Halloween costumes

From Miley’s twerking onesie to ‘Despicable Me,’ Halloween in Miami is pop-culture savvy


Halloween stores

Here are several costume shops in Miami-Dade:

Dixon Costumes, 2400 NW 72 Ave., Miami; 305-444-5332; www.DixonCostumes.com.

Halloween City, 7135 SW 117th Ave., Kendall; 786-326-9100; www.halloweencity.com; 302-268-7087; and 3696 W 18th Ave., Hialeah; 302-268-7156.

Halloween Megastore, The Shops at Sunset Place, 5701 Sunset Dr., South Miami; 305-669-5515; www.HalloweenMegastore.com.

Miami Twice, 6562 SW 40th St., Miami; 305-666-0127; www.MiamiTwice.com.

Spirit of Halloween, The Palms at Town and Country Mall, 8210 Mills Dr., Kendall; 786-509-3606; www.spirithalloween.com.

More information


A Spooky Symphony: Featuring some of the most beautiful scary music you’ve ever heard; 4 p.m. Oct. 27; The Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 East Flagler St., Miami. Free. No tickets required, but large groups should call in advance. $5 parking in College Station Garage, 190 NE Third St. (corner of NE Second Ave.). 305-667-4069, www.gmys.org or www.alhambramusic.org.

Edible Garden Festival: As part of Miami’s first-ever Local Food Week, learn how to start your own edible garden, adopt a pumpkin from the Pumpkin Patch, and enter the Scarecrow Competition; 9:30 a.m. Oct. 27; Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables. Free for members and children 5 and under, $25 for non-members, $18 for seniors 65 and up, $12 for children 6-17. 305-667-1651, www.fairchildgarden.org/events/Edible-Garden-Festival/.

Halloween Prequel: Activities for the entire family, including pets. The event, which raises animal rescue awareness, features a pet fair and pet adoption agencies plus costume parade, contest, vendors, food, fire fighters and rescue animals rocking the runway; noon Oct. 27; Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 S. Red Rd., Pinecrest. $3; $2 kids 2-7; free for kids under 2; dog parade, $10 per person. 305-669-6990 or 305-491-5651 (pet vendor info, ask for Rita), www.pinecrestgardens.org.

House of Horror Halloween Amusement Park: Billed as South Florida’s largest (2-acre, 30+ room) haunted house-amusement park, includes unlimited rides, circus attractions, carnival food, games and debut of Hulk Hogan’s MCW - Micro Championship “Little People” Wrestling; 6-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 5-midnight Friday and Saturday and 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Sunday, through Nov. 3; $23 adults; $15 kids 6 and under (includes one entry through the Haunted House except kids 6 and under, plus unlimited rides; Miami International Mall, 1455 NW 107th Ave., West Miami-Dade. 305-639-6000, 305-593-1777, www.houseofhorrorpark.com.

IDEA@thbass Family Day-Monstrous Halloween Faces: Dress up in your best Halloween costume for the costume contest, get your face painted and win creepy prizes. Also features special reading of “Judnique and Daiysis Defeat Seth,” an exciting adventure set in Ancient Egypt, illustrated and written by W.J. Bryan Elementary second grade class; 2 p.m. Oct. 27; Bass Museum of Art, 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Free. 305-673-7530, ext. 1016, www.bassmuseum.org.

Jungle Island’s Spooktacular: From trick-or-treating through the Jungle, interactive witch’s lair, kid-friendly haunted forest and more, kids of all ages will enjoy a family friendly, fun-filled day. Includes a costume contest; 10 a.m. Oct. 27; Jungle Island, 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Watson. $34.95, $5 kids 3-10. 305-400-7000, www.jungleisland.com.


Halloween Zumbathon: Benefit two local families affected by breast cancer; 7 p.m. Oct. 30; Holy Rosary St. Richard Catholic School, 18455 Franjo Rd., Cutler Bay. $10. 305-235-5442, www.zumbawithfabi.com.


Boo Bash Celebration: Kids can participate in Halloween-themed activities at the Macy’s Men’s Court,. followed by mall-wide Trick or Treating in a safe environment; 4-6 p.m. Oct. 31; Miami International Mall, 1455 NW 107th Ave., Doral. Free. 305-593-1775, www.simon.com.

