Edit ModuleShow Tags

Meet the Phinney Ridge Family that Goes All Out for Halloween

Photo courtesy of the Williamson family


Halloween is a family affair in the Spencer-Williamson household. The Phinney Ridge clan wrings every drop of fun possible out of the holiday – and they do it all together.

Sam, Dom, Lucy and Isabel think that doing Halloween together is just about the best way to have fun. Dad Dominic Williamson grew up in England, where Halloween isn’t such a big deal. The family’s Halloween outings allow him to fill a need he hardly knew he had. 

Photo: anita nowacka

The family began doing themed costumes in 2010, going out together as a family for the Greenwood-Phinney trick-or-treat the weekend prior to Halloween and then again on Halloween itself. While their time in costume may be brief, their family memories – and the spectacular photodocumentation of their costumes – are timeless.


Getting inspired for a Halloween theme throughout the year

Sam, Dom and daughters Lucy, 13, and Isabel, 12, bat around ideas for their themed Halloween all year long, usually starting on November first of the year before they plan to execute their family costumes. The most important criteria in deciding the theme are that everyone like the idea and that it provide four characters for the family to choose from.

Photo courtesy of the Williamson family

The parents also steer toward ideas that aren’t too embarrassing and that inspire creativity. Practical obstacles like being unable to go up and down stairs, hold candy baskets or see clearly aren’t necessarily dealbreakers; part of the creative process is finding a way to make a great idea work.


Setting the stage with costume construction 

Depending on the theme, the planning stage can take up to two months. Mom Sam is the superstar when it comes to searching out costume materials online or at thrift stores. Dom is king of construction, wielding his hot glue gun with expertise. For Dom, some of the most laborious costumes are the most rewarding.

Photo: heather perera

A recent theme was “Where the Wild Things Are,” a theme that’s stretched Dom’s creative muscles in new and interesting ways. Themes from past years like their KISS costumes have allowed Sam’s face painting skills to shine. 


Strutting their stuff on Halloween

The family’s costumes have become eagerly anticipated around their neighborhood. Their first appearance happens at the Greenwood/Phinney trick-or-treat the weekend before Halloween. 

Photos courtesy of the Williamson family

The Williamsons' Where the Wild Things Are costumes were a serious labor of love.


The final costume showing is on Halloween proper. Limiting themselves to two outings keeps the theme fresh and prevents any costume issues (getting too hot or taking too long to get ready) from becoming overwhelming.

After Halloween ends, the family’s costumes make their way up to the Spencer-Williamsons’ attic to join the collection from past years, and the family has time to relive their favorite moments and pick their favorite photos. And, as they reminisce, someone might just get inspired with an idea for next year.




Edit ModuleShow Tags

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Family Events Calendar

Subscribe to our weekly newsletters

* indicates required
Send Me:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags