Day Of The Dead is an ancient Mexican tradition, and you can celebrate here in Milwaukee.
It’s not the Mexican Halloween, despite arriving shortly after our trick or treating season.
Day Of The Dead is an ancient Mexican celebration that mixes Christian and indigenous traditions. Families build offerings or altars with traditional and personal items, and they welcome back the spirits of those who have passed. Typical items you’ll see at a Day of the Dead celebration include marigolds, sugar skulls, and pan de muerto, a special sweet bread.
Here are some family-friendly events where you can learn more about the holiday and take part in the festivities.
1. Kohl’s Art Generation Family Sundays: Día de los Muertos
Sunday, October 13, 2019 – 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
700 N. Art Museum Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Celebrate loved ones through art making, music and more during this annual cultural event. Explore the colors and symbols of Day of the Dead in hands-on art activities, enjoy folkloric dance by Dance Academy of Mexico and learn about “On The Wings Of A Mariposa” from First Stage representatives while receiving Monarch butterfly tattoos and decorating mini posters. Create a remembrance of someone special that has passed away to add to the community ofrenda.
Traditional dancers perform at the Art Museum’s annual “Dia De Los Muertos” Family Sunday event.
The cost to attend Kohl’s Art Generation Family Sundays: Día de los Muertos is included in Museum admission. Thanks to Kohl’s, Museum, attendance is always free for kids ages 12 and under. General admission pricing is $19 for adults; $17 for students and free for members.
2. Ofrendas de Mitchell
October 16, 2019, 4:00 – 6:00 pm: Screen printing workshop
October 23, 4:00 – 6:00 pm: Ofrenda Workshop in celebration of First Stage’s “On The Wings Of A Mariposa”
October 30, 4:00 – 7:00 pm: Día de los Muertos Celebration and Procession
Mitchell Street branch: 906 W. Historic Mitchell Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204
Join Artist-in-Residence, Celeste Contreras, for hands-on arts workshops and a traditional celebration of Day of the Dead on Mitchell Street.
3. First Stage’s “On The Wings of a Mariposa”
October 18 – November 10, 2019
With a heartwarming story that celebrates Mexican and Latino values, culture and traditions, this world premiere, bilingual play will provide a unique experience for audiences to honor Hispanic Heritage Month and Día de los Muertos traditions.
On October 26th & 27th, there will be Día de los Muertos celebrations with an Artisan Market, craft tables, live music from Latino Arts Strings program and more. Held in conjunction with the 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm performances, audiences may participate up to one hour prior to performance start time and during intermission.
First Stage’s “On The Wings Of A Mariposa” takes audiences on a journey with young Pilar to discovery that when you love someone, they never really leave you.
Tickets can be purchased in person at the Marcus Performing Arts Center Box Office at 929 N. Water Street, by phone at (414) 273-7206 or online at www.firststage.org. Performance runtime is approximately 90 minutes, including intermission. Suggested for families with young people ages 5 – 17+.
4. Walker’s Point Center For The Arts 27th Annual Día de los Muertos Exhibition
October 18 – November 16, 2019 | Opening reception: October 18, 5:00 – 9:00 pm
839 South 5th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204
Cost: $1.00 suggested donation
The longest-standing Día de Los Muertos celebration in Milwaukee, celebrating life and death while exploring ancestral connections, living expressions of culture and traditions through community altares and artwork by local and regional artists.pca-milwaukee.org
5. UCC/Latino Arts Día de los Muertos Ofrendas Exhibit
On View: October 23 – November 22, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, November 1, 5:00 pm
1028 S. 9th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204
Enjoy ofrendas, offerings of food such as pan de muertos, candles, incense, yellow marigolds and, most importantly, a photo of the departed soul is placed on the altar.rg/hours_locations/mitchell.php
6. Day of the Dead celebrations at the Domes
Friday, October 25, 2019: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
524 S. Layton Boulevard, Milwaukee, WI 53215
$10 tickets (children 2 and younger free). No tickets will be sold at the door.
A cultural experience for the whole family. This is a fundraising event hosted by the Friends of the Domes. Featuringtraditional ofrendas throughout the Domes, music, dancing, crafts, face painting, photo booth, a real desert and Mexican food from vendors (available for purchase).
7. Día de los Muertos Celebration
Friday, November 1, 2019: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
3600 and 3700 blocks of W. Pierce Street, Milwaukee WI 53215
Free, donations gladly accepted
Attendees can craft their own altars/ofrendas and participate in an evening full of family-friendly activities, music and food.