Fangtastic Safety Tips for a Booo-tiful Halloween

  • October 30, 2017
  • Jenna Maxwell

Make no bones about it, we've waited all year for it, and now Halloween is finally here! This Halloween, there will be upwards of 41 million trick or treaters out on the streets, which means a lot more foot traffic out in the dark than there would be on an ordinary night. Don't let an unfortunate (and often preventable) mishap ruin your Halloween fun. With a few precautions and safety measures, your Halloween will have more than a ghost of a chance of being a spooktacular success!

Off We Go A-Haunting! Costume Safety for Ghouls:

  • Running around in the dark in an unfamiliar getup can create a few problems if you let it. Make sure your costume is safe by taking extra care to anticipate potential issues.
  • Ensure your costume is hemmed to a safe length and not dragging in a way to create a trip hazard.
  • Since it can be very challenging to see when wearing a costume mask, wear makeup instead of a mask whenever possible, particularly if you plan to be outside in the dark.
  • Plan appropriate outerwear. If it's going to be cold or if the weather is going to be inclement, out of necessity you may need to wear a coat, so consider how this is going to work with your costume ensemble and the entire trick or treating process.
  • Wear appropriate footwear. Consider how much walking you will be doing and how the intended costume footwear you're wearing is going to wear works in those circumstances. The coolest shoes ever won't matter to you at all if your feet are killing you--trust us on this! Opt for comfort and practicality while out walking around--you can always change your shoes when you get to your Halloween party!
  • Accessorize Safely:  Make sure that any toy weapons other accessories you are using in your costume have no hard or sharp edges. If you bump into someone or fall, you don't want these items to do any harm.

Count Down to Candy--Trick or Treating Safety Tips:

  • If you are going trick or treating, use reflective tape placed strategically on your costume to ensure that you are visible.
  • Always walk on sidewalks. Don't cut across lawns or cross streets at places other than the corners. Obey traffic signals and use crosswalks when available.
  • Stow your phone so that you aren't tempted to be walking around in the dark while staring down at your device. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Young children should have an adult accompany them while trick or treating. Older kids should trick or treat in groups. Trick or treating alone is never a good idea.
  • Bring a sturdy bag or bucket. Halloween candy can get heavy after it has accumulated for a while. Make sure your loot bag is up to the task and that it is sturdy enough to hold its contents until you arrive home. A lightweight bag or bucket is best so you don't have excess weight to lug around.
  • Don't eat any candy from your trick or treat bag until you get home and have a chance to go through it to ensure everything is wrapped and looks as it should.
  • Bring a flashlight or carry glow sticks to light the way. The flashlight glow will also help drivers that are on the road to see you.
  • Only trick or treat at well lit houses and never go inside a stranger's home, even if invited. If a house is dark, Halloween protocol says to skip it.
  • Don't walk near lit candles.
  • To avoid tripping and falling, walk and don't run!

Don't Drive me Batty--Halloween Road Safety Tips:

  • If you are driving on Halloween night, know that trick or treaters are out and about and increase your awareness. Drive slowly and cautiously. Kids are very excited about Halloween and may not always think before reacting on the street, so be very cautious.
  • Take your time at all intersections and watch out for pedestrians.
  • Don't be a distracted driver. Keep your phone and any other distractions put away and concentrate on the road.
  • Never take rides from strangers.

What's a Treat Without a Trick? Clever Last Minute Costume Ideas

  • October 24, 2017
  • Jenna Maxwell

Halloween is almost here, but perhaps your costume inspiration well has just about run dry. You may think it's going to take a significant Halloween trick to pull Halloween off - you need a costume - and fast! Here are some very simple, Halloween costume ideas that you can put together relatively quickly; many of them only require things you already have around the house. These easy costume ideas will help get you to your Halloween party in perfect Halloween style, and virtually no one will know that you waited until the last minute--and don't worry, we're not telling!

