Halloween is a week away, and I still don’t have a costume for any of my kids.
Unlike the last town I lived in, there are a plethora of stores in the Golden Triangle that sell costumes and accessories that can be paired with certain items to make an acceptable costume.
Connie Willsey, owner of Costume Party in Starkville, offers unique offerings that are often reimagined outfits in which prom dresses become capes and vintage clothes get new life with a few updates.
“When restructuring a dress, you kind of have to take what’s in there,” she said, while discussing the costumes she made for Mississippi State Honor College’s production of Prometheus Bound. “You don’t know how it will turn out until you’ve started working on it.”
According to a National Retail Federation survey, superhero costumes, along with princess, witch and zombie are the most popular for children this year. Adults join in the fun and add pirate and vampire to the list of most popular costumes.
NRF even has a list of the top pet costumes, which are pumpkin, hot dog, superhero, bumblebee, ghost, bat, lion, witch, devil or pirate (tie) and Batman.
Costumes and candy may be mainstays of Halloween, but decorating is a fun way to set the mood and add a little extra excitement in the weeks leading up to the holiday. These spooktacular ideas can help dial up the drama and delight for all ages.
■ Pumpkins aplenty: A traditional glowing jack-o’-lantern may be one of Halloween’s most recognized icons, but pumpkins can be used in plenty of other fun ways. You can dress them up with glitter and ribbon for a more elegant look or group a series of pumpkins in varied shapes and colors for a seasonal centerpiece. You can even give a pumpkin a coat of chalkboard paint and count down the days until Halloween.
■ Creepy kids’ crafts: Get little ghosts and goblins into the Halloween spirit with hand-made decorations that make your seasonal decor equal parts sweet and spooky. Fold a black piece of construction paper down the middle and trace a child’s hand and wrist, with the wrist extending over the folded edge. Cut along the traced line, leaving the fold intact, and when you unfold the paper, you’ll have a bat to decorate. Add eyes and attach string to the top of the wings to hang and display.
■ Gross and ghoulish: Some of the best Halloween displays have something in common: attention to detail. Get creative with your props and decorations to incorporate some unexpected attention-grabbers like brains in a jar. Place bunches of cauliflower in a clear glass container and cover with water dyed red.
■ Spooky serving: If you’re entertaining for Halloween, incorporate spooky decor with your food and drinks to keep the theme going throughout the party. Use cauldrons as serving bowls and skeleton hands as serving spoons. Add plenty of cobwebs and other spooky accents to the table, and search for easy recipes that fit your theme. One fun idea for kids is baking sugar cookies in fun Halloween shapes and serving them with a selection of food-safe syringes pre-filled with colored frosting.
■ Ghostly greetings: All the tricks and treats indoors make for plenty of good spirit, but don’t forget to set the scene outside, too. Dressing up your front door lets visitors know they’re in for a real treat. A haunted graveyard scene or a spooky spider den with lots of critters dangling from fake cobwebs are sure to show all who dare to enter that a howling good time lies ahead.