I took Spanish in high school and college, and while I can’t tell you how to ask for the nearest bathroom, I can tell you all about the different Spanish holidays. My favorite was “Day Of The Dead,” or Dia de los Muertos. It’s a Mexican holiday celebrating the lives of family or friends who have died. Instead of being sad and mourning, the Mexicans instead choose to throw huge, happy fiesta!
Taking place October 31-November 2 (a span that includes All Saints’ Eve, Day, Souls Day and, of course, Halloween), Dia de los Muertos celebrations include building ceremonial altars to encourage the souls of the beloved deceased to visit.
Here are 6 places to celebrate Dia de los Muertos in Cincinnati:
(Please note: because of Halloween, some of these local events celebrate both holidays.)
Possibly Cincinnati’s most famed cemetery, Spring Grove is as beautiful as it is historic. On Sunday, Oct. 29th, explore Spring Grove with its final Public Tram Tour of the season! This tour focuses on the most popular monument at Spring Grove – the angels – and all their manifestations. Honor the deceased by taking part in this unique tour, which is free for kids 12 and under and $5 for adults.
As always, Blue Manatee is on point with their themed holiday “activatees.” On November 1st at 11 am, head to 3094 Madison Road for Dia de los Muertos Story Time, which features special stories, pan de muerto (a traditional and delicious Mexican snack) and a themed craft. This event is best for ages 2 and up and is $5/child. Register today!
On October 28 at 2 p.m., the Museum Center is hosting DIY Disguise: Sewn Masks as part of its KidSpace program. Kids can sharpen their sewing skills and create a mask of their own! This event is part of the Museum Center’s Hallo-Weekend (Oct. 28-29), which features bat programs, demonstrations, live music, tons of crafts and lots of opportunities for learning. Particularly, “Halloween Around the World” program on Sunday will teach kids about traditions from other countries (we’re hoping for a Dia de los Muertos mention!). All events are free with Museum admission.
We’ve waxed poetic about this Kentucky gem, which, this year is offering Mourning Tours. On October 28th from 1-7 pm, head to Dismore for a celebration of the dead, including a description of mourning rituals, a display of Dinsmore family mourning dresses, and a reenactment of a nineteenth-century funeral at the graveyard. Celebrate the deceased by visiting the on-site graveyard! Tickets are $7/adults and $3/child.
The Haunted Village at Heritage Village is loads of slightly frightening fun, from wagon rides to face painting to trick or treating. There are two more weekends to enjoy the fun; four Friday and Saturday nights from 6-10 p.m. (Have your kids’ faces painted with an authentic, Dia de los Muertos skeleton!)
Halloween Nights at Parky’s Farm are the perfect balance of spooky and fun. This annual event features hay wagon rides, festive Halloween displays and family fun activities and entertainment for all ages. The Halloween displays boast dancing skeletons that perfectly celebrate the spirit of Dia de los Muertos.