Are you interested in thrifted Halloween costumes this year? Find out how I find the coolest Halloween costumes at Goodwill for my kids year after year.
This post about finding Halloween costumes at Goodwill was originally published October 2, 2017 and was updated September 12, 2021 and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
Are you looking for thrifted Halloween costumes for 2021?
There are a ton of amazing costumes at Goodwill for a fraction of what you’d pay at a Halloween costume shop. It’s a great way to save money and support a lot of vital community programs.
In this post, I’ll share why I like to support Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region and why you should stock up on costumes that your kids can wear all year long.
Dressing up is a great way for kids to work on social development, critical thinking skills, and imagination.
You don’t have to spend an arm or leg on new Halloween costumes when there are so many fun options available at Goodwill!
Not only will your child get more use out of their costume but it also helps the environment by recycling old clothes into something new again!
Plus, dressing up is such good exercise for children as they learn how to walk in heels (or whatever else they may be wearing), dance around with swords or wands in hand, run through obstacle courses…the list goes on!
And if your child doesn’t want to dress up anymore after trick-or-treating then that’s okay too because you can always pass them along to another family or donate them back to Goodwill.
The possibilities are endless with these cute little costumes from Goodwill! So go ahead – give them another life!
Thrifted Halloween Costumes FAQs
If you need last-minute Halloween costumes, thrift stores are the place to go. Chances are you can easily find items to become a witch, a corpse bride, a zombie, a prom queen, a used car salesman, a lumberjack, a barista, and more.
If you have some time, you can create some incredible cosplay outfits, thrifted Disneybounding looks, and just about anything you can think of. And don’t limit it to just the costume section. Really explore the apparel section as well as the accessories area.
When you shop at a thrift store, the cost of getting your costume is cheaper than if bought from other stores. You are also helping keep landfills clean and safe by not contributing anything new that would end up in one! Plus there’s lots more variety available to choose from than other Halloween shops.
Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region
Are you a Goodwill shopper? Have you ever donated something to Goodwill? Is it your first stop when looking for a Halloween costume?
My answer is yes to all of these questions.
I always thought it was a thrift shop with the best prices that offers educational programs. That’s all I knew.
I had no idea this year Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region will help 9,800 people with key skills and contacts to become independent self-supporting citizens with a higher quality of life.
Of these, more than 2,800 people will be offered jobs including office, culinary, construction, barista, catering, retail, custodial, warehouse, transportation, and logistics careers thanks to partnerships with 1,300 companies across Washington.
I was recently invited to Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region to learn more about how they support their community. My 3.5-year-old son came with me. We spent the day with other bloggers and Goodwill staff members.
Goodwill Barista School
One of our first stops was their coffee shop. When I think of Goodwill, coffee doesn’t come to mind. But it should!
They have a whole Barista School so students can gain valuable work experience and training. They serve Starbucks coffee and have specialty drinks, like their toasted marshmallow latte.
Goodwill Culinary Program
Along the same lines, Goodwill has a culinary program where students learn how to make restaurant-quality dishes.
We were served roasted squash with sausage and kale, fried brussels sprouts, and the most delicious pumpkin cake for lunch.
Most days, they provide grab-and-go free lunches for their students. And my son reports they make a mean PB&J.
Goodwill Resource Center
Across from their coffee shop is their resource center. Not only have they partnered with other non-profits, but each organization is represented in this REACH Center for youth.
This is brilliant because it helps keep students on track.
Instead of hoping students seek out resources available, staffers can physically walk with them and make introductions to contacts who will help them succeed.
Goodwill is such a resource for the community. They have a MATH Center, GED classroom, job resource room, tax center, financial education program, and more.
We learned that the volunteers in their tax center have saved the community more than $1 million dollars in tax credits and refunds.
While I was there, Key Bank donated $30,000 to support Goodwill’s community programs. It’s great when corporations partner with nonprofits that are using their resources well.
I like how transparent Goodwill has been about where its revenue goes.
YouthBuild Program at Goodwill
Another thing that surprised me about Goodwill was its YouthBuild program.
YouthBuild helps at-risk young people complete their education by providing GED education classes while simultaneously training for the future in a variety of construction trades.
This program features hands-on opportunities for students to learn how to construct houses.