  • Deviled Egg: Take a plain white t-shirt and glue on a large circle cut from yellow felt with fabric glue. Let dry. Accessorize your look with a pair of red devil horns and a devil tail.
  • Fonzi or 1950's Greaser: Wear a white t-shirt and rolled up jeans. Top your look off with a black leather jacket.   Slick your hair back with hair gel or pomade.
  • A Kid in Pajamas: Wear a matching set of pajamas and accessorize with a pair of animal slippers. Put your hair in very high pigtails and carry a teddy bear or stuffed animal. Use a bright colored blush to give your cheeks a rosy glow and dot your nose with a few freckles.
  • Vintage Housewife: Wear a knee-length dress and pearls with an apron on top. Accessorize your look by styling your hair in an updo and with a pair of cat-eye glasses. Don't forget to wear a pair of rubber gloves and carry a dishtowel!
  • Simple Scarecrow or Brawny Paper Towel guy: Wear a plaid shirt and jeans. To create a scarecrow look, add a floppy hat and paint your face with makeup to look like a scarecrow. For an easy Brawny Paper Towel guy look, wear a beard with your plaid shirt and jeans and carry a roll of Brawny Paper Towels.
  • Unicorn: Roll poster board or thick paper into a cone shape to form a "horn."  Wear pastel colored clothing, pastel makeup and use glitter liberally.
  • Tourist: Start by wearing a fanny pack, a Hawaiian shirt and a pair of shorts to create a last-minute tourist costume. Accessorize with a pair of sandals and a straw or bucket hat.
  • White Rabbit: Wear a white shirt, a red blazer or sweater, and wear a bow tie around your neck. Attach a chain or cord to a clock and wear it around your neck. Wear a pair of bunny ears and paint your face like a rabbit using makeup.
  • Vintage 1980's Person: A groovy 1980's costume can be created by piling on a variety of 1980's accessories with clothing from the decade. Think shoulder pads, parachute pants, neon colors and leg warmers. Accessories can include fingerless gloves, plastic colored jewelry, and mirrored sunglasses.
  • Zombie Anything: Any character can be morphed into a zombie with makeup, so if you are in a pinch, take last year's costume and make it into something that looks a little more undead!
  • Nerd: A Nerd is an easy look to pull together at the last minute. Wear a button up shirt tucked haphazardly into very high waist pants. Accessorize your look with a bowtie, suspenders and taped glasses.
  • Gumball Machine: On a white t-shirt or tank top, glue a large circle of multi-colored pompoms. Wear a red skirt or tutu. At the waist of the skirt, attach a sign that says "25 Cents." Glue a few more pompoms to a headband to wear as an accessory.
  • Princess Leia: A simple Princess Leia look can be achieved by styling your hair into Leia's classic side buns and wearing an all-white outfit.
  • Where's Waldo: A red-striped shirt and red beanie can pinch hit as a very cute "Where's Waldo" costume. Don't forget to wear some thick-rimmed glasses!
  • Thief: Wear a simple black mask over your eyes with a pair of black pants, and a black or black and white striped long sleeve shirt. Carry a pillowcase with you to carry your stolen goods.
  • Bumblebee: Throw together an outfit combining yellow and black and white stripes. Fashion a pair of bee antenna with a headband, black pipe cleaners, and small Styrofoam balls.
  • Flapper: A simple Flapper look can be achieved by wearing a skinny drop waist dress, a glitzy headband and long tied set of pearls.
  • Wednesday Addams: A simple black dress and black braids are all you need to create the look of Wednesday Addams. Give yourself a pale, minimalist makeup look, and you're set!

Ready to Be a Halloween Hero?

  • October 16, 2017
  • Jenna Maxwell

With Halloween just a couple of weeks away, you are undoubtedly in full gear making your Halloween preparations and getting ready for the big day. Don't wimp out now--why not make this Halloween the best one ever by being a trick-or-treater's true hero?  Here are some great tips for taking your Halloween to the next level.

Decorate. It's never too late to decorate for Halloween--even if that means you are putting up your Halloween decor at the eleventh hour. Transform your exterior into a deadly yard with tombstones, bats and a variety of ghoulish props. Don't forget to add a few well-placed faux spiders and spider webs--these are sure to give your Halloween guests a severe case of the heebie-jeebies!

Light the Way. There is no better way to set the mood for Halloween night than with spooky lighting. Not only will your home have an eerie glow--but also lighting is essential to help trick-or-treaters safely find your door. Luminaries, lanterns, string lights, decorative pathway lights, and more--these are simple additions to your yard that are sure to make a spooky difference!

Don't Forget Jack. A Halloween classic, carving and decorating with Jack O Lanterns is a time-honored tradition! Buy your Halloween pumpkins now and keep them in a cool and dry place until you are ready to carve them. Don't carve your pumpkins too early--the night before Halloween is perfect because if you cut them too soon, your Jack's may already be starting to rot on Halloween night.

Contain Fido. Once you have your home decorated and ready, it's time to consider how your pets might respond to Halloween night and an influx of visitors dressed up in a wide variety of costumes. Halloween night can be a little overwhelming for some pets, particularly those that are triggered or excited by the doorbell ringing. For the safety of your guests and for Fido's sake as well, make sure your pets are safe, sound and if necessary, put away when your guests begin to arrive.