Howl-O-Ween-Bring your Dog to Fairchild: Put your best paw forward and bring your dog to the Garden. Event includes dog costume contest, trick-or-treats from local vendors and tons of activities for dogs and their owners as they parade through the Garden; 9:30 a.m. Oct. 31; Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables. $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65+, $12 kids 6-17; free for members & kids 5 and under. 305-667-1651, www.fairchildgarden.org.

Halloween at Cross Gardens Care Center: Celebrate the holiday at the nursing home with the carving of pumpkins and trick or treating in a safe place for those in the community to visit and also gives the residents in our building the opportunity to interact with the surrounding community; 190 NE 191st St., Northeast Miami-Dade. Free. 305-651-9690.

Halloween at JUMP A ROOS: Children in costume can enter the Southland Mall indoor play and party center for $5.99. Includes a food special of 2 slices of pizza and a drink for $5; 10 a.m. Oct. 31; Jump A Roos, 20505 S. Dixie Hwy., Cutler Bay. 305-542-5934, 305-238-5867, www.jumparoos.com.

Halloween Celebration-Mall of the Americas: Kids Club at 4 p.m. for ages 10 and under with the friendly, bilingual Witch Gigi. At 5 p.m., it’s music and prizes for all ages with Mix 98.3 FM, including trip prizes plus Karla Bakery hands out Halloween cupcakes. Trick or treat begins at 6 p.m. Costumes encouraged, but masks are prohibited inside the mall; 4 p.m. Oct. 31; Mall of the Americas, 7795 W. Flagler St., West Miami-Dade. Free. 305-261-8772, www.MalloftheAmericas.com/events/halloween-trick-or-treating.

Halloween on the Mile: This 16th annual event returns with fun for all, including those of the canine variety. See website for full schedule of activities. Held along Miracle Mile between LeJeune and Douglas roads and nearby shops and institutions, 4 p.m. Oct. 31; Miracle Mile, 372 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables. Free. 305-569-0311, www.shopcoralgables.com/events/16th-annual-halloween-on-the-mile/.

Haunted House at Veronica’s Dollhouse: During South Miami’s Safe Streets Halloween, the boutique store turns into a creepy Victorian style haunted house; 4 p.m. Oct. 31; Veronica’s Dollhouse, 7212 SW 57th Ave., South Miami. Free. 305-662-2966, www.VeronicasDollhouse.Wordpress.com, www.veronicasdollhouseboutique.com.

Trick or Treat-Happy Halloween: Kids in costume can pick up the store’s Halloween bag from customer service and make their way around the store for a special treat from each department. Just say “Trick or Treat!;” 4 p.m. Oct. 31; Whole Foods Market, 21105 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura. Free. 305-682-4400, 305-933-1543, www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/aventura/index.html.

Wayside Western Fiesta: A fun and family-friendly event where your kids can have a blast on Halloween with rides, games and candy; 5:30 p.m. Oct. 31; Wayside Baptist Church, 7701 SW 98th St., Kendall. Free (including rides). 305-595-6550, www.waysidemiami.org.

Christ Journey Church Block Party: Bring the family to enjoy the block party at the Shoppes of Country Walk featuring food trucks, games, costume contest, trunk or treating, and bounce houses; 6 p.m. Oct. 31; Shoppes of Country Walk, 14425 Country Walk Dr., Country Walk.

Harvest Festival: Fun, family-friendly event hosted at downtown campus with candy, cake walks, music and fun. Families are encouraged to wear costumes; 6 p.m. Oct. 31; Christ Fellowship Church, 500 NE First St., Downtown Miami. Free. 305-238-1818, www.cfmiami.org.

Miami Beach Halloween Happenings: Children are encouraged to come in costume and enjoy a night of spooky fun. Features new Treats for Tots area and ice skating. Tickets for carnival rides and concessions available on site; 6 p.m. Oct. 31; Scott Rakow Youth Center, 2700 Sheridan Ave., Miami Beach. Free (including ice skating). 305-673-7767, www.miamibeachparks.com, web.miamibeachfl.gov.

Miami Beach Safe Night of Fright: Ghouls & Goblins are invited to enjoy a safe night of trick or treat, music and fun; 6 p.m. Oct. 31; North Shore Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Free. 305-861-3616, 305-673-7300, www.miamibeachfl.gov.

