30 Best Costume Contest Prize Ideas

What are good prizes for any costume contest? It depends on your budget, theme, and the age group of participants. And here I have a list of 30 best costume contest prize ideas that will surely make your event a success.

From spooky to humorous, from DIY to store-bought, there’s something for every type of contest, budget, and participant. So, let’s dive in!

Costume Contest Prize Ideas

Costume Contest Prize Categories

Let me tell you first that you should have different prize categories for the winners before we go to the actual prizes. Some of them can be:

According to the budget-

  • Free Contest Prizes: If there is no budget to purchase prizes, you can offer freebies such as gift certificates, event tickets, or even homemade baked goods.
  • Budget-friendly Prizes: If your budget is limited, you can look for affordable but unique items like costume accessories or novelty items.
  • Premium Prizes: For bigger budgets, you can invest in high-quality gifts like electronics, travel vouchers, or shopping sprees.

According to the participants-

  • Prizes for kids: For kids costume contests, you can offer toys, games, or passes to local attractions.
  • Prizes for adults: For adult participants, you can offer gift cards to restaurants or spas, wine or craft beer packages, or tickets to concerts or sporting events.
  • Prizes for couples: If your contest is for couples, you can offer romantic gifts such as couple’s massage packages or dinner vouchers.
  • Prizes for groups: For group costumes, you can offer gifts that the whole group can enjoy, such as movie tickets or restaurant gift cards. 
  • Prizes for students: If your contest is for students, you can offer gift cards, tech gadgets, or school supplies to popular stores or online retailers.
  • Prizes for colleagues: For workplace costume contests, you can offer gift cards for team lunches, office supplies, or even paid time off.

According to the source-

  • DIY prizes: To encourage creativity, you can offer prizes for the best DIY costumes, such as crafting kits or supplies.
  • Store-bought prizes: For those who prefer store-bought costumes, you can offer gift cards to popular costume stores or online retailers.
  • Homemade prizes: Consider offering homemade gifts such as baked goods, handmade accessories, or decorations.

According to the types-

  • Festival or holiday-themed prizes: If your contest is during a specific festival or holiday, you can offer themed prizes such as Christmas ornaments, Halloween decorations, or Easter baskets.
  • Character-specific prizes: For contests with a specific theme or character, you can offer merchandise related to that theme, such as Harry Potter books for a Harry Potter costume contest.
  • Funny prizes: You can offer gag gifts or novelty items for humorous costume contests.
  • Group-specific prizes: If your contest is for a specific group, such as families or pets, you can offer gifts that cater to that group’s interests and needs.

Read also: Easter egg contest ideas

30 Best Costume Contest Prize Ideas

Since you have an idea of all the categories, here’s a list of the 30 best costume contest prize ideas:

#1. Cash Prize: 

Money is always a popular prize and perfect for any budget. You can announce cash prizes from $10 to $1000, depending on your budget. But remember, as big the amount is, it will attract more participants and make your contest more competitive.

#2. Gift Cards: 

Gift cards are a great prize that everyone can enjoy. You can offer gift cards from popular retailers like Amazon, Target, Starbucks, or even specialty stores that cater to niche interests. Apart from physical gift cards, you can also offer e-gift cards that can be easily emailed to the winners.

#3. Event Tickets:

Tickets for concerts, sporting events, or local attractions are always a hit. You can offer single tickets or a package for multiple tickets for the winner and their friends/family. For example, if your contest is during Halloween, you can offer tickets to a haunted house or a spooky hayride.

Read also: Categories for Halloween costume contest

#4. Travel Vouchers:

For bigger budgets, you can offer travel vouchers for flights, hotels, or vacation packages. This will be a much-appreciated prize for any travel enthusiasts participating in your contest. Moreover, it can also attract more participants who may be interested in winning a free trip.

#5. Movie Night Package:

Who doesn’t love a movie night? You can assemble a movie night package, including tickets to the local cinema, snacks, and even a gift card to a nearby restaurant for dinner before or after the movie. You can also offer a selection of popular DVDs as an alternative prize.

#6. Gaming Console:

If you are a gamer like me, I have something for you. For the tech-savvy participants, you can offer a gaming console like Playstation or Xbox as a prize. It may be pricier, but it will attract more participants and make your content stand out.

#7. Beauty/Spa Package:

For female participants, you can offer a beauty/spa package that includes services like massages, facials, or nail treatments. You can also include skincare or makeup products as part of the prize. In addition, you can offer a gift card to a local boutique to complete the package.

#8. Craft Beer/Wine Package:

If you run an adult-only costume contest, you can offer a craft beer or wine package as a prize. You can assemble a selection of local or imported craft beers or wines, including glasses or tasting notes. This will be a perfect prize for any alcohol connoisseur in your contest.

