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Being a Nerd Dad: Halloween Costume Ideas Worthy of Your Nerdspawn

Doctor Octopus

If there’s one thing we nerds know, it’s cosplay. Despite what every sexy nurse on every college campus might think, that makes Halloween OUR holiday.

It’s officially October. You’re running out of time to put together a rad costume for your kid. Remember that deep and abiding shame you felt when you ran out to the popup Halloween store (the one where the Blockbuster Video used to be) on October 30 to pick up a generic costume for your kid? Sure, little Bobby was a cute Minion, but so was every other kid in your neighborhood.

This year, do better. Even the most mainstream-passing of nerds have a genetic predisposition toward cosplay. Tap into that, and make a costume for your kid that your neighbors will be talking about for years (even if it’s just to wonder what, exactly, your kid was dressed as).

To get your ideas rolling, here’s some of my favorite costumes for kids.

Stars Wars Costume Ideas

Given the genetic diversity on display in the Star Wars universe, you’ll probably need some time and some papier mâché to pull off a truly impressive Jedi or Sith. Even a pinch, though, you can pull this off with a couple of bathrobes, one of Mom’s belts, and one of the nineteen toy light sabers in the playroom.

Photos provided under Creative Commons by Doug Kline, Bruce Matsunaga, and Pikawil

Harry Potter Costume Ideas

The kids from Hogwarts make another great and easy costume idea. Repurpose that silly gown you had to buy for kindergarten graduation, pick up a thrift store tie, grab a switch from the yard, and you’re three quarters of the way there. When you’re considering a Harry Potter costume, it’s easy to get stuck on the likes of Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but don’t forget the variety of other characters available. This Dobby the House-Elf costume, for example, is killer and easy to put together.

Photos provided under Creative Commons by Bruce Matsunaga, Doug Kline, and Amanda Quintana-Bowles

Doctor Who Costume Ideas

A long scarf. A black leather jacket. An arched eyebrow. A bow tie. A fez. Match your accessory to your favorite Doctor (you may pick any Doctor who is played by David Tennant), pick up a sonic screwdriver, and you’re ready to jump through space and time on your next adventure. Or, exchange those cries of “Trick or treat!” for a much more ominous “Exterminate!” The TARDIS is cute, too, and fitting—kids can fit far more candy inside their bellies than physics would say is possible.

Photos provided under Creative Commons by Katie, OurGoatRodeo, and Danny Kim

Marvel Comics Costume Ideas

Every kid wants to be a superhero. Except for the ones who want to be super villains. Either way, Marvel Comics costumes are a great choice. Superhero costumes can be as simple or as elaborate as you want (holy crap, those Doc Ock arms are cool), which makes them work well for novice and experienced costumers alike.

If you go with Star Lord, though, don’t miss the chance to carry around a potted pine sprig—if the costume includes two characters, Halloween By-laws demand double candy.

Photos provided under Creative Commons by Doug Kline, Jamie, and Bruce Matsunaga

DC Comics Costume Ideas

Look, I have to say this: I’m not a DC guy on the whole. But the DC Comics primetime invasion going on right now with The Flash and Supergirl is pretty solid viewing for the whole family. Add to that kid (and dad) favorites Teen Titans and Young Justice, and there’s a lot of good choices.

Just be careful—wouldn’t want your Flash running off. Or your Raven opening a portal to Azarath, for that matter.

Photos provided under Creative Commons by Doug Kline, Bruce Matsunaga, and DuckPuppy

So, What’s It Gonna Be?

Halloween is our birthright, nerds, and the countdown is on. It’s time to roll up our sleeves, tap into our cosplay superpowers, and make our kids some costumes that would turn heads at the finest cons.

What will your kids be dressed as on Halloween? Share your plans in the comments.

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