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Day of the Dead Parties in Sydney

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by Irenke Forsyth (subscribe)
A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at
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Halloween is about to hit once again but popping up in Sydney are a number of ghoulish, Mexican flavoured parties celebrating Dia De Los Muertos. Translated as Day of the Dead, this fairly new theme here is steeped in cultural tradition thousands of years old in Mexico with the painting of skulls on faces, just to start with. It is a huge colourful festival held over a 2 day holiday period in Mexico that remembers and honours those gone from the world.

Day of the Dead Parties
Facebook - Cantina Bar Balmain

If you want to dress up and party Mexican style, then check out this list of events on at various locations around Sydney:-

El Loco Mexican Cantina

Situated at the Excelsior Hotel and the Slip Inn, expect live music and dancing along with Mexican food and Margarita specials over the Halloween weekend.

El Loco Mexican Cantina
Facebook - El Loco Mexican

With quirky decor and Mexican atmosphere in and close to the CBD at these hotels, you can go loco on Tequila with $10 margaritas all night, have your face painted, enjoy tacos and caramel churros, and dance the night away. So don your most colourful costume and get your amigos together for this fun fiesta.

When – Fri 30th and Sat 31st October
Where – Excelsior Hotel at 64 Foveaux St Surry Hills and Slip Inn at 111 Sussex St Sydney

No bookings required and no lockout.

Jurassic Lounge

This prehistoric party at the Australian Museum takes place after closing hours with unique access to dinosaurs, spectacular gemstones and the new Wild Planet gallery exhibition, featuring over 400 animals.

Artists and performers, scientists and comedians mix up the Museum into a playground for grown-ups (18 + years) that includes a Silent Disco and Giant Dance Lesson, Live Taxidermy, and a Trick or Treat Room. Marvel at contortionist Jade Twist as she combines body manipulation with acrobatics.

Jurassic Lounge
Facebook - Jurassic Lounge

Learn the monster mash, make gashes and wounds at the Makeup Wardrobe, listen to Creepy Crawlies talks, get acquainted with vampire flying frogs, curse your enemies at the Misfortune Cookie crafts table and cheer on comedians recreating cult horror movie scenes.

A haunted photo booth will capture your ghostly image and there are prizes for the scariest and funniest dressed, so get creative.

A licensed bar and hot food available with tickets $19 pre-sale or $22 at the door (subject to availability).

When – Fri 30th October, 6.30pm-9.30pm
Where – 1 William St Sydney
Website –

Festival of Life Dinner

This event company is hosting a Day of the Dead dinner, consisting of a tasty Mexican meal with wine, at a cost of $55 per person. Senoras are urged to dress up a little gothic with floral head pieces whilst hombres might want to dust off that sombrero in the closet.

A hair and make-up artist can assist you in getting in theme, for a nominal cost.

When – Sun 1st November, 6pm
Where – secret venue to be announced closer to the date.

You can register your interest with

Hullabaloo at Balmain

Cantina Bar is the location for frozen margaritas and the $10 death punch, as well as prawn tacos, unique alpaca skewers, and other Latin American street food. Exotic Mexican beers also feature prominently.

This small bar and restaurant features Day of the Dead artworks on the brick interior walls, plants hanging from the ceiling and glowing lights, making it an intimate Mexican affair.

Cantina Bar Balmain
Facebook - Cantina Bar Balmain

Get your fangs out and your fake blood ready because there's a dinner for two for the best dressed.

When – Sat 31st October
Where – 350 Darling St Balmain
Telephone – 9810 0086

Double Dose at The Sheaf

Multiple bars, lounges, a vast beer garden courtyard and a bistro will serve up special Day of the Dead cocktails and tasty bites with two parties, one mid week and one on Halloween, set to entertain your socks off.

There's in-house face painting and a photo booth to remember the night at this refurbished Double Bay institution. This reincarnation is a timely way to celebrate death and rebirth.

When – Weds 28th and Sat 31st October, from 8pm
Where – 429 New South Head Rd Double Bay
Website –

Green Square Library

Yes, this party takes place in a library of all places. It's for all ages and you can follow in the footsteps of the Aztecs to modern Mexico with sugar skull making and face painting, as well as altar making.

Green Square Library
Facebook - City of Sydney Libraries

Dress up and enjoy live music, food and more. The event is free but bookings are recommended.

When – Thurs 29th October, 6pm-8pm
Where – 100 Joynton Ave Zetland

ZanziBar @ Newtown

This fun sprawling bar over 3 floors with a rooftop terrace is celebrating Dia De Los Muertos with everything extravagant from costumes and complimentary face painting to Tequila infused tacos (yes, tacos) and cocktails.

Live art installations will feature and a pop-up Polaroid photo booth will capture the spirit with an Espolon Tequila party pack up for grabs for best pic of the night.

Free entry with DJ's from 10pm cranking up the fun.

When – Sat 31st October, 6pm till late
Where – 323 King St Newtown
Bookings – 9519 1511

Manly Wharf Hotel

Manly Wharf Hotel
Facebook - Manly Wharf Bar

Over on the north side with great views, this Halloween Dia De Los Muertos party has free entry, $10 Sangria jugs and $10 margaritas, best dressed prizes, artists to fancy you up with sugar skull face paint, and DJ Jonny RAD and Ketami sound tracking the event.

When – Sat 31st October, from noon till late
Where – Manly Wharf, East Esplanade
Website –
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Why? For something different on Halloween
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