Senior Activities and Gifts

Last-Minute Quick and Easy Costumes for Grandma and Grandpa

Last-Minute Quick and Easy Costumes for Grandma and Grandpa

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There’s nothing like donning costumes to bring on the laughs. No matter how old you are. No matter if you’re living at home or in assisted living.

And the cool thing is the get-ups don’t have to be complicated to make great memories.

Want some quick and easy ones?

Try one of these on for size.

Frontida Senior Living Communities, such as Willowgreen Assisted Living Facility in Racine WI, provide you with posts like this one to help you live your best life.

The Go-To Tried-and-True

Can’t go wrong with any of these oldie-but-goodies.

1. Cowboy / Cowgirl: Blue jeans, a simple T, checkered bandana, plus that ten-gallon hat make this a super-comfy option. If you have a frilled vest, all the better. Now all you need is to hook those thumbs in your belt loops and kick up your heels.

2. Army guy (or gal): Dust off that old military uniform. The pants have somehow shrunk over the years? (*wink*) Even just the jacket and your cap will make a statement.

3. 911—What’s your emergency: Doctor, Nurse, or EMT, all you need is a white coat or solid color pajama “scrubs,” and that stethoscope from the grandkids’ veterinary toy kit. Don’t forget a healthy supply of fun band aids to pass out for treats.

4. Hippie: Long wig, psychedelic bandana, long flowy blouse and skirt… and they’ll be saying, “Groovy!”

5. Flapper: Tie a narrow cloth-strip belt around your head, add jaunty beads, throw on that sassy dress.

6. Pirate: You can make it as elaborate as you want, but a simple patch ‘ll do it.

7. Toga: Something from the ancient classics—and all you need is a white bed sheet. Of course, you can accessorize with a rope for the waist and a line of green vinery to wear as a head piece.

8. Sherlock Holmes: Long coat, pipe, and that distinctive British hunting “deerstalker” hat, with its double front & back brim look. To replicate it, just double up your baseball caps. Wrapping it in plaid will complete the ensemble. Now you can figure out ALL the hidden mysteries in your assisted living facility.

7. Couple with the pitchfork: You know the painting. Overalls, farmer’s shirt, Sunday-best black suit coat for him. Simple dress, broach, white collar (or tissue paper cut like it) for her. Get creative with alternatives for the pitchfork… (broom? mop? rake?) but leave the smiles at home. (Yeah, right. Like that would be possible in this get-up.)

8. Edna Modes: black dress, short black wig with bangs—short and easy.

9. Frankenstein: Good for our grandpas who still stand head and shoulders over us. Use headphones around the neck instead of over the head so the earbuds poke out.

10. Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl: red shirt, red tights, black spandex shorts, black gloves, black mask, and a printed Incredibles “i” logo pinned on the t-shirt. For Elastigirl, add thigh-high black tights over the red tights.

11. Any Superhero: Because you don’t have to stop at the Incredibles.  Print your superhero logo (e.g. S for Superman) and staple it to any T-shirt. Then add the cape—bed sheet, towel, tablecloth…

Using the Hair You’ve Got

Already got it? Flaunt it.

12. Uncle Fester from Addams family: for Grandpas who already have the hairdo—or lack there of.

13. 6 Flags guy: Another one for grandpas with that smooth head. Clearly iconic, you’ll make everyone want to do the dance.

14. Gomez Addams: For those with a full head of hair—just add temporary hair dye and a mustache. And a pin striped suit

15. Guy from Up: No dye needed—the grayer the better on this one. But depending on what you have, you might need a bolster on the eyebrows. Or at least a bit of crazy with the comb. Plus square black glasses, brown suit, bow tie, grumpy face. And lots and lots of helium balloons (but not too much. We don’t want you to get carried away.)

16. Mr. McGregor from Peter Rabbit: white beard, vest, long-sleeved shirt, flat cap

Get the Cane in the Game

17. Shepherd and Shepherd’s crook: Bathrobe and Grandma’s dish towel tied with a rope belt as a headwrap.

18. Puttin on the Ritz: snazzy suit, top hat, cane…

19. Candy Cane: yes, that’s just the cane itself, but you can get creative with the rest…elf, reindeer, Santa or Mrs. Claus…

20. Knight: turn the kitchen colander into a helmet and wrap the cane in tinfoil as a lance. You’re ready for your joust.

21. Golf pro: switch out the golf stick for the cane (assuming balance wouldn’t be hampered. Add a stopper to the handle and flip it upside down for more stability.) Got plaid pants? All the better.

22. Prince, Princess: that cane is the scepter.

And the Walker…

23. Sam’s Club/Costco Samples People: simple ’cause you can wear your own clothes with an apron—just lay a cutting board across the handles for food bar and a sign that promotes “Samples.”

24. Nanny: Turn the walker into a baby carriage and add the doll (unless someone wants you to take their real baby for a ride.)

And the Wheelchair…

25. Mario Bro’s cart: blue overalls, red shirt, red hat, black mustache, and decorate that chair.

26. Morticia Addams: Add a large circle (like one of those flexi-snow sleds) to the back of the wheelchair. Throw on black wig and black clothes, with a smile just turned enough to make them wonder what you’re planning.

Yes, the Ideas are Limitless

27. Dress all in black and white: because that’s what the grandkids think life was like when you were young, right?

28. Queen of Hearts: red wig, heart shaped lips

29. Candy: Dress in monochrome and pin a printed M&M logo to your shirt. Ask your friends to each choose a different color and make a bag of it.

30. Going for the Laugh: If you’re one of those grands with a dry sense of humor, try one of these “Oh, so punny” ideas from RealSimple.

You could even just change it up and dress in your grandkids’ clothes. Or do a “Freaky Friday” switch with a friend who has a different style than you.

The costumes don’t have to be complicated. It’s just about being slightly different for a bit.

Whatever you choose? Tell us about it on Facebook. And don’t forget the selfies!

Llike these ideas? Frontida Assisted Living is all about enjoying life together 365 days a year. Call today for more information on how you can join in the fun.

Photo credit: Courtarro on

Elizabeth Daghfal
• 4 min read

Elizabeth Daghfal is a writer, teacher, speaker, and community volunteer. When she isn't teaching or writing-- Who are we kidding? Her husband and five kids say she's ALWAYS teaching and writing. She has a passion to help people who are struggling and is happy to say her shoulders are drip-dry. Born and raised in the South, she now lives in Wisconsin and loves it--except for the fifteen months of winter. Read more about her at