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Maybe one day, I’ll become the kind of mom who has Halloween costumes on lock by the time back-to-school rolls around. Probably, I’ll remain a last-minute type of parent. But I’m not stressing about it. Because when it comes to cute or spooky or fun costumes that won’t break the bank, there are plenty of solid options, even for my wait-until-middle-of-October cohort.
From colorful head-to-toe unicorn fits to a plush avocado baby, nobody will be the wiser about your down-to-the-wire tactics. What you will have: happy kids, a memorable Halloween, and, most likely, a whole stash of candy. These are some of my favorite costume picks! You can find these items or similar available at Party City or Spirit Halloween.
Kids Halloween Costumes
For the kid who dreams of blasting to space: NASA Astronaut
Your kid will zoom off to collect the best candy in this NASA-approved jumpsuit. If your little one has been wanting to head off in a rocket ship since potty training, they can get closer to orbit in this classic, authentic-looking jumpsuit and helmet. They can wear the helmet on any non-Halloween day, too, to keep their space-faring dream alive.
For the kid who is always up to shenanigans somewhere in the world: Carmen Sandiego
Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? The video game turned hit PBS series in 1991 has a new life on Netflix. A master thief who uses her skills for good, the intelligent, stylish, and exceedingly well-traveled hero makes for a great costume. The crimson jacket and wide-brimmed hat are iconic. To complete the look, the officially licensed costume comes with a choker and suave black gloves.
For the kid who is truly one of a kind: Unicorn
Just like magic, this costume brings cozy comfort and whimsy to Halloween. Your kid can zip into this colorful pastel swirl to become a zero-fuss (and cute to boot) unicorn. If your kid doesn’t love bulky material or has sensory issues, this is a soft option that feels and looks good.
For the kid who’s never not causing trouble: Escaped Convict
What kind of crimes did your child commit? Crayola graffiti in the foyer? Sneaking unsanctioned pre-breakfast cookies? Everyone will be wondering thanks to this blindingly bright orange jumpsuit with a DOC logo. It’s easy to slip on, zip up, and then run like the wind for freedom (and the best candy picks).
For the kid who wouldn’t think about planning a costume without their bestie: One Half of a PB&J
Your kid loves their best friend like peanut butter loves jelly, so they might as well celebrate that this Halloween. Score points for a fun, lighthearted costume with this lightweight foam set. Now you’ll have to decide — who is the PB, and who is the jam? Crunchy or creamy?
For the kid who embraces the "trick" in trick or treat: Death Doctor
If your kid is into the spooky, nightmarish side of Halloween, look no further. Here’s a doctor you really don’t want to visit, with a plague doctor mask, a black robe with hood, and black gloves with creepy elongated fingers. It’s kind of unexpected and truly unnerving.
And for Babies and Toddlers!
For the baby who lived off avocado toast and guac in utero: Avocado
My two babies both enjoyed — er, threw everywhere — avocado as their first solid food. But a baby’s belly kind of looks like an avocado pit anyway, right? This bubble-style tunic with a matching headpiece has a convenient hook-and-loop closure for quick changes (because avocado babies are still babies). It also comes with a matching avo-patterned headband for a grownup to wear, ideal for moms and dads who love this superfood in its many glorious forms.
For the baby who'd rather be splashing around: Mermaid
One part fish, one part baby, all parts ridiculously cute. Your water baby will be swimming in compliments when they get dressed in this soft purple and blue dress decorated in seashells and a shiny, mesmerizing finish. The bow headband is just extra adorable-ness.
For the toddler who can’t stop singing “Baby Shark”: Baby Shark
Some of my son’s first words were “daddy shark.” I’m thinking this officially licensed costume might be the perfect pick for him. I love the plush fabric of the jumpsuit, the cheerful bright yellow color, and the cheeky shark hood. Safe at last, doo doo doo doo doo doo!
Photographer: Paul Quitoriano
Stylist: Charlotte Havelange
Art Direction: Sarah Ceniceros