Halloween Costume Shops That Rock (& Shock!)

best places to go trick or treating
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It’s time to begin pondering one of life’s big questions—what to be for Halloween. Large gatherings or door-to-door trick-or-treating may not be in the game plan, but kids always love an excuse to dress up (themselves AND the house). Whether you want to have a dress-up party as a family, spookify the house or invite a few friends for a low-key meet-up, we have you covered with some of our favorite places to shop for costumes, accessories and décor. Perhaps you’re giving your doorbell-ringing finger a break this year, but keep the Halloween spirit alive with the help of these local shops in the city and the ‘burbs.

photo: iStock

For a Vintage Vibe: Lost Eras

The cool speakeasy of costume shops, Lost Eras is a hidden gem with a throwback twist. It houses a showroom full of vintage and antique collectibles, and is known for renting props and costumes to theater and movie sets (Ferris Bueller's Day OffThe Untouchables, and Public Enemies – yep, Johnny Depp wore their clothes!). At Halloween, they add to their stock and go gangbusters. If you’re looking for funky décor—Halloween or otherwise—Lost Eras has a lot to choose from.

1511 W. Howard St.
, Rogers Park
; 773-764-7400
; Online: losteras.com

For Treasure Hunting: Chicago Costume Company

Don't let its small facade deceive you: Chicago Costume is crammed to the rafters with costumes, makeup, accessories and anything else you need to transform your look. Kiddies will go bananas for the selection of Disney, Star Wars, superhero and comic book costumes. This is one of just a handful of year-round costume shops so don’t panic when your little superhero needs a new costume in January. Too busy to shop in the store? Purchase online and have your costume shipped to you or pick it up for free at one of their two Chicago locations.

1120 W. Fullerton, Lincoln Park; 773-528-1264 & 4727 W. Montrose St., Portage Park; 773-282-1264; Online: chicagocostume.com

For a Spooky Setting: Halloween Hallway

Known for its robust selection of adult costumes, Halloween Hallway also caters to kids with four Chicago locations (River North, Wicker Park, Downtown, Lincoln Park) that are open during Halloween season only. We love the overabundance of accessories. They take decorating seriously and some of the décor (zombies, vampires and other things that go bump in the night) might be a little scary for little ones—yet super-duper cool for big kids!

Click here for locations.

For the Procrastinator or Late-Night Shopper: Fantasy Costumes

This year-round costume headquarters is a Chicago classic and known for helpful service. So helpful, in fact, that for the last few days before Halloween, they stay open 24 hours a day so if your little goblin won’t go to sleep, maybe consider costume shopping! Kids will love the Fortnite costume selection—and with so many adult costumes, your whole family can dress up together! Fantasy Costumes goes above and beyond in the accessories department, so expect to find an enormous selection of makeup, wigs, masquerade masks and other dodads to complete the transformation.

4065 N. Milwaukee Ave., Portage Park; Online: fantasycostumes.com

For Kids, Pumpkins & Pets: Spirit Halloween

North, south, east, west, no matter where you turn, Spirit is like your friendly-ghost neighbor. With costumes for everyone—including pets—a dedicated pumpkin carving area and a "glow" section of accessories that will last well beyond Halloween, you'll find everything you need here.

Many locations are seasonal brick-and-mortar stores, open only during the holiday time. Click here for locations.

Online: spirithalloween.com

photo: Hanna Andersson

For Keeping it Simple: Hanna Andersson & Old Navy

"Aww"-worthy costumes and Halloween-themed pjs that can pass for costumes pop up for the season at both Hanna Andersson and Old Navy. This is an especially great option for babies and toddlers who haven't completely bought into the holiday yet, but have parents who want to dress up their dolls. You'll often find all the popular themes with a much smaller price tag than an actual costume. Practical parents love the soft cotton ones that can even double as pajamas. Bonus: You can usually score trick-or-treat bags, too.

— Maria Chambers & Jen Peterson


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