Last-Minute Halloween Finds

The scariest thing about Halloween for me is how it always seems to sneak up on me. This was never a problem until I started having kids and they insisted on dressing up. And as much as I try to convince my daughter to be a 5-year-old preschooler for Halloween, it doesn't seem to fly. So here I am a few days before the dress-up holiday, scrambling to find some decent costumes. Here's what you can still get for this year's event:

Seasonal stores: Spirit Halloween and Total Fright, which are only open in September and October, still have costumes and accessories to sell. Total Fright, in Georgetown and Arlington, opens from Sept. 1 through Nov. 2 and has some costumes left, although things are going quickly, according to owner Lorenzo Caltagirone. He says there are even some accessories like hats and masks for simpler costumes. The store's Web site can get a costume shipped to you by Friday if you order by Tuesday but you'll have to pay for overnight shipping. The store will also mark down several of its costumes and accessories the few days that it remains open after Halloween. Spirit Halloween, which has about 12 stores in the area, also has a wide range of costumes for children and adults. You can get a boys Batman or Joker costume for $34.99; Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz for $29.99; a candy corn witch, which is popular with teenagers, for $59.99; adult-size Sesame Street characters for $49.99 and Playboy-licensed women's costumes for $119.99. The store is also guaranteeing Halloween delivery if you order from its Web site. You'll have to pay for two-day shipping if you order by noon on Tuesday or overnight shipping if you order by noon on Wednesday.

Rentals: Costumes Creative in Silver Spring has 15,000 adult costumes to rent or 100 to buy. You'll find some high-end costumes like elaborate witches or pirate costumes ranging from $85 to $150 for rental. But the store also has lower-priced options like vampire fangs for $15 and make-up kits for $25. "You're only limited by your own imagination," says T.J. Pekin, manager of the store.

Online: Buycostumes.com says you can still get a costume delivered by Halloween. But you'd better call to make sure it's in stock since there are 100 people taking orders at the same time. If you order today, you'll have to spend $9.99 for two-day shipping and it may get there on Thursday or Friday. You can get adult costumes like the Joker from "The Dark Knight" movie for $29.99, Indiana Jones for $36.99 or children's costumes like The Little Mermaid for $38.99 or an astronaut for $49.99.

Decorations: Hallmark has already started marking down some its Halloween decor. You can find half-off deals, including some the annual goofy musical decorations they sell close to the front of the store. The store will also mark down items up to 75% the day after Halloween. World Market has also already discounted its collection of Halloween decorations by 25-50%. They also have deals on candy like two large bags of assorted candy for $5 or bags of individually wrapped animal cookies or cheddar crackers for $1.99.

Update: CVS/pharmacy will mark down nearly all of its leftover Halloween merchandise 50 percent on Saturday. Spirit Halloween has also given me word that it will mark down its costumes 25 percent and everything else 50 percent the day after Halloween. Then on November 2, everything, including costumes, will be marked down 50 percent.

Where are you finding last-minute Halloween gear? Who has the best deals?

By Tania Anderson |  October 28, 2008; 12:00 AM ET General Interest , Holidays and Special Occasions , Kid Stuff
Previous: Buying in Bulk: Wegmans vs. BJ's | Next: Deals for Pooch and Kitty

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The Totally Ghoul shops within area Kmarts are featuring Halloween costumes at 50 percent off. Also light sets are 25 percent off, Jackolanterns and such, are discounted, even more.

Posted by: ziggyzippy | October 29, 2008 9:33 AM

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