1. Don's Hobby Shop Established in 1949, Don's Hobby Shop has expanded to include an online store. Despite the joke and novelty items, they're serious about Halloween. They have a wide selection of costumes for everyone from babies to adults. (We love the Minion costume and baby Barrel of Monkeys.) Looking to improve your Halloween makeup skills? Don't miss their expert makeup lessons that provide quick tips for creating the perfect zombie look and how to fake a broken bone and flesh wound. Oh, and they sell fake blood and pus.
1515 Centre St. North, 403-262-5717 donshobbyshop.ca
2. The Store Upstairs Located in Airdrie (a 15 minute drive north of Calgary), this treasure trove of wigs, costumes and accessories is one the province's largest collections of Halloween goods. Also functioning as a gift shop with toys and gourmet goodies, this store stocks princess, superhero and comic book costumes year-round. A seasonal location, called The Halloween Store, is now open in Calgary.
3. The Costume Shoppe This rental and retail shop aims to please all types of events, from scary Halloween parties to fancy costumed shindigs (ball gown rental, anyone?). We're fans of the large selection of baby/toddler Star Wars-themed gear including adorable Ewok, Yoda and Chewbacca costumes. Bigger kids have ample selection, too, with a Princess Peach from Super Mario Brothers get-up and an amazing costume of Link from Legend of Zelda.
4307 Blackfoot Trail S.E., 403-571-2466 thecostumeshoppe.com
4. Chuckles Unlimited A Calgary staple for more than 40 years, this family-run business gives shoppers a fright at the door with a life-size clown (named Chuckles, obviously) who welcomes all who pass through. With a large selection of costumes for all shapes and sizes, little ones can find something they like in the kids section. After a costume has been procured, be sure to peruse the joke department, which carries everything from stink bombs to fart machines.
#40, 6130—1A St. S.W., 403-252-8465 chuckles.ca
5. Cat's Vintage Catering mostly to teens and adults, this beautifully-curated shop offers retro items for purchase and to rent. Check out the vintage accessories to complete your little one's hippie or boho costume. Searching for the perfect piece is half the fun.
205-1235 17th Ave. S.W., 403-640-4090 catseyevintage.ca