Neil Patrick Harris Just Revealed His Family’s Process for Picking Out a Halloween Costume—and It’s Complicated

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When it comes to Halloween, Neil Patrick Harris and his hubby David Burtka take things very seriously. (#Tbt to the Haunted Mansion costumes from 2018—genius.) They also rope in their kids, 8-year-old twins Gideon Scott and Harper Grace. But what’s their process like for choosing such epic—and family themed—costumes each year?

PureWow had the chance to ask Harris while he was in New York City to promote his partnership with Quaker Chewy and their back-to-school initiative to provide kids with a wholesome, delicious snack, but also help teachers through

The star of A Series of Unfortunate Events was quick to reveal: Everyone in the family has a shot at pitching Halloween costume ideas.

“[How we choose a costume] changes every year,” he says. “The kids are getting older now, so they’re getting more stubborn in their opinions. We’re also getting more desperate in ours, so we try to meet somewhere in the middle.”

Sometimes, says Harris, that means allowing two separate costumes. “There’s lots of pitching. They pitch to us, we pitch to them. What we’ve kind of realized is that, on Halloween, they can wear whatever they want for Trick or Treating stuff and then we just do a Halloween photo as a family a week before. That way, we can say, ‘Oh, you can be Minecraft characters as long as you agree to be the Haunted Mansion.’”

He’s also quick to add that his kids still have final sign-off on the family costume. “They have to be into it. We don’t want them to do any Halloween under duress.”

As for this year’s costume, mum’s the word, according to Harris. “We haven’t planned anything yet this year.”

NBD, we’ll just be checking Instagram daily in October waiting for the big—and probably spooky—reveal.

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Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...