Halloween Costumes for the Whole Family

by Brian M. Williams

family halloween costumeI'm friends with a family who showed up as bee keepers last year. Baby "buzzing" around complemented their costumes perfectly!

Dressing up in spandex or face paint might not be your idea of a good time. Actually you might cringe at being seen by anyone you know! Really though, Halloween hands you a great opportunity to bond as a family. So willingly act and look goofy, embrace the kids' enthusiasm for a theme and have a blast!

As you get started with planning your "spook attire," perhaps you'd like a glimpse at what's popular this season. The National Retail Federation conducted a survey earlier this month. These Halloween costumes top their "trending" list for 2011:

The National Retail Federation conducted a survey earlier this month. These Halloween costumes are trending at the top the list for 2011.

Position       Children's      Adults
1 Princess Witch
2 Witch Pirate
3 Spiderman Vampire
4 Pirate Zombie
5 Pumpkin Batman

Whether you're among the moms who make handmade costumes each year or in the group that creatively shops, here's an entire pumpkin patch of ideas! Pregnant moms, you definitely don't want to miss our Belly Boo Costumes article. Get inspired and show off your bump! For the rest, it's time to stimulate those creative costume juices! (Yes, truly, you do have some. Dig into your inner child and let loose!) Here are some themes to give you a jump start:

App and Video Game Inspired Costumes

Technology rules our homes and influences our costumes!
The i-family: Consider the iPad and iPhone for mom and dad. Baby can join the fun as "iPooed." Doggie's sweater? iBark. Kitty's collar? iMeow. Fish bowl sign? iBubbles! You get the idea...

Angry Birds™: Is Halloween the perfect time for an AB invasion? Slingshot your feathered family into the center of attention.

Mario: Luigi and Daisy, Mario and Peach for mom and dad. Then the kids could be mushroom, oompaloompa dudes, turtle guys or any of the minor characters. Carry a "turtle shell" for treats.

TV, Movies and Cartoon Costumes

The Adamms Family: Let's start with the pet -- dress your dog up as the "lion." Then cast of the family as supporting characters.

Shrek: Fiona and Shrek, a donkey, puss-in-boots. Out of ideas? Make popcorn, watch the movie again and then decide who will be whom.

Smurfs: Blue pg's with white or red pants and hats. Add a pair of bright blue gloves and you're ready to personalize. An older child might use blue face paint or a beard.

"I convinced my mom to throw a Halloween party for all my family, so we could dress Ava up. We're going to be the Flintstones: Me, Wilma; my husband, Fred; and Ava, Pebbles." ~robyn.pregnant, Pregnancy.org member

Story Book Character Costumes

Has your child recently read the old classics like Cinderella? To a child these oldies but goodies are fresh and new!
Cat in the Hat familyCat in the Hat: A hat, bow tie, gloves and a bit of felt can transform your family from everyday to Dr. Suess land!

Wizard of Oz: Come skip along with Dorothy on the yellow brick road! Who will be the evil witch, the tin man and the lion? Maybe, baby in a fuzzy lion costume!

Alice in Wonderland: Sew up a whole family's worth! Do you have a budding princess? An evil queen? A smiling cat? Dig through the story, put together the perfect costumes and join the kingdom within the rabbit's hole.

All Around the Town Costumes

Gardener and veggies: A pair of overalls, a couple packages of seeds and you're on your way. Been wanting to show off that cute little pumpkin? Perfect!

Zoo Keepers and animals: Decide who'd like to be the zoo keeper. Do you have an adorable monkey in the house. Here's a chance for that child to shine!

Food! Be a "fast food" family. Dress up as a hot dog (your mini dachshund is a natural although baby can play this role), a bottle of mustard or ketchup, and a carton of french fries.

"My son is going to be a policeman and Lucas is his prisoner. I found some black and white stripped pj's at Gymboree so that's what the baby's going to wear." ~nagmf, Pregnancy.org member

Including the Family Pet

Families tend to take their dogs to parades or trick-or-treating. What well-dress pooch wouldn't don a bowtie, fancy collar or bandana. You might be considering a complementary costume, Astro for a family of Jetsons, for example. According to the NRF costume survey, popular costumes this year included pumpkins, devils, hot dogs and bees.

Is your pet reluctant to participate? Try these tips:

  • Attach an accessory to the collar. Try flowers and even Saint Bernard-style rescue barrels for animals that don't like wearing clothes. They won't be upset but still look dressed up.
  • Hair bobbles or clips: Add a little bling with sparkly accessories.
  • Necklaces and decorative collars or bandannas: Match your pet's "neck attire" to your family's costumes.
  • Riding accessory: A little saddle with riding character, for example, your pup can wear a "Yoshi" saddle for a family of Mario characters.

Have a safe and ghoulishly good time this Halloween! We'd love to see and hear what your family has planned. Tell us all about it in comments!

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