32 Awesome Halloween Decorations and Props You Can Get at Target

damedeeso/iStock via Getty Images
damedeeso/iStock via Getty Images

It’s never too soon to start preparing for the best holiday of the year—which is Halloween, of course. And whether you’re planning a Halloween party or a haunted house, we have good news for you: Target’s Hyde & EEK! Boutique has created a number of incredible decorations and props that will help take your shindig to the next level. Here are a few of our favorites.

1. Light-up Pumpkin

A light-up pumpkin lamp from Target.
Target

Let's start with the classic symbol of Halloween. If you love the carved pumpkin look but don’t want to deal with the mess of actually carving a pumpkin, consider this 5-inch-tall prop, which lights up. At just $5, it's wallet-friendly. There’s also a version with pointy teeth, and a 9-inch version in teal.

2. Animated Light-Up Pumpkin Decorative Halloween Prop

For a more interactive version, check out this pumpkin, which—in addition to lighting up—emits spooky noises when motion activated.

3. LED Skull Plasma Ball

An image of a clear skull with tubes coming out of it.
Target

This steampunk-esque skull is perfect for the mad scientist space in your haunted house. Those brave enough to touch it will see a plasma filament reach up to meet their finger.

4. Crashing Witch

A cloth figure of a witch wearing green and black striped tights that looks like it's crashing into a wall.
Target

This quirky witch adds a little levity to your Halloween decor. The 9-inch-tall figure can lay flat against a door or wrap around a column either indoors or out.

5. Life-sizeD Skeleton

A poseable skeleton standing in front of a white background.
Target

This 5-foot-tall skeleton is both poseable, and, at $40, affordable. If you want to spend $5 more, you can get a life-size skeleton that also lights up with a green glow.

6. Werewolf Skeleton

A werewolf skeleton posed as though it's attacking in front of a white background.
Target

Human skeleton just too boring? Try this werewolf skeleton, which is just over 5 feet tall.

7. Victorian Style Telephone

This phone looks old-fashioned, but motion will cause it to ring—and when you pick up, a voice states, “I know who you are!” followed by a creepy laugh.

8. Eyeball Wreath

A wreath made of fake eyeballs
Target

Trick or treaters will know your house has the best candy when they see this eyeball wreath, which uses orange LEDs to create a creepy glow.

9. Opera Singer Tombstone

If you want your Halloween decor to belt out a few tunes from the beyond, there’s this animated opera singer tombstone prop, appropriately named Ophelia Payne. This unique decoration uses motion sensors to know when to sing a ghoulish tune for unsuspecting trick-or-treaters.

10. Pumpkin Halloween String Lights

20ct LED Pumpkin Halloween String Lights
Target

Sometimes you just want to go back to basics, and these pumpkin string lights are as simple, yet effective, as they come. Each set comes with 20 toothy jack-o’-lantern lights, perfect for adding classic Halloween ambiance to both indoor and outdoor displays.

11. Tree Decoration

Tree Face & Arms Halloween Decoration
Target

Make sure to leave no area of your property undecorated with this face and arms kit that turns any tree on your property into a spooky Halloween display.

12. Punny Tombstones

36" Ben A. Live Foam Tombstone
Target

Add some laughs to your Halloween display with a foam tombstone prop crafted in the memory of a poor departed soul named Ben A. Live. At 36 inches tall, this punny piece of spooky decor also sports a grinning jack-o’-lantern at the top to cap off the lighthearted decoration. If you want more than one punny tombstone, grab this one for Imma Gardner. You can round out your display with this set of cemetery props, which contains 18 pieces.

13. Serving Tray

"Happy Halloween" Wood Serving Tray
Target

You can’t serve snacks at your party without a seasonal tray, right? And this one is as classic as it gets, with a trio of jack-o’-lanterns ready to add the requisite scenery to your Halloween shindig.

14. Eyeball Halloween Candy Bowl

Animated Light-Up Eyeball Halloween Candy Bowl
Target

If you’re looking to keep a far more literal eye on your candy hoard this Halloween, this bowl has got your back. Whenever anyone reaches in and tries to snatch up that candy bar you’ve been saving for yourself, a motion-detecting eye will open up and growl “I’m watching you!” at the unsuspecting thief.

15. Trick-or-Treat Painted Halloween Pumpkin Bundle

3pk Trick-or-Treat Painted Halloween Pumpkin Bundle Black/Orange/Cream
Target

This three-pack of foam pumpkins come decorated for you in various sizes and colors—just set them out to add more life to your Halloween-themed festivities.

