Ohio’s Best Costume Parties
By Paola Santiago

Ohio’s Best Costume Parties

Dressing up isn't just for kids.

Columbus – Highball

Part fashion show, part Halloween party, this spectacular spectacle spreads the length of the Short North Arts District. A mix between Mardi Gras and Fashion Week, Highball started in 2008 as an October block party with a fashion twist and has become one of the most coveted events in the nation, bringing in designers and fashionistas from all over the world.  While the festival may be a chance for top-notch designers to duke it out for fashion bragging rights, the festival also features live art, stage performances, and a public costume contest.

Athens – HallOUween

This classic costume block party takes Athens over completely. The city itself transforms into a Halloween mecca, welcoming visitors from all over the state and alumni traveling back to reminisce. Though the party keeps itself to Athens’ main street, tiny ghouls and goblins start marching through town at noon. Their adult counterparts pour in at night for the music stages, food trucks, and creative costumes painstakingly stitched together, thrifted, and created by Ohio University’s energetic student body. Athens’ favorite holiday can’t be missed!

Lakewood – Spooky Pooch Parade

Give your good boy or girl the fanfare they deserve. Humans are free to attend, but doggo participants must be registered for prizes like Best Pooch & Child, Spookiest Pooch, and Best in Show. Every dog will have their day as they walk with the parade and are cheered on just for being cute! Kids’ games, rescue groups and canine non-profits will provide food, music, and entertainment. If dogs are part of the family, they deserve to celebrate Halloween too.

Akron – Halloween Charity Ball

There’s no better reason to don your fanciest costume, dine on heavy appetizers and pizza, and take advantage of an open bar than charity. This Halloween Charity Ball services Not Just October, an organization that strives to expand the knowledge and resources available to breast cancer patients, survivors, and their supporters. The Ball also supports local artists and actors at the Ohio Shakespeare Festival. VIP tickets give attendees exclusive access to gourmet food, reserved seating and early entry.

Cincinnati – Rhinegeist Halloween Bash

Cincinnati’s favorite beer meets Halloween to give paranormal party goers seasonal boozy brews, tasty grub from local favorites, and a dance party you can’t beat!  Known for throwing creative parties and events with anyone from local celebrities to art museums, having a good time with the ‘Geist is just implied. Winners to their costume contest can snag some boozy merch and tickets to their New Years Eve celebration, making sure that partying equals even more partying.

Highball Photos Courtesy of Randall Schieber and the Short North Alliance.

For more seasonal fun and excitement, Find It Here. at Ohio.org.

About the Author

Paola is the social media coordinator behind Ohio. Find It Here.'s social media handles. She loves writing stories that matter, especially when they're about food and travel! You can usually find her trying out Columbus' new restaurants or experimenting with her own culinary concoctions at home. Find her living her best life on Instagram at @paolasantidc.