#9. Costume-related Books or Novels:

For bookworms, you can offer books or novels related to the theme of your costume contest. For example, for a superhero-themed contest, you can offer comic books or graphic novels featuring popular superheroes. You can offer books about that specific era for a historical costume contest.

#10. Themed Merchandise:

You can offer merchandise related to the theme of your costume contest. For a Disney-themed contest, you can offer plush toys or figurines of popular Disney characters. For a Star Wars-themed contest, you can offer lightsabers or action figures. These prizes will be perfect for any fans participating in your contest.

#11. High-end Kitchen Appliances:

For those who love cooking, you can offer high-end kitchen appliances like blenders, mixers, or coffee makers as a prize. This will be appreciated by any foodie participating in your contest, and it also appeals to a wide audience.

#12. Costume Jewelry Sets:

For costume contests focusing on accessories and details, you can offer costume jewelry sets as prizes. You can offer sets for both men and women, such as statement necklaces, cufflinks, or brooches.

#13. Wireless Headphones:

Wireless headphones are becoming increasingly popular and are a great prize for music lovers participating in your costume contest. You can also offer earbuds as an alternative prize.

#14. Fitness or Yoga Classes:

For all you fitness enthusiasts, how about offering a package of fitness or yoga classes as a prize? Not only will this catch the attention of those eager to win, but it’ll also draw in more participants keen on trying out new fitness classes.

#15. Handmade Items:

You can offer handmade items as prizes to support local businesses and artists. This could include jewelry, pottery, paintings, or other crafts. Not only will this be a unique and thoughtful prize, but it also promotes the importance of supporting small businesses.

#16. Superhero Costume Set:

For kids’ costume contests, you can offer a complete superhero costume set with all the accessories like capes, masks, and gloves. This will make the winner and their parents happy, who won’t have to spend money buying a separate costume.

#17. Custom Clothing:

You can offer a custom clothing prize for costume contests focused on unique and creative costumes. This could include a custom-made dress or suit designed specifically for the winner’s costume. For example, you can offer a custom medieval-style dress or suit for a Game of Thrones-themed contest.

#18. Subscription Boxes:

Subscription boxes are all the rage right now and make for great prizes. You can offer a subscription box related to the theme of your costume contest, such as a beauty box for a fairytale-themed contest or a comic book box for a superhero-themed contest. This will keep the winner excited even after the contest ends, as they receive monthly surprises in the mail.

#19. Art Supplies:

You can offer a selection of art supplies for artistic participants as a prize. This could include paints, brushes, canvases, or sketchbooks. You can also include instructional books or videos to help the winner improve their skills.

#20. Restaurants Gift Cards:

You can totally offer gift cards to popular restaurants as prizes. It’s a great way to show some love to those who want a night out or a special dinner with their significant other. Plus, it’s a cool way to promote local businesses and encourage participants to support them. 

#21. Extra Work Holiday:

Do you know what will truly make an employee happy? A bonus holiday! You can offer an extra day off as a prize for your employees. Trust me, it will be highly appreciated and boost employee morale. Also, it’s a great way to promote work-life balance. 

#22. Photography Sessions in Costume:

For those who love taking photos, you can offer a photography session in costume as a prize. This could be done by a professional photographer or even just with a high-quality camera and some friends. Not only will this make for great memories, but it also encourages creativity and self-expression through costumes.

#23. Weekend Getaway:

You can offer a weekend getaway as a prize for your costume contest. This could be a stay at a local hotel or a getaway to a nearby city. It’s the perfect prize for those looking to relax and unwind after putting effort into their costumes.

#24. Board Games or Card Game Sets:

For avid board game or card game players, you can offer a set of popular games as a prize. This could include classics like Monopoly or newer favorites like Cards Against Humanity. It’s a fun and interactive prize that will be well-received by any game enthusiast participating in your contest.

#25. Charity Donation:

Charity donations make for awesome and meaningful prizes! You can allow the winner to pick a charity they care about, and we’ll donate on their behalf. It’s a great way to promote giving back and get everyone thinking about important causes while having a blast in your costume contest. 

#26. Subscription for Online Courses:

For individuals seeking to acquire a new skill or cultivate a hobby, consider offering a subscription to online courses as a prize. This encompasses a wide range of topics, such as photography, cooking, language learning, or any other subject that intrigues the winner. Such a valuable and educational prize is sure to be highly appreciated by those eager to broaden their knowledge.