Monster Mash Bash at North Miami Beach: Family friendly event that features bounce houses, rides, music, and a haunted trail. Food is also available for purchase; 6 p.m. Oct. 31; Gwen Margolis Amphitheater, 16501 NE 16th Ave., North Miami Beach. $5 per person or $15 for a family 4 pack. 305-948-2957, www.citynmb.com.

Monsters In The Park Movie Night Featuring Monsters University: Wear Halloween costumes and play in the newly-refurbished tennis courts to win prizes. Trick or treat at 6 p.m., movie starts at 7 p.m. Food available for purchase or bring your own picnic and blankets; 6 p.m. Oct. 31; Coral Reef Park, 7895 SW 152nd St., Palmetto Bay. Free. 305-259-1234, www.PalmettoBay-Fl.gov.

Fire and Ice Halloween Costume Party: Event features complementary sips and bites from 8-10 p.m. and live and spooky entertainment all night long; 7 p.m. Oct. 31; Porcao Grill, 910 S. Miami Ave., Brickell. Free.

Vocal Arts Series- Midnight Madness Halloween: Family event benefits scholarships for voice students. Wear Halloween costumes. Vocal students will be dressed like the infamous villains from musical theater and the opera stage. Reception included; 8:30 p.m. Oct. 31; Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center at FIU, 10910 SW 17th St., University Park. $15; $10 seniors and FIU faculty/staff; $5 FIU students and alumni association members. 305-348-0496, https://calendar.fiu.edu, www.wpac.fiu.edu.

Serendipity’s Halloween POP-UP GoGo Bar: Annual celebration on Lincoln Road features desserts for the kids until 9 p.m. and cocktails and fun for the adults thereafter. At 9 p.m., the restaurant opens to the over 21 crowd exclusively and includes DJ and GoGo dancers all night long; 9 p.m. Oct. 31; Serendipity 3, 1102 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Free. 305-403-2210, www.facebook.com/serendipity3mia?sk=info.


Reformation Day Faire: Journey back in time to Wittenberg, Germany during the time of the Protestant Reformation and Martin Luther. Event features dinner, shopping in the town square, madrigal singers, games and contests. Wear your best 16th century attire; 6:30 p.m. Nov. 1; Kendall Presbyterian Church, 8485 SW 112th St., Kendall. Free but donations accepted. 305-271-5262, www.kendallpres.org.


Ghost Quest - A Cemetery Experience: Find out what bumps in the night during a lecture and tour of the cemetery; 8 p.m. Nov. 2; Celestial Treasures, 3444 Main Hwy. Suite 17, Coconut Grove. $30. 305-461-2341, www.celestial-treasures.com, www.celestialtreasuresnetwork.com.


Move over Superman. Hang up the cape, Supergirl. We still love you, but Miley’s riding a wrecking ball all over your Halloween plans.

The hottest Halloween costume this season apparently is the pink teddy-bear onesie with the tongue hanging out that the firebrand pop singer wore during her twerking routine with fellow risqué pop star Robin Thicke at the MTV Video Music Awards in late August. The foam finger she used in suggestive fashion, the one that has given Middle America heart palpitations for months since that televised routine, is another accessory that some local Halloween supply stores can’t keep in stock as the big day approaches Thursday.

Well, that didn’t take long.

“That’s something that whoever designs these things, [they] have to constantly be on top of what is going on in popular culture,” said Danik Mignano, assistant store manager for the Spirit of Halloween branch in The Palms at Town and Country Mall in Kendall. “We can’t keep the merchandise in stock. The twerking thing is amazing. We have to hold it for people and are allowing one per customer.”

Local merchants at both temporary storefront costume stores and year-round shops also have to pay attention to trending topics and be willing to travel to industry events to make sure that they are stocked with in-demand items like the twerking pop stars.

“If something happens right before Halloween, people really jump on that,” said Mary Holle of Miami Twice on Bird Road in Southwest Miami-Dade. Holle travels to Houston every January for a Halloween show where she selects all of the pieces she will order in March for the following season. Holle said that she and her team steam each costume that hangs on chrome hangers, waiting to be tried on.

“A lot of things on the Internet look really good, but they’re crap,” she said. “I touch everything I sell.”

