Family Halloween Costumes

PBS-Inspired Halloween Costumes

Oct 14, 2021  | 0

Halloween is the perfect time to show off your love of your favorite PBS or PBS KIDS show! If you’re looking for costume inspiration, check out our ideas from shows old and new and for fans of all ages. Bonus: We’d love to see your costumes, PBS inspired or not - add them to our gallery!

Old Favorites

Ms. Frizzle CostumeMs. Frizzle: There are two essential components to the perfect Ms. Frizzle costume - her gorgeous red hair and pretty patterned dresses (assuming you won’t be driving around in a magical school bus that is). Temporary hair color or a wig gets you halfway there with relative ease - but it’s important you get the right science-inspired dress. If you don’t want to purchase a dress specifically made to look like Ms. Frizzle you can grab a long-sleeved dress and add the appropriate shapes to it. Artist Laura Ulrich makes it easy to see which Ms. Frizzle dress you want to imitate by showing off every dress she ever wore.  Bonus points if you get a stuffed lizard to carry around as Liz. 

Bob Ross: Here’s another classic PBS costume where the right hair is essential. Pair your Bob Ross curls and beard with the standard blue jeans and matching top (or a blue button down) and you’re most of the way there. A few paint accessories will make the costume even more obvious - snag a paint brush and palette and be prepared to spend your time in costume talking about “happy little trees.”  Members who have Iowa PBS Passport can seek inspiration by watching some of the best episodes of the Joy of Painting offered in the PBS Video App.

Mister Rogers: Mister Rogers continues to capture the hearts of generations of Americans, making his depiction a popular Halloween costume year over year. Dress pants, a collared shirt, tie and the essential cardigan (red is the most popular choice but other solid colors will do) make pulling the outfit together relatively easy. However, if you want to get beyond the basics and stand out from the other Mister Rogers’ costumes you’ll see this season, consider adding a unique accessory - a King Friday hand puppet perhaps? 

Wishbone: While transforming your four-legged best friend into one of PBS’s most well-known pooches could be delightful, a human costume for Wishbone adds an extra layer of fun. Along with dressing up as a Jack Russell Terrier, you’ll want to choose one of his iconic costumes for the full effect. As an imaginative pup with a love of classic literature, Wishbone is best represented by one of the popular lead characters he portrayed - Romeo, Sherlock Holmes or Robin Hood for example.  

Today’s Grown Up Shows

Bob Ross CostumeDownton Abbey:  For six seasons, Iowa PBS fans dutifully watched the Crawley family and their help as they navigated their lives in the early 1900s.  Set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey, you will need to visit some second-hand stores or brush up on your sewing skills to become one of the characters in the program. Whether you want to be Lady Mary, Mr. Carson or Daisy Mason, these characters would be a fun one to select for a group costume! A flapper dress, elbow-length gloves and a bob wig or pinned hair will transform you into Lady Mary. A black suit and a high bowler hat (plus a stern and serious look on your face) is all you need to become Mr. Carson. Daisy Mason is a kitchen maid and she would typically wear a grey shirtdress, a white pinafore apron and cap. Focus Features has created a full list of character costumes for even more inspiration! 

This Old House: Are you a home-renovating enthusiast or do you love a good DIY? The original home-improvement show, This Old House, has been in production for over 40 years. Since the beginning, Norm Abram has been a master carpenter on the program and is always in his classic plaid button-up.  This Old House has provided an easy graphic so you can become Norm for Halloween! Grab your flannel shirt, jeans, toolbelt and a couple of tools to complete the look. 

Call the Midwife: A heart-warming tale set in the ‘50s and ‘60s of impoverished East London, Call the Midwife has been loved by many. The nurses and midwives in the program wear a classic 1950s nurses uniform with a twist: a shirt-dress in pale blue with a white peter pan collar. On top of the dress, you’ll need a red cardigan and white apron. Add some simple stockings and brown shoes and your look is complete! 

Iconic PBS KIDS  

Elinor Wonders Why: One of PBS KIDS’ newest programs, Elinor Wonders Why is a fun idea for a family costume or one you can do on your own! Elinor is a curious white bunny who wears purple and red clothing. PBS KIDS for Parents shows us how you can easily make bunny ears and face paint to turn yourself into Elinor! Some simple craft supplies and a purple shirt will help you transform into Elinor. No matter if you choose to be Elinor or one of her curious friends like Ari or Olive, you will be sure to have an adventurous Halloween dressed as a character from Animal Town. 

Daniel Tiger: Daniel Tiger from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is a beloved character that many children would want to be for Halloween! For this costume, you will need tiger ears, a tiger tail and face paint. And of course Daniel’s look is not complete without a red zip-up sweater, as inspired by Mister Rogers in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. PBS KIDS for Parents provides some easy steps to create this costume. Transform yourself into Daniel Tiger to have a GRRR-rific Halloween! 

Wild Kratts: The Kratt brothers have been in the homes of PBS KIDS fans for many years, including their programs Zoboomafoo and Wild Kratts. It’s such a fun show for kids interested in animals! If you want to dress up like Chris, the calm and intellectual brother, you’ll need green clothing to create his signature look. If you’d rather be Martin, who is more humorous and silly, you’ll need blue! They are both wonderful zoologists and show off their knowledge of animals while going on adventures in their creature power suits. This article from PBS KIDS for parents gives you step-by-step instructions to make a creature suit, including a printable creature power disc!