By Maya Smith
Welcome to October, the month of all things Halloween and spookiness. For some people in Calgary, Halloween festivities start on October first, while others wait until after Thanksgiving to get in the spirit. No matter which one you are, here’s a look at some of the best Halloween events, stores and costume shops in Calgary.
Halloween Events Calgary
There is no shortage of Halloween themed events in Calgary. Whether you’re looking for some family-fun, some spooky nights out or some adults only events, the city has got you covered.
For family-friendly events, try out the 17th Ave Spook-tacular. On October 19th, bring the whole family down to 17th avenue for face painting, live music and of course, a costume contest. The festivities run from 12-4pm at Tompkins Park. It’s a super fun way to get the family in the Halloween spirit!
Heritage Park also hosts family-friendly Halloween events. For those with children between ages 3 and 9, the park hosts Gouls Night Out. The event runs October 24-27 and provides a safe and entertaining night out for young families.
There is trick-or-treating at the village homes, family photo booths and carnival games. Be sure to check the website for times, as the entrance and closing times change each day.
Would it really be Halloween in Calgary if Screamfest wasn’t happening? This year, Screamfest is back and will be happening in conjunction with HEX, the Halloween & Entertainment Expo. The expo and Screamfest are both in town from October 11- 14th.
The expo is family-friendly, while Screamfest is intended for ages 12 and up. At the expo there will be games, panels and even some celebrity guests including stars from ET, Nightmare on Elm Street and Game of Thrones. From noon to midnight (except Friday, which begins at 5), guests can head out to Screamfest and get their scare on.
Set foot in the Bates Motel, walk with Zombies or check out Clown Town all within Stampede Park. Not for the faint of heart, the thriller rides include a coffin ride, zombie simulation rides and axe throwing.
For some adult-only fun, check out Halloween Howler, which advertises as Calgary’s largest Halloween party. This Halloween-themed pub crawl is hosted by Bust Loose and is happening on October 26.
Grab your best costume and hit up 4 parties all across the city. The tour takes you to Craft Beer Market downtown, Marquee Beer Market & Night Club, Knoxville’s and Cowboys. Snag tickets and receive VIP admission to all of the venues (no waiting in line), a free drink at the first bar, transportation and free swag all for $25.
Of course, if pub crawls aren’t your thing, there are plenty of Halloween themed movies showing all across the city. Watch Dracula at Heritage Park or take in 12 hours of horror movies at the Globe Cinema. For dancer lovers, Frankenstein, an Albert Ballet production is fantastic and takes place at the Jubilee Auditorium October 23 – 26.
Halloween Store Calgary
As per normal during Halloween season, Halloween stores have taken over empty storefronts and seasonal based stores in Calgary. Before these stores move out and make way for the Christmas version, it’s a good idea to check them out for your costume, décor and makeup needs.
There are many different variations of these stores including Halloween Store Calgary, Halloween Alley and Spirit of Halloween. These are a great place to find reasonably priced Halloween gear.
The largest of these is Halloween Store Calgary. Besides all of the costumes, the store has great options for decoration. From blow-up lawn decorations to motion-activated caged children and favourite Halloween characters. With over 20,000 sq. ft of space, it’s your one stop shop for all of your Halloween needs. It’s located at 6711 Macleod Trail SW.
Costume Shop Calgary
When it comes to trick-or-treating or Halloween parties and events, the right costume is a must-have. Without a doubt, the best-known costume shop in Calgary is… The Costume Shoppe, located on Blackfoot Trail. They have everything from full costumes to wigs, masks and makeup.
If you love your costume idea, you can buy the costume directly from the store or online. Not sure what costume you want or only need it for one night? Check out the rental section of the site.
They also recognize that humans aren’t the only ones who dress up for Halloween and so they have an entire section of pet costumes. You can search by theme, type of costume or by individual accessories. If you live in the city, be sure to stop by the store and get some in-person costume shopping advice.
Another costume shop Calgary legend is Don’s Hobby Shop & Theatrical Supplies. Don’s has plenty of costumes for your Halloween needs and you can even search the website by decade, theme, movie and age. Don’s also can set you up with your Halloween décor needs, so if you’re throwing a party or just decorating, you’ll find plenty to make your house extra spooky.
Both stores have extended Halloween hours so you can do your Halloween shopping even later at night.
What are you doing to lead up to the spookiest night of the year? Happy Halloween!