Where to Buy Halloween Costumes in the East Bay - 510 Families
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Where to Buy Halloween Costumes in the East Bay

Clearly you can order Halloween costumes on Amazon, but since the Bay Area is full of folks who think outside the box, we’re providing a list of resources for where to buy costumes locally as well as where to find materials for making your own.

[Where to buy costumes | Where to get stuff to make costumes]

Bumblebee costume easy DIY
Bumblebee costume easy DIY = black+yellow pajamas + antenna + wings | Photo: Heather Flett

When my son was younger, this was the time of year that he and I most looked forward to. He would have a costume in mind and I would get to figure out which components we were going to make, and which we need to buy.

Once, I made this clown costume from scratch, having bought the material at Stonemountain & Daughter, but purchased the clown wig and Snazaroo face paint at the Halloween Spirit Store (locations below).

julian clown

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Another year, we bought the whole Santa outfit, but I assembled a crafty undershirt strategy that contained a jolly-sized belly. (Hard to see in this photo, so you’ll have to believe me.)

IMG 0823

Here’s where to buy costumes and materials to make them yourself in the East Bay.


Second-hand clothing stores. In October, Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other thrift stores often sell used, but originally store-bought kids’ costumes. but they also have the makings for tons of homemade costumes. An old prom dress can become a princess or fairy, for example. If you have low-level sewing skills, it’s easier to start with a manufactured garment and leverage the existing hems or zipper closures.

Halloween comes to Grove Street Kids consignment shop
Halloween comes to Grove Street Kids consignment shop, most years | Photo: Grove Street Kids

Kids used clothing stores start putting their costumes out during the first week of October. I stopped by Grove Street Kids and they are already ready for you. Check out the following used clothing stores for baby, toddler, and preschooler sizes.

  • Grove Street Kids (Berkeley)
  • Chloe’s Closet (Berkeley)
  • Kelly’s Corner (Oakland)
  • Mommy’s Trading Post (Alameda)

Seasonal Costume Stores

Seasonal Halloween Spirit Superstores. These pop-up shops enable landlords to earn some rent while occupying a vacant retail space. This year you’ll find a warehouse-style Halloween store, packed with costumes, accessories, and house decorations in these locations already open:

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Emeryville, Bay Street next to Victoria’s Secret
Pinole, 1500 Fitzgerald Dr, former K-Mart
San Lorenzo
, 12598 Hesperian, was Lamps Plus

Lots more locations >

party city costume wall
Party City, Alameda, September 2017. Photo by W.Moss

Party and Decoration Stores

Party City (Alameda and Richmond)
I have already extolled the virtues of Party City for Halloween.

Paper Plus Outlet (Berkeley)
This San Pablo Ave shop has typical packaged costume items and accessories. Need Harry Potter glasses? You’ll probably find them here.

Toy Stores/Children’s Stores

Five Little Monkeys (Berkeley, Albany)
Selling capes, wings, and wands for magical costumes, as well as occupation dress-up sets such as Astronaut, Doctor, Firefighter.


Craft Stores: For DIY or mostly DIY Costumes


Fabric stores sell patterns for sewers, fabric, yarns and notions. DIYers will find light green furry material for Oscar the Grouch, silver fabric for a knight’s cape, or velcro that will be easy to install. Try one of these:

Discount Fabrics (Berkeley at Ashby and San Pablo)
An eclectic assortment of materials, some at great deals.

Jo-Ann’s  (El Cerrito Plaza and San Leandro)
Make sure to download their app before you go for coupons at this massive fabric store

Michael’s (Emeryville, Alameda, Pinole)
Less fabric, but more poster boards, sticky back felt, and adhesive products.

Stonemountain & Daughter (Berkeley)
Knowledgeable staff who can help you strategize your craft project

East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse (Oakland)
This Temescal shop is filled with supplies that have upcycle potential. Yarn, plastic containers, jars, magnets. If you can convince your kid to be a robot, you’ll definitely want to get inspired here.

Mad Scientist costume easy DIY
Mad Scientist costume (easy DIY) = green wig (from Spirit store) + goggles (from our garage) + lab coat | Photo: Heather Flett

East Bay Costume Swap


Please be sure that the costumes you want to swap are clean, in good condition, and appropriate for children. Be prepared to bring costumes in and choose others.

Swings and Wings (2307 Blanding Ave Suite E. Alameda)
Drop off costumes in advance and receive a token. Bring token to the event on Sat., Oct. 9 from 10 am to 12 pm. Use your token to select a costume and get admission to play.

 

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