Our family just loves Halloween, and we love decorating the yard with spooky stuff too. So when do all the Halloween decorations go on sale in the big stores?
The brand name stores start marketing Halloween in July each year, with their decorations going on sale in August. However, most US households wait until late September to early October before putting up their backyard Halloween and Fall decorations.
So if you’re not too frightened, join us for a spooky journey into Halloween yard decorations, and discover when they come out in stores every year. We’ll also give you some ideas for the scariest backyard decor, so you can terrify your neighbors, friends and family when they come to visit! 🙂
When Do Halloween Yard Decorations Go on Sale in Stores? (Target, Lowes, Home Depot Etc)
Did you know that skeletons and pumpkins are the top two Halloween yard decorations? And that Las Vegas, Nevada, wins the spookiest city prize – based on the most Halloween stuff searches? Yup, we love Halloween and stores love that we love it.
Lowe’s released their Halloween collection online – with several new decorations – in July. And, thanks to Home Depot’s huge hit with their 12-foot tall yard skeleton, Lowe’s now offers one as well.
In addition to the 12-foot-high Jack Skellington at Lowe’s, there is a giant mummy, sugar skulls, pet costumes, spooky lamp posts, light show projections and a full line of animatronic creatures – we like the screeching witch – for your yard. We counted nine pages of Halloween goodies online.
Target starts marketing their Halloween store online in July, then in the stores by the middle of August. We clicked on their online store and found 920 items in their outdoor Halloween store, including the ever-popular Hyde and EEK Boutique.
Target carries a full line of giant skeletons, cemetery scenes, giant spiders, ghosts, lights, lighted pumpkins, incandescent spider webs, inflatable T-Rexes and animated swamp pumpkin ghouls.
Home Depot had a very successful year last year selling Halloween collections, so this year they started online on July 15 and in stores around the middle of August. We checked their online store and found over 600 Halloween yard decorations, some online only and some in stock.
At Home Depot, we liked the animated werewolf and all the characters from Nightmare Before Christmas, including Oogie Boogie and sidekicks Lock, Shock and Barrel. They have tombstones (Rest in Pieces), LED cats, animatronic zombies, and a poseable dragon with red LED eyes.
Another place with lots of Halloween gear is Walmart, with over 1,000 outdoor Halloween decorations online, some on sale. They have 12-foot tall inflatable ghosts, 7-foot tall lighted headless horsemen (with sound effects), fog machines, climbing zombies, inflatable hearses, and (our favorite) a life-size, rocking, Moldy Mommy.
The big box stores usually put their Halloween decorations on a clearance sale starting the week before Halloween – if there are any left.
Here’s an interesting look at Halloween – a map of the USA with the state’s favorite Halloween decoration. Check out your state.
When Should You Put Your Fall Decorations Outside?
Most professional decorators say to put up fall decorations when the weather turns cooler, in September.
Sure, stores start earlier – way earlier. And you may be sick of summer and in the mood for fall. But wait until the weather turns crisp. If you simply can’t wait, then start inside, but not until the end of August or early September. Celebrate fall harvest around Harvest Moon time – usually the middle of September.
Start with your front door. Make or buy a wreath or swag. Change out the summery wreath on your front door for one with seed pods, cattails, sunflowers, cotton bolls, and red and gold leaves. Then dress it up with a big gingham bow.
On the front porch, set out baskets of mums, tall sheaves of wheat, bales of straw, whole pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn and scarecrows in rocking chairs. Don’t have a rocking chair? No problem – change the season on your outdoor furniture with fall throws and outdoor pillows. Get cozy.
On the front porch, when the pots full of bright and beautiful annuals fade, replace the annuals with an arrangement of mums, gourds, mini-pumpkins, cotton bolls and seed pods. Or, park your wheelbarrow or the kid’s red wagon on the front porch and fill it with a colorful fall display.
On the back porch, dress up the furniture with outdoor pillows in fall colors. When your patio pots start to fade, replace the annuals with a stack of large and small pumpkins. Light up the fire pit. String some outdoor lights to brighten the darker evenings.
Inside, celebrate harvest time with a cornucopia on the dining room table. Or, fill a large basket with colorful gourds, mini pumpkins, apples, pears, chile peppers, nuts, fall leaves and seed pods. Fill your home with harvest motifs like gourds, corn, sheaves of wheat, and colored leaves.
This is a slideshow of 60 gorgeous fall decorating ideas from Southern Living.
Is July, August or September Too Early to Decorate for Halloween?
While you may be in the mood to put up those decorations you purchase in the middle of July or the middle of August, most people say to refrain from putting them up until late September or early October.
A whopping 71% of Americans say that they intend to decorate for Halloween this year. Of those folks, only 17% will put up their Halloween decorations before October 1. Most – 39% – put them up in the first week of October. Then 19% decorate for Halloween the second week of October.
Only 1% wait until Halloween.
Do You Decorate for Fall First Then Halloween?
Fall begins first and is a celebration of a season and the harvest. Halloween is celebrated later.
Martha Stewart says to go for the fall decorations first, then wait for late September or early October for Halloween. Many people time their fall decorations for the Harvest Moon in September or October to decorate for fall.
Fall decorations symbolized the changing of the seasons, from a season of growing to a season of harvesting. In fact, the word harvest comes from the old English word hærf-est, meaning “autumn”.
Going back to pagan times, many cultures have given thanks for the harvesting of food. Often, at harvest time, people have given tribute to their gods or goddesses in thanks for the bounty.
Today there are thousands of organized harvest festivals around the world. Harvest festivals are important times to give thanks for the harvest and for friends and family gathered.
You can celebrate harvest time at home by displaying a harvest bounty inside your home and around the front door. Decorate your front porch with sheaves of wheat, gourds, corn, nuts and fruits.
Celebrate the changing of the seasons with the colorful leaves of fall, a stand of cattails, a bale of hay and ears of Indian (or flint) corn. Change out the bright summery colors in your wreaths, pillows and flowers into the shades of fall – orange, red, brown and gold.
Summary: Can You Mix Fall and Halloween Decor in the Yard?
Many fall decorations are good for Halloween, too. Come the end of September or early October, keep the straw bales and scarecrows on the front porch. But transform them – into something sinister. Even terrifying.
We love spooky porches. We like to add lots of giant glow-in-the-dark cobwebs everywhere. Then we add giant black spiders and their children – small black plastic spiders. We hand spiders from threads or fishing line so they blow in the breeze. Bats, too.
Then we transform the scarecrow. We like to add a well-placed plastic knife, axe or arrow with plenty of fake blood. Paint his/her face Joker-style. Add pointy Dracula teeth.
Sometimes, our Halloween scarecrow’s hand will be resting on a skeleton head in his/her lap. Or, replace the scarecrow head with a scary Jack O’ Lantern head, à la the Pumpkinhead horror movie. Or, take off the head completely, hang it from the porch ceiling and let it blow in the breeze too.
Then, when Halloween approaches, carve those fall pumpkins. Give them scary faces with rows of pointy teeth, lit from the inside by blood red battery powered lights.
Check out this video with 18 spooky DIY Halloween ideas – soooo fun! 🙂
Homeowner and property investor Larry Jones founded Take a Yard in 2020 to bring you the very best outdoor living content, based on his years of experience managing outside spaces. Read more >