Halloween is coming soon, and if you are tired of those chintzy discount store packaged costumes—but you don’t quite have the craftiness to conjure up a queenly costume out of draperies and gilded macaroni—this Saturday’s National Costume Exchange Day might be just for you.
It’s a way to bring recycling to the Halloween season, helping the environment (if you can believe a Halloween costume might wind up in the garbage sometime—horrors!) and saving a few bucks at the same time. This year, National Costume Swap Day or Costume Exchange Day—it’s an informal event that goes by both names—is Saturday, October 13, and you can participate here in Cincinnati by getting your own group together in your neighborhood, at your church, or at your kids’ school. Just ask everyone to bring a few outgrown costumes and exchange your Snow White for Cruella de Ville, or perhaps an old Batman suit for new Ironman togs.
If you’ve been collecting Disney princess and superhero costumes for a few years, you may also be able to convince your kids to think outside the big box store and investigate the possibilities of inventing a costume with pieces available at an exchange. Or maybe you’re a grownup who loves Halloween, but that closet in the basement is bursting with disco wigs, skeleton masks, and clown noses. Clear some things out and you could find just the thing for this year’s Halloween party through an exchange.
Or rather than organize your own swap session, visit one that’s already planned at Cincinnati’s green general store, Park+Vine. The costume exchange there is Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Park+Vine is located at 1202 Main Street in downtown Cincinnati, and in addition to exchanging your costume, you can get a coupon for $1 off a pumpkin at the store.
Even better, a local charitable organization, Peaslee Neighborhood Center, will take any unclaimed costumes at the end of the day to distribute to kids who might not even be able to afford a discount store costume this Halloween.
This year, there are Costume Swap events planned in 37 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and two provinces in Canada this Saturday. These events have an extra added benefit, besides saving money and keeping cloth out of landfills—your kids’ imaginations may just get fired up to come up with a unique costume all their own by finding just the right starter garment at an exchange.