Candy Counts. Let's face it--there are certain types of trick or treat candy that kids love--and other kinds that kids typically don't like at all. Now is not the time to cheap out--if you are participating in the Halloween festivities, try your best to be a real Halloween hero by providing great trick or treat candy. What not to buy?  Candy to avoid includes Starlight mints, circus peanuts, Necco wafers, hard strawberry candy or any non-candy items like raisins and toothbrushes. Now is not the time to make a healthy lifestyle statement, so just stick with traditional candy, please.

Dress Up! Just because you are the one in the house doling out candy to trick-or-treaters, doesn't mean you can't wear a Halloween costume yourself. Imagine the delight of your guests when you greet them in full costume regalia! There is just no better way to get into the spirit of Halloween fun than by wearing a costume--trust us on this point, we are definitely the experts!

Don't Judge. Every year there is that one kid that comes to your door that looks a little too old for trick-or-treating--and maybe his or her costume (if there is one) is questionable or even non-existent. Now is not the time to be the Halloween police-just give that kid candy like all the rest without comment and move on.

Be Attentive. Halloween night is supposed to be fun--but nothing could ruin it faster than an unfortunate accident or mishap. Extra awareness on Halloween night is essential, particularly if you plan to go out in your car. Be mindful of the fact that kids will be out and about on dark streets and watch for them--you can't necessarily count on them to watch out for you.

You've got this! Do trick-or-treating like a boss! Happy Halloween from your friends at Halloween Express.

How to Pick the PERFECT Halloween Costume. A Step-by-Step Guide.

  • October 10, 2017
  • Jenna Maxwell

Halloween is nearly upon us - just 21 days away - and although we know how excited you are about the upcoming festivities, we also know that there are some big decisions to make. Likely the most important decision made for Halloween is deciding to what character to dress up as, and thus what costume to wear. Here is your step by step guide to getting through the Halloween costume selection process!

Make a Gameplan: Picking the best Halloween costume for your Halloween celebrating involves a bit of planning. For you to have the best Halloween night imaginable, your costume selection should go a bit further than just picking whatever character first comes to mind. Feeling comfortable in your costume in whatever circumstances you will find yourself on Halloween involves a few considerations. Will you be walking a lot in your costume? Will you be standing or sitting? Will weather conditions be a factor? Who else will be in attendance at your Halloween event? How much money can you afford to spend on your costume? Do you want to dress up in conjunction with another person or group? Consider all your options before making your choice. Make a list of costume possibilities and weight the pros and cons for each.

Choose Your Character: Once you've narrowed your potential Halloween costume choices down to your favorites, consider which of your options most represent your unique personality. What characteristics do you want your character to have? Do you want to be scary or something more lighthearted? Do you want to be sexy or just irresistibly cute? Do you want to show off some of your interests or hobbies? Do you want to make a political statement or poke fun of a part of pop culture? Some of the most original costume ideas we've seen are those that represent some the more unique facets of the wearer's personality.

Buy Your Costume: Once you've got a good idea of what character you want to dress up as for Halloween, it's time to go shopping. Go online and see what's out there for the character you've selected. Once you start perusing the vast array of costumes that are available online, you may feel further inspired or even change your mind. So many choices can be overwhelming, so take your time to consider the possibilities. In addition to buying a costume, don't forget to select those vital accessories that are necessary to bring your character to life. Shoes, hats, gloves, wigs, jewelry, and facial hair are critical implements for your look, so don't forget to select those items that are sure to set your costume apart from the rest. Makeup is another important tool in achieving a fantastic look for your chosen character. Need some inspiration? Check out our vast library of how-to videos for a large range of creative Halloween makeup ideas.

Do a Practice Run: Once you've received your costume, it's a good idea to do a practice run. Try on your costume and check it for fit. Make any adjustments that are necessary. Trying on your costume will also give you a good idea if you have the right accessories to accompany your look. If you are doing an elaborate makeup for your character, it's a good idea to practice putting on your makeup before the big night. A trial run will help you feel less stressed on Halloween because you will feel confident in what you are doing, making the whole event less stressful and much more fun--which is entirely the point, right?

Need Some Ideas? Here are some of the most popular costume categories on the Halloween Express website--these will surely get the wheels of your imagination turning!

