On my son’s first Halloween, he was Picasso. It worked well because he was bald, and we dressed him in a striped Breton shirt and leggings. We painted a very un-Picasso mustache on him, but it gave Pau’s 18-month-year-old face an artistic flair.

We went to a party at a house in a Los Angeles neighborhood where Halloween is a huge event. Every house was turned into a haunted house, cemeteries speckled the lawns and hundreds of trick or treaters paraded to their doors. As a native New Yorker who thought trick or treating was extinct, I got to rediscover Halloween that year – I was as excited about holding out our candy bag as Pau was. That year, my husband David was a pirate and I wore a rainbow-colored afro wig (I admit, I’m a fan of Hello Kitty’s rainbow-haired dog Afro Ken).  

My favorite Halloween was when the three of us dressed as a tiger family, but this year, Pau, now in second grade, will be a Ninja and I’ll be putting on my beloved rainbow afro wig.

When it comes to unique costumes, Andy Blackman Hurwitz trumps us all. This year, he’ll be a lamp.

“I have a lampshade on my head, sunglasses, and a lightbulb in my mouth on a string so that I can take it out when I talk,” he says. Blackman Hurwitz, is the co-founder of family party promoter Baby Loves Disco and says his oddball costume is intentional.

“It makes the kids laugh for some reason. And it makes everybody feel better about their costume. No matter what it is, they can say, ‘Well, at least I’m not a lamp’.”

Over the past decade, Blackman Hurwitz and Baby Loves Disco have a busy Halloween agenda. Halloween week, Baby Loves Disco parties will be held in Anchorage, New York, and Blackman Hurwitz’s home base in Philadelphia, as well as in London, Edinburgh and Tokyo. There will be events for toddlers, as well as for 4-11 year olds.

“What really makes our Halloween parties popular is that it’s another chance to wear your costume,” he says. “You don’t need to reinvent the wheel for Halloween. People just want to dance and party, but now they’re wearing costumes.

DJ Mikey Palms, who will be manning the decks at Baby Loves Disco’s New York fright fest, counts the classics “Purple People Eater,” Creedence Clearwater Revival’s  “Bad Moon Rising”and “Let’s Do the Time Warp” from Rocky Horror Picture Show among his Halloween party picks. Lakeside’s “Fantastic Voyage” and of course “Thriller” are also on the list.

Here’s a playlist from Baby Loves Disco’s DJ Mikey to use at your own party. And little ones can also play our Spooky Songs (which are really more sweet than spooky) playlist on the Rhapsody KIDS app.