#27. Social Media Shout Out:

One of the best free prize ideas is a social media shout-out. Show your appreciation and recognize the winner by featuring their winning costume on your social media platforms. This will make them feel special and promote your contest to a wider audience.

#28. Year-long costume contest champion title:

You can offer a year-long champion title for annual costume contests as a prize. This means that the winner will be able to defend their title in the next year’s contest and be recognized as the reigning champion. It adds an element of competition and excitement for participants, encouraging them to put even more effort into their costumes.

#29. DIY Costume Kits:

If you’re into getting creative and making your costumes, offering DIY costume kits as prizes is a fantastic choice. These kits can come with materials and instructions to create a specific costume or give the winner the freedom to choose from various options. It’s a cool and unique prize that celebrates creativity and self-expression.

#30. Couple’s Package:

You can offer a romantic couple’s package for couple-focused costume contests as a prize. This could include a couple’s spa day, a dinner at a fancy restaurant, or tickets to an event or show. It’s a great way to celebrate the winning couple and make their experience even more special.  

FAQs on Costume Contest Prize Ideas

Why is it important to offer different types of prizes?

Offering a variety of prizes ensures that there is something for everyone. Not all participants may be interested in the same type of prize, so offering a range of options increases their chances of finding something they would enjoy.

Can I offer multiple prizes for one contest?

Yes, you can offer multiple prizes for one costume contest. This will make the contest more exciting and competitive and increase the chances of more participants winning a prize.

Should I offer physical or digital prizes?

It depends on your budget and audience. Physical prizes may appeal to some, while others may prefer digital prizes that can be accessed immediately. You can also consider offering a combination of both types of prizes to cater to all preferences.  

How can I choose the best prize for my costume contest?

Consider your target audience and what they would value most. It’s also a good idea to ask for input from previous participants or conduct a survey for potential ideas. Ultimately, the best prize will depend on the theme and purpose of your costume contest. 

Are there any restrictions on what type of prizes I can offer?

Some offices or organizations may have specific rules or budget limitations for prize offerings. Check with HR or event organizers before finalizing and promoting the prizes for your costume contest. 

How do you run a kids’ fancy dress contest?

To run a kid’s fancy dress contest, follow these steps:

  1. Set a theme: Choose a fun and inclusive theme for the contest that will spark creativity and encourage participation.
  2. Decide on age groups: Determine which age groups will be allowed to participate. This could be divided into categories such as 3-5 years, 6-8 years, 9-12 years, etc.
  3. Set guidelines: Establish rules and guidelines for the costumes to ensure they are appropriate for children and align with the chosen theme.
  4. Promote the contest: Use social media, posters, or word of mouth to spread the word about the contest and get more participants.
  5. Arrange judging criteria: Create a fair and impartial judging system that takes into account factors such as creativity, effort, and adherence to the theme.
  6. Offer a variety of prizes: Consider offering different types of prizes for each age category to make it more exciting for participants.
  7. Host the contest: On the day of the contest, have participants showcase their costumes and be judged accordingly. Be sure to take lots of pictures!
  8. Announce the winners: After careful consideration by the judges, announce the winners and present them with their prizes.
  9. Celebrate all participants: Be sure to recognize and appreciate all participants for their efforts and creativity. Consider giving out participation certificates or small prizes as well.

For more detailed explanation, check out the below video content.

How do you judge a costume contest?

To judge a costume contest, follow these steps:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the theme and guidelines: Before the contest begins, make sure you understand the chosen theme and the rules participants must follow.
  2. Consider creativity: Look for costumes that stand out and show originality in their design or execution.
  3. Evaluate effort: Take into account the time and effort that went into creating the costume and how well it aligns with the chosen theme.
  4. Pay attention to detail: Look for costumes that pay attention to even the smallest details, such as accessories or makeup.
  5. Factor in audience reaction: Take note of how others react to certain costumes. This can indicate which ones are popular and memorable.
  6. Stay unbiased: Be fair and impartial in your judging, and avoid showing preference to any particular participant.
  7. Communicate with other judges: If you are judging alongside others, make sure to communicate and discuss your evaluations to come to a final decision together.


There are endless prize options for costume contests, and choosing ones that align with your theme and cater to your participants’ interests is important. Whether it’s a physical prize or an experience, make sure to put in effort to select prizes that will truly excite and motivate the winners. 

With attractive prizes, you can make your costume contest stand out and attract more participants, making it a memorable and successful event. 

Julia Nancy
Julia Nancy

I have vast experience arranging online voting contests for hundreds of clients worldwide in the last 8 years. I also helped countless clients to win their online competitions. Here, on royalvotes.com, I am just sharing knowledge from my experiences. If you need any help regarding the online contest, email me at julia@royalvotes.com