This is especially handy as they partner with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for low-income families.
Online Shopping at Goodwill
We also got to walk through their online sales warehouse. It was incredible! I saw Dutch wooden shoes, German beer steins, and enough books to fill a library.
And my preschooler saw toy trains, remote control cars, matchbox cars, viewfinders, and more! I could have easily spent a whole day in here searching for travel-related decor and fun toys!
So, it got me excited to start shopping!
Halloween is Goodwill’s Christmas
My son and I were inspired by the work Goodwill is doing to better our community. We headed to the largest Halloween Goodwill in the country, located in Spanaway, WA.
There were racks and racks of Goodwill costumes for people of all ages. Oh, and pets!
The extra cool thing about shopping for Goodwill Halloween costumes is that the possibilities are endless. You can mix and match pieces of other costumes to create something new.
While we were there, we saw people creating their own Wonder Woman costume and zombie bride. There are endless thrift store costume ideas.
And they were creating these costumes out of “real” clothing, not just costume pieces. I think that’s my favorite part of a Goodwill costume: it doesn’t have to be flimsy.
This is one of the coolest Halloween thrift stores I’ve been to.
Why You Should Stock up on Costumes at Goodwill for Your Kids
Growing up, my cousin had a shed in her yard filled to the max with dress-up clothes from thrift shops.
We used to spend hours and hours trying on fun clothes, wigs, furs and create stories about the characters we’d create. It was a way for us to use our imaginations.
Now that my son is a preschooler, I’ve been reading about how important imaginative play is. It’s actually essential to their development. And dressing up is a great way for them to grow.
Here are some of the benefits of imaginative play I’ve found through dress-up:
Playing dress-up is often a group activity. Kids learn how to take turns with the costumes and interact with others. However, they learn so much more.
Pretend play provides children an opportunity to negotiate, feel empathy, read social cues, consider other viewpoints, and participate in a group.
Children learn how to initiate and sustain social relationships with peers. These are all critical social development skills.
Through dressing up, children create their own stories and use words they may not normally use. They also learn new phrases and colloquialisms from their friends.
While pretending to run a grocery store, saving lives as a doctor, or teaching a class, kids use vocabulary in the right context.
Children are able to become new characters and work through their emotions.
They can become a doctor who has to give a patient bad news. Or an astronaut who has triumphantly landed on the moon. Or even a scared animal who is lost.
Through pretend play, children can work out confusing, scary, or new life issues.
Imaginative play is all about creating problems that need to be solved. Maybe they are a train engineer who has run out of track. Or a baker who has run out of sugar.
By dressing up, children can try out new ideas and ways of thinking. They can also act out past experiences and try out different endings.
Goodwill Can Help YOU
Stocking up on costumes at Goodwill is an economic way to provide an opportunity for imaginative play at home.
They have a huge assortment of traditional Halloween costumes, like superheroes, movie characters, and princesses.
They also have cultural clothing, real occupational uniforms, and other items that can be turned into costumes. These are just a few thrift store Halloween costume ideas.
Even just picking up accessories like construction hats, chef’s aprons, flower leis, and capes can lead to hours and hours of creative play.
And when you are done with the costumes, you can pay it forward by donating them back to Goodwill.
Goodwill Halloween Costume Wrap Up
You’ve discovered the benefits of buying your Halloween costumes at Goodwill this year.
Thrifted Halloween costumes help the environment by reducing waste and carbon emissions. They’re also unique because no one else will have your costume (not to mention that it’s cheaper)!
And shopping at Goodwill saves money so you can spend more on other items for yourself or others during the holiday season.
Did we convince you? Check out some of our other Halloween content below!
Goodwill provided me with a gift card to purchase costumes. All opinions are my own.
Looking for more Halloween content? Find out the best non-candy Halloween treats for trick-or-treaters, easy Halloween lighting ideas, printable Halloween activities for kids, and the best spooky things to do at home on Halloween!
Other Fun Places to Go with Kids
24 Hours of Family Fun in Kent, WA with Kids
The Newest Seattle Tour Bus is FREE
Spend the Day at Pier 57 in Seattle with Kids
Seattle Ice Cream Cruise for Kids
Riding The Sounder Train to Seattle’s International District for a Play Date