16. Talking Skull

Animated Taking Skull in Cloche Halloween Décor
Target

Don’t be all doom and gloom this Halloween. This talking skull will start telling jokes when it senses movement—and because it’s battery-operated, it can be placed wherever you think it’ll entertain the most guests.

17. Inflatable Dragon

6' LED Blue Dragon Inflatable Halloween Decoration
Target

This huge, 6-foot-tall inflatable dragon is perfect for any Halloween-themed Game of Thrones display. It's equipped with LEDs, so it's just as effective at night as it is during the day. (There's also a dragon skull that looks like it came straight from the cellar of the Red Keep.)

More into dinosaurs than dragons? Try this 9-foot-tall costumed T. Rex.

18. Zombie

Animated Zombie Groundbreaker with LED Eyes Decorative Halloween Prop
Target

This motion-activated zombie plays creepy music, groans, and turns its head when someone walks by, its single flashing eye constantly on the lookout for BRAINS.

19. Monster Boombox

Animated Monster Boombox Halloween Décor
Target

With a fiendish face and catchy song, this monster boombox is just the type of decoration your Halloween party needs to make it truly unique.

20. Rotating Skull Projector

Animated LED Rotating Skull Halloween Projector
Target

Disco balls are so over. For Halloween, try this LED-equipped disco skull.

21. Skull and Crossbone

ight-Up Skeleton Crossbone Halloween Wall Decor
Target

Spooky decor doesn’t get much more classic than the skull and crossbone, and with this light-up version affixed to your wall, you can bring a timeless charm to any Halloween theme you’ve got your eye on.

22. Reaper Skeleton

5' Animated LED Reaper Skeleton Ghoul White with Chains Decorative Halloween Prop
Target

This skeleton reaper gives the perfect Halloween greeting to trick-or-treaters as it lets loose a horrifying wail and rattles its chains.

23. Giant Spider

Giant Spider Decorative Halloween Prop
Target

Hang this creepy, hairy monstrosity from the ceiling to give everyone a fright. Suitable for display both indoors and outdoors.

24. Alarm Clock

Animated Monster Alarm Clock Halloween Décor
Target

Creatures of the night will agree: There's nothing scarier than getting up in the morning. This novelty alarm clock pops open to reveal a monstrous face within. It’s more cartoony than frightening, and perfect for anyone looking to throw a fun Halloween bash for all ages.

25. Animated Succulent

Blood Succulent Artificial Halloween Plant
Target

Add some potted terror to your Halloween with these “Blood Succulents” that will be right in line with the season as your dining room table centerpiece or displayed on a windowsill.

26. Fishbowl

Animated Fishbowl Halloween Décor
Target

Just set this battery-powered skeleton fishbowl on a table to add a fun layer of character to your Halloween decorations. The two fish will swim along, among the flowers, tombstone, and skull in the bowl. And because the display uses batteries, you can move it wherever you want.

27. Crow’s Feet Serving Glass

Crow Feet Glass Halloween Serving Bowl Black Tall
Target

Containing both the bowl and the creepy crow’s feet holder, this display is a suitably fiendish way to serve candy this year.

28. LED Computer

Animated LED Computer with Skull Decorative Halloween Prop
Target

Your guests will think you haven't updated your computer in ages when they see this prop, which is straight out of the '80s. Motion triggers it to fire up and reveal a talking skull, which warns your visitors about mice.

29. Dug Up Coffin

Animated Dug Up Coffin Decorative Halloween Prop
Target

Inside this 2-foot-tall coffin—which appears to be broken—is a skeleton that wakes up and glows green when people walk by. But he's more silly than spooky: He complains that they "don't make coffins like they used to" but is excited to "have a window now!"

30. Cat and Pumpkin Lantern

Cat/Pumpkin Silhouette Metal Lantern Halloween Decoration
Target

Keep your seasonal decor cute with this lantern, which has cat and pumpkin cut-outs against an orange insert. It's battery-operated, so you don't have to worry about a fire hazard.

31. Animated Black Cat Statue

Animated Black Cat Statue Decorative Halloween Prop
Target

This motion-activated kitty statue meows, yowls, and hisses just like the real thing.

32. Apothecary Jar

Transformation Potion Apothecary Jar Halloween Décor
Target

Place the Transformation Potion Apothecary Jar on your bar cart for a subtly spooky touch.