  • Horror Movie Villains: Try looks from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, IT or Saw.
  • TV and Movie Characters: Television and the movies are a tremendous source of costume ideas including Game of Thrones, all manner of Superheroes, Disney characters and more.
  • Halloween Character Classics: There is a reason why these looks are classic, it's because they never go out of Halloween style!  Try a pirate, vampire, zombie, witch or ghost look on for size!
  • Video Game Characters: Video games have become a hugely popular source of costume inspiration. Try a look from Mario Brothers, Zelda, Halo or Assassin's Creed.
  • Pop Culture Figures: From political figures to celebrities, pop culture costumes are always a huge hit.
  • Foods: Some of the most lighthearted and hilarious costumes out there are also some of the most delicious looking!
  • Animals: Animal looks are hugely popular--from looks that are cute and cuddly to those that are a little more ferocious, an animal look is sure to bring out a little of your wild side.
  • Storybook, Fairytale, and Fantasy: These characters are popular choices for those who want an original look that represents something whimsical or magical.

Don't procrastinate. Planning and purchasing your costume in advance is a sure fire way to enjoy your Halloween to the fullest extent. The most popular costumes always sell out, so procrastinators will have fewer choices and limited sizes available. With a little bit of advance preparation, this Halloween can be your best one ever!

Pumpkins, Pumpkins and More Pumpkins

  • October 02, 2017
  • Jenna Maxwell

There are a lot of wonderful things about fall. The weather is perfect; the leaves turn all manner of bright colors, it's time to wear those cute, sumptuous sweaters and, of course, Halloween is right around the corner. One of the most cherished parts of the autumn months, however, comes in the shape of a bright orange gourd. Of course, we are talking about the beloved pumpkin!  Autumn time means pumpkin time, and there are lots of ways to get into the spirit of blessed pumpkin bliss.

Pumpkin Foods: Fall could arguably be THE season for foodies to rejoice - and a big reason for this is the star of the fall food show, the pumpkin. With pumpkin cakes, pies, bread, soups, pancakes, and lattes—well, just about everything—the pumpkin smorgasbord found in fall is downright decadent. Are you getting hungry? Just thinking about all the utter deliciousness of all those pumpkin flavored fall favorites makes your mouth begin to water!

Pumpkin Smells: When you can't eat it, smell it right?  Once the calendar turns over to fall, is certainly true of pumpkin. Now it's time to surround yourself in the fragrance of pumpkin and all the delicious aromatic spices that go along with it. Pumpkin candles, pumpkin air fresheners, cinnamon sticks and more - the smell of pumpkin spice is nice - and sometimes is almost good enough to eat! Don't forget too that carving a pumpkin can be a lot of fun as well.

Pumpkin Patches: Take a look around your community, because coming soon near you is sure to be your local, seasonal pumpkin patch. Beautiful, vibrant displays of bright orange pumpkins of all sizes and shapes will soon be on display in preparation for upcoming Halloween. Pumpkin patches are a great place for the whole family to visit. You might be surprised at the many unusual varieties of pumpkins that you see. Orange pumpkins will, of course, be everywhere but don't be surprised if you also see pumpkins in shades of white, blue and green!  Don't forget to bring your camera and snap some pictures of the kiddos knee deep in pumpkins!

Pumpkin Costumes: Believe it or not, pumpkin love does not end with the pumpkins that grow on a vine. Pumpkins (as well as the traditional Jack-o-Lantern's that invariably come later) are a hugely popular costume look for Halloween. Pumpkin themed Halloween costumes are available for all ages and sizes from infants and toddlers to adults and plus sized—so if you want to dress up as a much rounder (and oranger) version of yourself -try a pumpkin Halloween costume on for size!

Pumpkin Decor: Let's face it, fall decor simply would not be complete without the use of pumpkins. Pumpkins are fantastic for fall decorating for many reasons. For starters, they are brightly colored and conveniently hued in the perfect shades of fall. There are literally thousands of ways to spruce up your yard or pimp your crib with pumpkins. Sites like Pinterest are loaded to the brim with fabulous fall decorating ideas to warm up your abode with a festive autumn vibe. Pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns also are some of the most popular Halloween decorations out there, and you can bet that your local brick and mortar or online store is already fully loaded with all manner of Halloween pumpkin decor items, just ripe for the picking.

It's October so there's absolutely no reason to wait. Now's the time to start enjoying the fun flavor, fragrance, and whimsy of one of the falls most iconic fruits. Peter Piper picked a peck of perfect pumpkins—right?  Well, not exactly but why not?  It's the most wonderful time of the year, and when it comes to pumpkins, now it's officially game on.