Don't tell anyone, but one of the main reasons I had children was so that I got to go trick-or-treating again. There's something about the idea of free candy, even when it's your kids that are getting it, that is still sort of thrilling to me.
What I didn't count on, is how much I would grow to love the family Halloween costume tradition. Yes, there are grunts along the way sometimes, and this year my teenager has officially revolted, so we will be a group of 4 rather than 5. But the truth is that the memories of these holidays are stronger precisely because they are family memories, because we did it together in spite of some of the grumbling. When we're asked to pose for our first picture on the street, it feels like all is forgiven.
As is our aim with everything we do at Savor, we have two central criteria for the family costumes we created, and the ones we've featured below: They must be both simple and clever. None of our costumes requires any sewing, for instance. Often the hardest part was done by my kids. And if we spent money, it was generally pretty reasonable (with a couple of exceptions). If you have a clever group idea, the execution is really secondary.
SPOILER ALERT: My family's costume this year is the last one.
2. The Fox Gang
Ok, I'll admit that these fox heads were a bit of a splurge, even with all the BOGO coupons around at this time of year. But these are talking fox masks with mouths that move when you talk, and you can't really put a price on that. Worth every penny.
3. Presidential Candidates and Secret Service
It wouldn't work with an expanding brood, but Ratatouille requires only some chefs' whites and a toque, and a kids mouse costume. An even better version if you have a really little one? The baby in the lobster pot and the chef carrying him. Just grab your spaghetti pot, plop the baby in, and that simple addition is costume gold.
5. Circus Costume
Photo: In Honor of Design
With the exception of the amazing cage here, which is optional, you can put a lot of this together by simply buying a few props. Not sure about that whip over the lion, though!
6. E.T., Phone Home
Photo: Huffington Post
If you haven't already, you can introduce your young one to the magic of ET and get an easy costume at the same time. You can purchase pretty inexpensive white hazmat suits and a little stuffed ET. If you're lucky enough to have saved your Healthtex turtlenecks from the 70s, you don't even have to buy anything for Gertie.
7. What's for Breakfast?
Ok, so it looks like there was sewing here (Did you catch the syrup and grape jelly touches?) But you can buy bacon and eggs costumes if you are sewing challenged as I am.
8. Get us S'more
Photo: The Smittcamps
It's true that the wagon here is the real star and definitely involves a bit of planning. But you can get the gist with a kids Hershey costume, a stuffed white outfit, and two bit boxes of cardboard. That's a lot of bang for buck.
9. The Gingerbread Man Family with LED Lights
Video: Glowy Zoey
This wouldn't really work in our neighborhood, where trick-or-treating is done during daylight. But if you're walking around dark alleys like these guys, the LED glow stick figures are worth it just to see that toddler run. They look like the gingerbread man escaping the fox.
10. If You Want to Include the Family Pets
Photo: The Sushi Lady
There are as many possibilities here as there are at the best local sushi bar. And there, you're not allowed to bring your pet rabbit. We did a variation of the sushi costumes in the past, but these are super easy. The Sushi Lady has a range of costumes from $35 for a tuna to $65 for salmon roe.
11. Police Officers & Donuts
Photo: Brit + Co.
This is a classic case of how just having a group can elevate a costume. A police officer on its own is kind of a costume cliche. But a group of kid donuts with a few adult police officers is a whole different story. (You could even have someone as the cup of coffee with this fairly simple DIY.) Y ou could easily use those donut pool inflatables, which can be as cheap as $8 for a group of 4. This police officer shirt runs about $12 and just needs to be paired with a set of sunglasses.
12. For the New Family of 3
Two extra points here for cleverness and simplicity. We started reading one description of this costume that was talking about some crazy printing techniques to get the ice lettering to seem more authentic, and we started to panic. This low bar sharpie version does just fine, though, because it's all about the pun anyway.
13. The T-Rex Family
It's those tiny hands with that giant tail that makes this T-Rex inflatable costume so awesome, it became a meme last year. Yes, we are a little late to the party. But as we all know, if one is good, 5 (or 4, sniff) is better. We're banking on the fact that the family dinosaur theme has yet to truly hit its stride with the family set. Also, there are rainbow T-Rex costumes, which might breathe some new life into this extinct breed.