So who is buying the $29.99 Miley teddy-bear onesie and accompanying $6 foam finger? Or the Thicke black-and-white striped suit?

“Believe it or not, it’s mixed. Whoever can fit in one of those bears,” Mignano said, laughing.

Superheroes’ might

This year, superheroes — especially Batman ( The Dark Knight movie series is still a potent draw) and Superman (which had a film-series reboot this year) — are also popular. Down the block at Halloween City in Kendall, in a strip mall on Southwest 117th Avenue, pirates are among the costume and accessory shop’s biggest sellers this season, said Justin Brown, the store’s assistant manager. “I have no idea why,” he said, “but they are selling a lot.”

Perhaps it’s familiarity. Hard to go wrong with a pirate patch for all the wannabe Johnny Depps.

Aside from Miley, Holle isn’t sure how people will reinvent classic Halloween costumes this year.

“I don’t know how they can come up with a new Wonder Woman,” said Holle, the owner of Miami Twice, a 28-year-old, 5,000-square-foot costume and antique shop. “We’ve maxed out of everything, and it’s so hard to do something new.”

Movies and television still provide the bulk of ideas for costumes, along with perennials like witches, ghosts and zombies. AMC’s The Walking Dead, the highest-rated cable series in history, has kept the rotting, lumbering dead so popular that Spirit of Halloween customer Cibel Menendez, 32, had to scrap her plan to go as a zombie to a Halloween party. Instead, she will go as an army girl. The store was out of the zombie outfit she had considered.

“These are popular, gotta go with what’s in,” Menendez said as she handed the army outfit and accessories to sales associate Val Quesada.

Each year, Holle watches the trends that formulate from movies and events in pop culture.

“If there’s one trend this year, I have to say flappers because of the Great Gatsby movie,” said Holle.

Buying habits

A chain of Halloween Megastores pops up throughout Miami-Dade in early September, but it’s not until the week before Halloween that manager Scott Mesjan says customers come racing in.

“We live with serious anxiety,” said Mesjan, owner of the Megastore at Sunset Place in South Miami. “Everybody waits till the last minute. It seriously goes from zero to a hundred every year.”

The Halloween Megastore is a temporary Halloween space with permanent parent locations in Tampa, Orlando and Fort Meyers. The company started about six years ago and now operates 20 stores a year across Florida.

And every year that Mesjan sets up shop in Miami, he notices the need for sex appeal.

“Girls sometimes come in and say, ‘I want the sluttiest thing you have,’ and men say they want to look masculine and sexy for the females,” he said, adding that men often go for the Greek or Roman look to accentuate their muscles.

But trends are not only influenced by what’s sexy.

“Trends are influenced by TV — welcome to America,” he said.

This year, Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones costumes are big sellers for Mesjan. “They’re getting bald caps, hazmat suits and lab coats,” he said about Breaking Bad, the AMC series in which a high school chemistry teacher turns drug lord.

But Mesjan said movies like The Purge — a horror film in which the killers wear a clear mask that distorts the face — and Despicable Me are also creating a big costume buzz this Halloween. If Miley rules over Spirit of Halloween, Despicable Me is on her heels at her store, Mignano said.

“Minions from Despicable Me are a No. 1 seller — we only have baby sizes left,” Mesjan said.

All ages

Mike Dixon has been watching Halloween evolve since the 1980s.

“It used to be a kids’ holiday and now it’s nightclubs and party life, and definitely more for adults,” said Dixon, a manager at Dixon Costumes on Northwest 72nd Avenue in Miami. “It’s that Halloween provides a good excuse for people to get a little wild.”

Dixon Costumes, originally established in 1926, has seen its share of trends. But Dixon said there are two constants to the holiday: sexiness and superheroes.

But music also has much to do with Halloween trends.

“Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Nikki Minaj,” said Dixon. Sorry Miley and Robin, you’re not quite as hot at this venerable shop.

But Halloween, itself, is as hot as ever, no matter the economic peaks and valleys, said Mignano. That’s because one thing never goes out of style:

“You can be whoever you want to be, whatever dream you had as a kid. You can become a kid again, and nobody is going to tell you you’re crazy,” she said. “You can wear whatever your fantasy is, and no one will question you — even Miley!”

Follow @HowardCohen and @BrittnyCharity on Twitter.

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