Celebrations take place over two days in the fall, November 1 and 2, with traditions including pan de muerto (Mexican sweet bread), calavera (sugar skulls), and ofrendas. These altars are decorated with flowers, candles, food, and photos of relatives who have passed.
In the roundup below, you will find activities, crafts, festivals, and movie showings that help families honor their loved ones through Día de los Muertos celebrations.
Día de los Muertos Events and Exhibits in Chicago’s Suburbs
Día de Muertos, Living Presence (National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago)
September 22 – December 10, 2023 | open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00am – 5:00pm
Visit the thirty-seventh annual exhibit, which is dedicated to those who have passed in the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria earlier this year, women around the world, and Mexican artists.
Sugar Skull City (Aurora)
October 15 – November 5, 2023
Festivities run for days in downtown Aurora, including art, food, activities and much more.
Explore and Discover Together: Día de Muertos/Explora y Descubre Juntos: Día de Muertos (Mount Prospect Public Library)
October 21, 2023 | 12:00pm – 1:30pm
October 26, 2023 | 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Make your own ofrenda for a loved one. Register in advance.
Altar del día de los muertos (Edades: todas las edades) (Streamwood)
October 22, 2023 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Create your own altar at this bilingual event hosted by the Poplar Creek Public Library. Register in advance.
Day of the Dead Storytime/Cuentacuentos para el Día De Los Muertos (Palatine)
October 24, 2023 | 4:30pm – 5:15pm
Create your own Nicho box and listen to storytime with the Palatine Public Library.
Day of the Dead Nesting Dolls (North Riverside)
October 25, 2023 | 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Make wooden dolls with the North Riverside Public Library.
Tarde de Manualidad & Pelí: Coco (Aurora)
October 26, 2023 | 5:00pm – 7:30pm
Make your own guitar and watch Coco while enjoying snacks at the Santori Library.
Dia de los Muertos Celebration (St. Charles)
October 27, 2023 | 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Paint sugar skulls, enjoy traditional food and face painting, while watching Coco. Register in advance.
Halloween and Dia de los Muertos Celebration (Geneva)
October 28, 2023 | 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Visit Geneva Commons for a day of festivities.
Dia de los Muertos Celebration (Brookfield Zoo)
October 28 and 29, 2023 | 10:00am – 5:00pm
Dia de los Muertos festivities will take place all weekend throughout the zoo.
Dia de Muertos Market and Sugar Skull Workshop (Let’s Play Work, Forest Park)
October 29, 2023 |12:00pm – 6:00pm
Visit for the Dia de los Muertos Market, but register in advance to participate in sugar skull decorating and face painting.
Dia De Los Muertos (Naperville)
October 30 – November 4, 2023 | all day
Visit Naperville Public Library branches for special activities and crafts.
Cuenta Cuentos: Día de Muertos (South Branch, Mount Prospect Public Library)
October 30, 2023 | 5:00pm – 5:45pm
This storytime, celebrating Dia de los Muertos, will be offered in Spanish.
Calaveras de Azucar: Sugar Skulls (Poplar Creek Public Library, Streamwood)
October 30, 2023 | 6:00pm – 6:45pm
Create your own sugar skull at this bilingual event. Register in advance.
Día de los Muertos Celebration (Fountaindale Public Library, Bolingbrook)
October 30, 2023 | 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Make crafts and listen to children’s books at this bilingual storytime.
Dia De Los Muertos Community Ofrenda (Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien)
October 30 – November 3, 2023 | library open hours
Honor a loved one by leaving a memento at the ofrenda displayed in the library.
Día de los Muertos (Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs)
October 30 – November 2, 2023 | 9:00am – 5:00pm
Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center will be home to an altar honoring to animals.
Dia de los Muertos Ofrenda (Maywood)
October 31 – November 2, 2023 | all day
Include your loved ones in the ofrenda at the Maywood Public Library.
Dia de los Muertos Wreaths (Berwyn)
November 1, 2023 | 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Register for this craft activity with the Berwyn Public Library.
Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead (Des Plaines Public Library)
November 1 – 3, 2023 | all day
Visit youth services for special activities.
Festival del Dia de Muertos – Day of the Dead Festival (Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin)
November 2, 2023 | 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Register in advance for crafts, face painting, and more.
Día de los Muertos (Hanover Park)
November 3, 2023 | 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Enjoy live music, traditional food, crafts, games and Loteria celebrating Mexican heritage.
Celebrating Community and Life: Dia de los Muertos (Naperville Central High School)
November 5, 2023 | 2:30pm – 6:30pm
Join the Alliance of Latinos Motivating Action in the Suburbs for their inaugural celebration.
Local Places Showing Disney’s Coco This Fall
While not official Día de los Muertos events, we wanted to recognize special showings of the movie Coco happening this fall. Sing along to the music and experience Día de los Muertos traditions through Miguel and his ancestors.
Spanish Family Movie Night (Brookfield)
September 28, 2023 | 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Watch Coco in Spanish at the Brookfield Public Library.
Moonlight Movies (Franklin Park)
October 6, 2023 | 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Watch Coco under the stars at Chestnut Park.
Movies in the Park (Schaumburg)
October 12, 2023 | 8:00pm – 10:30pm
Concessions will be available for this outdoor viewing of Coco.
Movies Under the Stars: Coco (Wheaton)
October 13, 2023 | 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Watch Coco, and stay for a double feature with Hocus Pocus.
Creature Feature – Outdoor Movie Night: Coco (Mount Prospect)
October 20, 2023 | 6:00pm – 9:30pm
Register your group in advance for treats and popcorn.
Spooky Showings (Geneva Commons)
October 20, 2023 | 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Showing Coco as part of their 3-night outdoor movie series
Family Movie Night – Noche de cine familiar (Mount Prospect Public Library)
October 27, 2023 | 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Shown in English with Spanish subtitles.
Looking for more family-friendly events? Head to our events calendar!