While many families across the world are probably looking forward to Halloween, many others are looking forward to another holiday – Dia De Los Muertos. This holiday as a few similarities, such as skeletons and treats. But, it has a much more family friendly focus. Though our family does not have any Hispanic ties, we do love the culture, and decided to celebrate this instead of Halloween this year. To do so, we decided to have a family movie night with Disney’s Coco. Just in case you would like to join us, here is what we plan to do.
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Disney’s Coco was released in theaters on November 22, 2017 and on DVD on February 27th the following year. However, even though this is not a new movie, it is a timeless story. It tells the tale of a young boy who wants nothing more than to follow his dreams of becoming a Mariachi singer. His family does not approve of Mariachi music, and so he is not allowed to pursue this dream. During the celebration of Dia De Los Muertos, he goes on an adventure and ends up learning the history of why his family dislikes Mariachi music.
While the boy gets to learn about his family’s history, we as viewers get a small window into Hispanic culture and the celebration of Dia De Los Muertos. The focus of this holiday centers around honoring family members who have passed on. Those that celebrate this holiday believe that for one day, the dead can return to the land of the living and spend time among their living relatives. That is so long as someone in their family remembers them. Families make alters with pictures to honor their loved ones as well as offerings to make their “visiting” family members feel welcome. There is food, music, and a sense of family togetherness. This is celebrated each year on the first few days of November.
Because this is a family movie night, I try to make the menu as well as the individual recipes kid-friendly. Just note that these are not the most amazing recipes I could find. But they are easy enough for my pre-teens to make independently.
- Jiffy Pizza Crust
- Taco Meat
- One small Jar Salsa
- Shredded Taco Cheese
- Crushed Doritos
Make the Jiffy Pizza Crust per the box instructions and place on a pan. Then cover the crust with the taco meat (we use beef, but chicken would work too). Cover the taco meat with the salsa and top with cheese and crushed Doritos. Then bake at 375 degrees until the crust is golden brown and the toppings are bubbling.
Jello Skulls Fruit Salad
- Jello Jiggler Skulls (any flavor made ahead)
- 1 container Strawberries (sliced)
- 2 containers Blueberries
- 1 container Raspberries
- 1 container Blackberries
- 1 container Whipped Topping
Wash all of the berries. Then combine all of the above ingredients into a large serving bowl and keep chilled until serving.
Pan de Muerto
This is not my recipe, but this is yummy, kid-friendly and uses a bread maker. A win-win-win in my book!
The family alter is quite often the focal point of the home during this time of year. It is covered with purple and orange flowers, candles and offerings to the “visiting” relatives. We made ours with a wooden crate and flowers and decorations from the Dollar Tree. You could also use a shoe box and paper flowers if you are looking for a more budget friendly option.
We used photos of our loved ones for our altar, but you certainly wouldn’t have to. Instead, you could have your littles color pages from the movie to place in the altar. Below you will find some great options for Coco themed coloring pages. Click on each photo to see the color pages.
Dia de los Muertos is a wonderful, family-friendly holiday. Add Disney’s Coco, and you have a family movie night to remember. If your family is looking for something different this year, why not try a Coco Family Movie Night?
Don’t forget to check out our other fun movie night ideas below!