If you are still looking for that perfect Halloween costume or fun or unique decorations for trick-or-treat night, there are great shops in North Fort Myers for Halloween fun.
They include the local Goodwill store, Masquerade & Balloons Galore, The Shell Factory and The Fun Tree.
Halloween is hot this year, according to consumer spending polls and evites (email invitations) to Halloween parties, which is a hot new trend.
In North Fort Myers there are several spots you can go to get Halloween gear and supplies:
n Masquerade & Balloons Galore
Masquerade & Balloons Galore has been at Pondella and Moody for many years. It offers all the traditional gear, great scary masks, a wide range of costumes, and magic supplies.
It is actually the oldest costume, accessary and prop shop in North Fort Myers. "We've been here since 1986, 26 years now," said owner Rodney Baier. "We're the oldest year-round company in North Fort Myers and Naples. We have a large local customer base, here and at our Naples store."
He said this year the tends are a return to the traditional. "Believe it or not, political is out this year. It is the "Walking Dead," superheroes, Internet game characters and the old standards. We just finished a Ralph Kramden of all people - and he looked just like me. Also the No. 1 category has been the Avengers and superheroes.
"From the old traditional we've also had gangsters and flappers."
Fort Myers Zombiecon has been a big influence with costume choice, he noted.
They also sell a host of magician's tricks and gear.
Masquerade & Balloons Galore is at 505 Pondella Rd. # 1 and hours are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 3 p.m. As with many costume shops, hours may be extended while we count down to the holiday as needed. Call 997-6275 for more information.
* The Fun Tree
The Fun Tree has been a Fort Myers staple for more than 35 years and is a family business. It has recently relocated to the United Plaza, near Jersey's Sports Bar and next to Vegas Knights Arcade.
Owner Donna Faught is also selling and renting a lot of traditional character costumes, but with a twist. "For example, we've rented Fred and Wilma from The Flintstones, which people have turned into zombies because of Zombiecon."
She boasts one of the largest area collections of hats, wigs and costumes. "I have over 4,000, with four storage units still full."
The shop also has a "Gag Room." "We have clean and dirty gags, like the sneezing powder, cigarette loads and magic items."
The Fun Tree also is offering a $10 sale on certain costumes.
It is at 13971 N. Cleveland Ave. Suite 16, and hours are Wednesday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturdays 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday noon to 3 p.m. Check for extended hours. The phone number is 997-0026.
Every year, budget-conscious shoppers come to our stores looking to make unique costumes, said Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida's spokeswoman Kirsten O Donnell.
The last few years, sales for Halloween have really picked up earlier than in years past, she said.
"I think the growing popularity of Zombiecon in Fort Myers has people thinking about Halloween and other costume events earlier than ever.
"One of the big trends we've noticed in a few of our stores is vampires. Vampires have always been popular, but with shows like True Blood and movies like Twilight, we've seen a lot of folks shopping for clothes in those traditional black, red, and white.
In North Fort Myers, the Goodwill Retail Store is at 1919 N. Tamiami Trail. The phone number is 656-5020 and hours are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
* The Shell Factory
If you want to see a broom sweeping on its own, or talk to an animated witch or creepy animated butler, stop at the Shell Factory & Nature Park's main entrance and meet all of them at their Halloween display. They also have a separate Halloween Room in the Holiday area.
"Everything in our Halloween Department is now 20 percent off until Halloween," said Anne Sheridan, Shell Factory Shoppes general manager and buyer. "These are really different, very unique decorations, scary and fun."
Their displays are in two spots, the front entrance across from Capt'n Fishbones Restaurant and in their holiday area, with a lot of collectibles inside the store.
For the summer months, The Shell Factory Shoppes have been open from Tuesday through Sunday, closed Mondays. "Our new hours start Monday, Oct 29, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week," Sheridan said.
It is at 2787 N. Tamiami Trail. The phone number for information is 995-2141 ext. 9.