Originating in central southern Mexico, Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a celebration welcoming back the dead, who visit with friends and family during the holiday.  Celebrants believe that at midnight on Oct. 31, the souls of deceased children come to visit with their families.  They stay through November 1.  The souls of deceased adults visit on November 2.  Altars are set up to welcome the deceased with their favorite foods, games, photos of the deceased and other favorites.  

The Presidio Museum will host several altars from Oct. 27 to Nov. 7 this year including those honoring these groups/individuals that have passed.

  • COVID-19 Sufferers
  • Pets
  • Veterans

The public is welcome to leave mementos on these altars, but please understand the items will not be returned.

The museum will accept applications for additional altar displays through Wednesday, October 20.  Click here for more information and to register or contact Kate Avalos, Interpretive Programs and Volunteer Manager, at katea@tucsonpresidio.com.

Prior to the larger Día de los Muertos celebration, the Presidio Museum’s Family Adventure Fourth Saturday event, occurring on Saturday, Oct. 23, from 10 am to 1 pm, will have a Día de los Muertos theme.  Attendees at this event will have the opportunity to paint paper Calavera masks, create papel picado (paper decorative flags), get their faces painted, and visit with representatives from Tucson’s Sugar Skulls indoor football team. Treats will be available at each station, and attendees are encouraged to attend in their costumes and/or facepaint.  

This event is ideal for ages 4-7, but is open to children of all ages and their families.  Other activities that could be included in Family Adventure Fourth Saturday are blacksmith demonstrations, colonial-period games, a story time and more!  This event is also included with admission.