The ultimate guide to celebrating Halloween in Vancouver

by Grace McRae-Okine

When it comes to Halloween, people tend to fall into two camps: those who couldn’t care less and those for whom November 1st is known as “364 days until next Halloween.” If you consider yourself in the latter camp, this is your go-to guide for celebrating all things creepy, crawly, spooky and sometimes even sexy for All Hallows Eve in Vancouver. [Photo credit: iStock/Maxvis]

The ultimate guide to celebrating Halloween in Vancouver

Lookin’ good

A well-stocked costume shop offers it all – from the conception of your idea to that perfect accessory that is sure to tie everything together. Try Studio FX to achieve a terrifying take on a zombie or a glitz and glamour princess, Merchant of Dream Fashion for the perfect Venetian mask and Watts Costume Rentals to browse over 10,000 outfits.

If you’re looking to get creative and keep your budget down this year, Value Village maintains a great stock of premade costumes for people of all ages, not to mention huge stocks of vintage threads to work with. For DIY fabrics and sewing supplies, no one beats Dressew (though they close at 5:15 pm, so don’t think about leaving them last on your list). Wildlife Thrift Store has a great inventory of higher-end threads at down-to-earth prices – plus you can feel good about spending your dollars here, as they make monthly donations to local charities. Wherever you decide to shop, make sure to go sooner rather than later, before their selection has been heavily picked over!

If you’re looking for something a little more risqué or have a higher budget in mind, try Deadly Couture in Gastown for a wide selection of high quality wigs, rubber, PVC and latex costumes and fetish accessories ranging in style from goth to steampunk to military.

Spooky eats

Vancouver’s self-proclaimed “original nerd bar” The Storm Crow – now operating at two convenient locations on Commercial Drive and West Broadway – is where it’s at for spooky eats in Vancouver. With items like Babba Yaga’s Paranormal Perogies and the Apocalypse Burger on the menu all year round – and a wide selection of board games to titillate the brain – The Storm Crow is the perfect place to grab a bite this October, in or out of costume.

There’s hardly any point of celebrating Halloween without satisfying your sweet tooth. Options include Karameller Candy Shop in Yaletown (offering preservative-free sweets), The Candy Aisle in Kits (with imported candies you won’t often find on Vancouver shelves) or Grenadine and Co on West Broadway (the perfect place to find a gourmet gift for a friend – or yourself).

Looking for sweet treats that don’t come in a plastic wrapper? Bel Café and Cadeaux Bakery are renowned for their annual Halloween-themed treats, which are sure to impress the guests at your stellar holiday get-together! Speaking of get-togethers…

Get your party on (or throw your own!)

If you’re looking for a big, splashy event to debut your killer Halloween costume at this year, check out ClubZone’s curated list of ticketed parties – ranging from club crawls to party cruises. There’s also the infamous Sin City Fetish Halloween that takes place at The Imperial in Chinatown, which promises to be the biggest, wildest and kinkiest Halloween event in the city.

If you’re looking to throw a Halloween party to remember, it’s important to start your planning with a quality selection of decorations. Head to JC Balloon Studio or The Balloonery to keep you covered for balloons. Trust in Dollarama for novelty napkins, plastic dishes and cups. The legendary The Party Bazaar lives up to its name delivering everything else in between.

More than parties

Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about folks with kids in tow or those who aren’t into parties! Stay up late and trust in the Rio Theatre to deliver when it comes to midnight screenings of the weirdest of Halloween movies. Annual events like PNE’s Fright Nights, the Ghost Train in Stanley Park (this year it has an alien theme), Instagram-worthy fall farms across the Lower Mainland and the Night for All Souls at Mountain View Cemetery (providing an opportunity to memorialize the dead in a peaceful setting) provide ample opportunities to join in the festivities.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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