Last-minute Halloween costume ideas and where to find them |

Last-minute Halloween costume ideas and where to find them

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Once a year, we have a chance to set our imaginations free and unleash our inner superhero.

For one day, you get to morph into Pikachu, Wonder Woman, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mozart – you dream it, you can be it.

But the endless options of who or what to be presents a daunting question for many, and lucky for procrastinators, we've asked a few locals to offer suggestions for creative Halloween getups.

"Halloween in Steamboat is one of those things that's really organic because you never really know what's going to happen because it's different each year," said Lisa Popovich, executive director for Main Street Steamboat, which is hosting the annual Halloween Stroll from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday along Lincoln Avenue. "Sometimes, the costumes are super clever or super complicated or as simple as donning a name tag and a wig. All it takes is a little imagination."

The Halloween Stroll is fun for all ages and includes trick or treating at downtown businesses, live music, a drum circle, fire jugglers, dancers, and of course, a costume contest. In front of All That, Popovich said to beware of a spooky surprise.

"What really makes a costume memorable is the accessories," said Sandy Pugh, owner of The Costume Party & Dance Shop. "You can start with just a simple costume and then really make it unique with anything from the makeup to accessories that complement your character."

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Characters from Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, Game of Thrones, Minions, Despicable Me and Star Wars are some of the most sought-after costumes this year at the local costume shop. Pugh said she also sees a lot of Mario characters, gypsies, pirates, greek goddesses, gamblers, gangsters and superheroes.

“I love dressing up the town to see how people create the costumes,” Pugh said. “Some people may get a colonial outfit then I go out downtown, and next thing I know, they are Beethoven or something like that. I really like to see how creative everybody gets.”

Crafty costumes can also be found at local thrift stores and consignment shops, including LiftUp of Routt County’s community thrift shop, Rummagers, Bargain Barn Thrift Store, Finders Keepers and Deja Vu Boutique.

"You never know what you will find," said Heidi Mendisco, office manager at LiftUp of Routt County. "That's the whole fun of shopping at a thrift shop for your costume. It's just the nature of what we have in the store.”

Steamboat residents Heidi and David Jolly spent nearly a decade dressing up in various costumes while working at Disney World, and as a result, they have accumulated a range of costumes including Sam Adams and the St. Pauli Girl, The Yip-Yip Aliens from Sesame Street, and The Bride and Hitchhiking Ghost from Disney’s Haunted Mansion.

Family costumes they’ve done include Stormtroopers, Harry Potter characters like Bellatrix LeStrange and Voldemort, Jolly Green Giants with their son “Sprout” and a fast-food family (inspired by a cow costume) with Heidi as Wendy from Wendy’s, their son as the Chic-fil-a-cow and Jolly as Colonel Sanders from Kentucky Fried Chicken. 

“What makes the costume is your own personal devotion to the character,” said David Jolly, who is also known for performing in various roles at the Chief Theater productions. “There’s nothing wrong with purchasing a store-bought costume, but you can’t just put it on and go. You need to polish it up with good make-up, wigs and any other effects that will make it stand out.”

At LiftUp of Routt County, Jenny Wall, longtime Steamboat Springs resident, former owner of Moose Mountain Trading Company and now manager of LiftUp’s thrift store, said a few memorable costumes include a spider, a can of Raid and a spider web, a Cleopatra costume and a little tyke dressed as a bee and the parents as beekeepers.

"Coming up with a costume last minute is not necessarily a bad thing," Wall said. "It gives you a chance to get creative and an opportunity to pretend. One costume can spur ideas for another, and you never know what you will find."

Costume inspiration

DIY ideas

Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, French toast, Forest Gump, Mary Poppins, Arthur characters, Three Blind Mice, Bob Ross and Happy Little Tree, Fanta Girls, Hansel and Zoolander, South Park characters, kings and queens, black-and-white movie characters, jet pack costumes, the leg lamp from “A Christmas Story,” Banksy, tubers, famous celebrities as zombies, Where’s Waldo, gnomes, robots, superheroes, characters from "The Office," Harry Potter characters, ninja turtles, flappers, a rocket man, the Adams Family, "Star Wars" characters, Saucer Boy, Care Bears, a martini glass and so much more.

Miscellaneous characters

Queen of Hearts, Mad Hatter, a mermaid, Grace Kelly, Madame Butterfly, Madonna, Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin, Mrs. Doubtfire, Sherlock Holmes, Elvis, soldier, sailor, hunter, mermaid, wizard, Cinderella, Prince Charming, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Little Bo Peep, Rapunzel, Mother Goose, Little Miss Muffet, Little Red Riding Hood, Captain Hook, Peter Pan, alligator, pirates, Wendy, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Yoda, Princess Leia, Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Glenda the Good Witch, Wicked Witch of the West, munchkins, Batman and Robin, Penguin, Riddler, Bat Girl, Cat Woman, Zena, Spiderman and Superman, Pink Panther, Sheriff of Nottingham, Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, Romeo and Juliet, Daniel Boone, Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, Austin Powers, Dr. Evil, Cindy Lauper, Leprechaun, Heidi, Genie, Geisha girl, Zorro, Frankenstein, Dracula, Grim Reaper, Uncle Sam and Cap’n Crunch.

Group costumes

Three Musketeers, America Graffiti, Alice in Wonderland, Arabian sheik and harem, the Brady Bunch, Candyland, Civil War, Disney characters, 1950s sock hop, gangsters, greasers, lounge singers, Roaring '20s, Roman Empire, Renaissance court, safari animals and hunter, saloon dancers, Titanic, toga party, Western, zoo animals, “Black Swan” characters, “Arrested Development” characters, “Cool Runnings” bobsled teammates, Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Orange is the New Black.

Couples costumes

Beauty and the Beast, Jasmine and Aladdin, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Fred and Wilma Flintstone, Caesar and Cleopatra, king and queen, Bonnie and Clyde, prom king and queen, Sonny and Cher, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Snow White and Dopey, Prince Charming and Cinderella, Annie Oakley and Daniel Boone, Hugh Hefner and Playboy bunny, Pocahontas and Sitting Bull, GI Joe and Barbie, Professor and Mary Ann, King Kong and Faye Ray, turkey and pilgrim, Sylvester and Tweety Bird, Juno and Paulie from “Juno,” “Dumb and Dumber” and Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.


Where to find last minute costumes:

  • The Costume Party & Dance Shop
  • LiftUp of Routt County’s community thrift shop
  • Rummagers
  • Bargain Barn Thrift Store
  • Finders Keepers
  • Deja Vu Boutique