Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday traditionally observed on Nov. 1 and 2. A holiday with ancient roots combining Mexican indigenous customs and European traditions, Día de los Muertos is a lighthearted and joyful tribute to the memory of family and friends who have passed away. Families celebrate by creating ofrendas (offerings) – elaborate displays commemorating loved ones – decorating sugar skulls and more.

Bring your family and friends to celebrate this fun and colorful tradition. Día de los Muertos costumes are encouraged.

Schedule of Activities:

  • 9 a.m. - Gardens open to the public
  • Noon - 8 p.m.: Kid’s crafts
  • Noon - 10 a.m.: Community altar project
  • Noon - 4 p.m.: Face painting, tickets $15 (last ticket sold at 3:30 p.m.)
  • Noon - 4 p.m.: Kid’s crafts
    • Calaveras: Use a variety of materials to decorate a Calavera in celebration of Día de los Muertos
    • Posada print-making: Prints are created using the relief technique on a traditional tortilla press
  • Noon & 3:30 p.m.: Bilingual storytime with Jorge Avila
  • 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m.: Lucha Libre (weather dependent)
    • Live wrestling featuring local luchadores
  • Noon - 1:45 p.m.: Calavera costume contest registration
  • 2 p.m.: Calavera costume contest #1
  • 5 p.m.: Candle lighting ceremony and moment of remembrance
    • Join us for a moment of silence to honor those who have left us
  • 5:10 p.m.: Mariachi
  • 5:30 p.m.: Aztec Grupo Huitzilopochtli
    • Traditional Aztec dance demonstration
  • 5:30 & 6:30 p.m.: Calavera writing workshop
    • The use of satire has been used in a variety of ways to celebrate Día de los Muertos, including poetry. A calavera poem is an imaginary obituary in which someone or something still living is poked fun at.
  • 5-7 p.m.: Sugar skull workshop with Chef Sosa
    • Calaveras in the form of sugar skulls, candies and masks are decorated in a cheerful manner with vibrant colors and glittery objects (while supplies last)
  • 5–6:35 p.m.: Calavera costume contest registration
  • 7 p.m.: Calavera costume contest #2

Parking

The Gardens is expecting large crowds during this event. We encourage RTD buses or Denver B­-cycle to avoid parking hassles. There is a B­-cycle station next to our York Street entrance.

  • Limited free parking is available in our parking complex between York and Josephine streets. Street parking is available in Cheesman Park, where posted.
  • This year we are also offering a free Park-n-Ride service from Manual High School. Shuttle will run from noon – 4 p.m.

Volunteer Opportunities

For more information, email vol@botanicgardens.org or call 720­-865­-3565.

Community Altar

Celebrate a friend, family member or ancestor by participating in the Day of the Dead Community Altar. All Community Altars are full for 2017.

Vendor Opportunities

All vendor booths are full for 2017.
Vendor event rules and regulations
Email dia@botanicgardens.org with questions.

Sponsorship Opportunities

For information about becoming a sponsor for this event, please email development@botanicgardens.org.

Please email dia@botanicgardens.org with any questions about the festival.

Night at the Museums

Saturday, Nov. 4, 5-10 p.m.

  • Join the Gardens in celebrating Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, with the outdoor exhibition La Calavera Catrina which explores the iconic and elegant female figure known as La Catrina. Experience its rich history and iconography through colorful and joyful large-scale skeleton sculptures created by artist Ricardo Soltero.
  • Warm up from the autumn chill with a rare opportunity to explore the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory and the orchids in Marnie’s Pavilion at night.
  • Visit the Science Pyramid and watch professional botanical illustrators at work and learn how they create portraits of the natural world. Chat with the Gardens’ scientists and explore the weird and wild nature of fungi.
  • Enjoy FREE Night at the Museums shuttle service between participating Denver-area museums from 5-10 p.m.

Nichos Art Exchange Project

Sept. 16 – Nov. 5, 2017
Offsite
The Gardens’ annual celebration of Día de los Muertos extends to the Westwood neighborhood. Three large, colorful nichos (altars) by artist Ricardo Soltero are placed along Morrison Road between Newton and Virginia Streets. The nichos, which served as the centerpiece for the Gardens’ 2016 Days of the Dead exhibition, have been created to honor the deceased by community members including children and family, the senior community and local artists. This new art initiative is in partnership with the BuCu West Development Association.