Run! IHOP Is Giving Away Free Pancakes for National Pancake Day

What better way to celebrate National Pancake Day than with a free stack of IHOP's signature buttermilk pancakes?
What better way to celebrate National Pancake Day than with a free stack of IHOP's signature buttermilk pancakes?
StephanieFrey/iStock via Getty Images

If ever there were a day to forgo that container of leftovers in the fridge and treat yourself to breakfast for dinner, it’s today: IHOP is celebrating National Pancake Day by giving each customer a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes. The dine-in deal is available at participating locations from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.—but the hours can vary, so you might want to confirm with your local IHOP before heading there.

While a pile of hot, syrup-soaked pancakes is definitely a good enough incentive to visit IHOP immediately, it’s not the only one. IHOP is also hosting a sweepstakes that offers thousands of instant-win prizes across all locations, and you can only enter by scanning the QR code on your table at IHOP. One lucky carb-loader will win the grand prize—pancakes for life—and other rewards include everything from $500 IHOP gift cards to IHOP merchandise like blankets, watches, duffel bags, customizable jackets, and even bikes.

The pan-tastic event is all in the spirit of charity, and IHOP is hoping to raise more than $4 million for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Shriners Hospitals for Children, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society—you can donate online here. According to a press release, IHOP has contributed more than $30 million to its charity partners since beginning its National Pancake Day celebrations in 2006.

“IHOP launched its National Pancake Day event 15 years ago as a way to celebrate the best food ever—pancakes—and put a purpose behind the day by partnering with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and other charities to help kids in our communities,” Stephanie Peterson, IHOP’s executive director of communications, said in the release.

If you can’t make it to IHOP to claim your free short stack today, you can always celebrate National Pancake Day with a tall stack of homemade pancakes—find out how to make them extra fluffy here.

Why Do People Toss Beads During Mardi Gras?

Kameleon007/iStock via Getty Images
Kameleon007/iStock via Getty Images

Each year, more than 1 million people descend on New Orleans for Mardi Gras, an organized parade of debauchery and alcohol-induced torpor that may be the closest thing modern civilization has to the excesses of ancient Rome. Saturating the scene on Bourbon Street are plastic beads, handed or tossed to partygoers as a kind of currency. Some bare their breasts or offer booze in exchange for the tokens; others catch them in the air and wear the layers around their necks. Roughly 25 million pounds of beads are in circulation annually, making them as much a part of the Fat Tuesday celebration as sugary cocktails and King Cake.

Traditions and rituals can be hard to pin down, but Mardi Gras historians believe the idea of distributing trinkets began in the 1870s or 1880s, several hundred years after French settlers introduced the celebration to Louisiana in the 1600s. Party organizers—known locally as krewes—handed out baubles and other shiny objects to revelers to help commemorate the occasion. Some of them threw chocolate-covered almonds. They were joined by more mischievous attendees, who threw dirt or flour on people in an effort to stir up a little bit of trouble.

Why beads? Tiny tokens that represent wealth, health, and other prosperity have been a part of human history for centuries. In Egypt, tokens were handed out in the hopes they would guarantee a happy afterlife; the abacus, or bead-based system of accounting, used trinkets to perform calculations; pagan pre-winter rituals had people throwing grains into fields hoping to appease gods that would nourish their crops.

Humans, argues archaeologist Laurie Wilkie, display "bead lust," or a penchant for shiny objects. It's one possible reason why Mardi Gras attracts so many people with their arms in the air, elated to receive a gift of cheap plastic.

Photo of a well-dressed bulldog celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
Mario Tama, Getty Images

The early beads were made of glass before more efficient production methods overseas led to an influx of plastic beads in the 1960s. Unlike some of the more organic predecessors, these beads have come under criticism for being a source of health problems and pollution. Made from petroleum, they often harbor lead that seeps into the soil and rubs off on hands. (One estimate puts the lead deposit after a Mardi Gras celebration at 4000 pounds.) In 2017, New Orleans paid $7 million in clean-up costs to remove discarded beads from drain basins. In 2018, they installed gutter guards to prevent the necklaces from getting into the system in the first place. Meanwhile, scientists have been working to create an even more eco-friendly version of the beads—like a biodegradable version made from microalgae.

Environmental hazards aside, the beads of Mardi Gras have become as much a holiday staple as Christmas stockings or Thanksgiving turkeys. But the passion and desperate need for them is only temporary; in 2018, 46 tons of the beads were removed from just five blocks of the main parade route on Charles Street. And no bacchanal should leave that much bad juju behind.

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