Halloween Costume Contest & Games 

Whether it is your first Halloween Party or your 20th a traditional Halloween Party activity is the Halloween Costume Contest and we have a variety of ideas so you can host a classic Halloween Costume Contest or play some fun Halloween Costume Games with random winners. Halloween Contest Games for Kids are at the bottom of the page.

Ways to host and run a Halloween Costume Contest

a. Decide whether to have a Costume Theme and / or Awards Categories
Note: A Costume theme and Award Categories are not needed but help guests prepare for your Halloween party
– Have a theme: Dead Celebrity, Superhero, 80’s Music, Video Game, Handmade Costumes, etc…
– The Costume Categories 1 for Best Costume or several Most Creative, Silliest, Sexiest Costume, etc…

b. Decide how the Halloween Costume Contest will be judged.
– Judges, a few people determine who wins the contest.
If you are hosting the event and are having judges we recommend you set a few specific guidelines so that the judging is consistent. Also consider having judges score costumes based on looks, creativity, matches the theme, etc… then add up the scores.
Sample Categories and Scoring Range
a. Costume Appearance (1 – 10 pts)
b. Makeup & Hair (1 – 5 pts)
c. Use of Accessories (1 – 5 pts)
d.Creativity (ie store bought 1 or 2 points but more unique 3 or more pts.) (1 – 5 pts)
e. Person is in Character at Party (1 – 5 pts.)
f. Costume relevancy to party theme (1 – 5 pts)

– Audience chooses through clapping
For bars and community events, Halloween Costume Contests are often decided by the audience clapping or cheering for their favorite costume. In large Costume Competitions you can have many rounds and see a hundred costumes before a winner is selected. Often 8 – 12 people are brought on stage at a time and the top two move on to the next round. This continues until they have the Top 10 Contestants.

Another options for smaller parties is to give guests a sticker with a Number on it and two or three voting tickets.
When all guests have arrived announce the Halloween Costume Contest and ask guests to put on their number so it is visible.
Inform them of Halloween Costume Categories and have separate voting boxes for each category.
Guests cannot vote for themselves but will be given 10 – 15 minutes to review costumes and voting using the costume number.
Once time is up, make a last call for votes and take the votes and and tally them.
If you know who has what numbers guests can remove the numbers, if not they can be removed after the Winners are announced.
Total the votes and Announce your Halloween Costume Winners!

– Random winner for all who participate
Sometimes you just want people to participate and dress in a Halloween Costume, if that is the case then consider selecting a guest by random to win the Costume Contest by drawing their name out of a hat.

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Ideas for Halloween Costume Contest Games – Good for Young Kid’s Halloween Parties

1. Halloween Costume Contest Elimination Game
When the guests arrive at the party have them write down their costume on a piece of paper and it is dropped into a bowl, plastic pumpkin, witches hat or container. Note: Don’t tell them why they are doing it.

Then announce you are going to play Halloween Costume Contest Elimination where you pick a costume name from the bowl and if you are wearing that costume you are eliminated from the game. Basically, if there are 3 witches and witch gets pulled out then all the witches are out of the game.

The Winner of the Costume Contest is the last person left in the game.
You can also use this until you have 5 guests remaining and then have judges or the audience decide the winner.

2. Halloween Costume Contest Corners
This is easy play this game like Halloween Corners. Easy, fun and random and all ages can play.
Place an Halloween image in 4 corners, play music and the guests choose a corner when the music stops, randomly select one image and all the people standing by that image are out of the game.

Continue until you have 1 winner or a small enough group of 5 or less and then judges or audience choose a winner.

3. Halloween Costume Contest Match
This takes a lot of planning.
This is a Halloween Costume Game for kids (adults could play too) and those with a computer, camera and printer.

This game can work if you have a helper, so consider asking someone to help you with this during the party.

a. When guests arrive take a picture of them in their costume.
b. Once you have the photos go to the computer and quickly resize them so they will fit on a playing card. (big enough to see but some enough to print several per sheet of paper)
c. Once resized, I like copying 4 – 8 photos on a word document and printing a sheet. You’ll need to photos of each costume.
d. Cut out the photos and attach to the number side of the playing cards with tape. Note: You can use colored construction paper however kids tend to bend it and that makes it easy to remember what costume was where. Card are sturdy and are a good size to work with.
e. Now double check to make sure you have 2 cards for each child, if a child is missing or late you can always write their name on a piece of paper and attach or quick go take their photo.
f. Once you have all the cards, mix them up and lay them flat on a large table Halloween costume photos face down.
g. Have the kids come over and tell them that you are going to play Halloween Costume Contest Match.
h. One at a time a child will select one Halloween costume card and then select another costume card hoping to match the first one they turned over.
If the cards do not match the next person goes and tries to match a set of costumes.
If the cards match, the person in that costume is out of the contest and that same person goes again.
If the person matching costumes matches themselves then they are out of the game! So be careful not to match yourself.
i. The game is played until there is one person left in the game – That person is the winner.

These should be you a mix of Halloween Contest Ideas for kids and adults.