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How Old is Too Old to Trick-or-Treat At Halloween?

Oct14

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My twelve-year-old son plays on his middle school’s football team. They have games on Monday nights at 7:00pm. This is relevant only because when I realized that Halloween was on a Monday I said to one of my friends that my 12 year old wasn’t going to be able to go out trick-or-treating this year. She acted like I had two heads. “He is far too old to go out trick-or-treating anyway!”

Far too old? Really? I didn’t think that there was an age limit. I thought desire trumped age.

My oldest kids decided to stop trick-or-treating on their own when they were probably about 14, or late middle-school age. At some point they come to the realization on their own that trekking miles through the suburbs for fun-sized candy bars isn’t worth it. Especially if Mom is willing to buy a bag of candy for everyone to share. My oldest went out last year again for the first time in several years with a group of friends. They all dressed up in morph suits, which are like colorful body stockings that cover you from head to toe. (I feel like I must point out that they wore coordinating shorts over their suits.) He said they posed on people’s front door stoops after ringing the door bells. Everyone loved their costumes and no one gave them any sort of hard time about being too old to trick-or-treat.

There are far worse things for teenagers to be involved in than trick-or-treating. If they want to hold on to this childhood tradition, why not? Soon enough they will be full-fledged adults. Adulthood is forever.

We are living in a time where people are constantly lamenting the fact that children are growing up too quickly, acting like adults long before their years. Look at the costumes that are available in the big stores. Every year the choices become more and more gruesome for boys, while the girls costumes become more and more like street walkers. I can clearly remember being in 5th grade and dressing up like a bunny and my friend dressing up like a cat. My daughter finds both those choices “babyish.” She is eight. And if the costumes she has circled in the fliers that come to our house are any indication, she would like to dress up as a fairy-whore. Uh, yeah, not happening. In my house the rule about costumes is no serial killers or hookers. You would be surprised the amount of costumes this eliminates.

Some cities have gone so far as to ban children over the age of 12 from trick-or treating. This makes me sad. I’d love it if a city passed a ban on store-bought costumes, forcing everyone to make their own. Let’s bring back the cardboard box dice, the green-faced witches, the hobos, the cheerleader, the sports figures… Okay, I don’t really want that sort of ban to actually happen, but a girl can dream of the day when all the costumes weren’t covered in blood or seen on every third child.

What do you think, is there an age which children should stop trick-or-treating? Does it bother you if teenagers in costume come to your door? Should cities pass age restrictions on trick or treating?

Photo credit: Thinkstock

About the author

Chris Jordan

http://notesfromthetrenches.com
Chris Jordan began blogging at Notes From the Trenches in 2004 where she writes about her life raising her children in Austin, Texas.

Oh, she has seven of them. Yes, children.

Yes, they are all hers.

No she's not Catholic or Mormon. Though she wouldn’t mind having a sister-wife because holy hell the laundry never stops.

Yes, she finally figured out what causes it. That's why her youngest is almost 6.

Yes, she has a television.

She enjoys referring to herself in the third person.

If you would like to submit a question for Chris to answer publicly, please do so to adviceforparentsoftweens[at]gmail[dot]com.


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95 Responses to “How Old is Too Old to Trick-or-Treat At Halloween?”

  1. Trish Oct 14 at 10:50 am Reply Reply

    Here’s the thing — I’ve seen kids as old as HS “trick or treating” but with a lot of them, they are not dressing up. They are in jeans and a hoodie with a plastic grocery bag arguing that they should take two pieces of candy b/c its fine for little kids to take one, but they are bigger and deserve more. That’s when it stops being fun to hand out candy and see the inventive or colorful costumes, and starts feeling like a shakedown by a youth who might be up to no good. Is 12 the right age to cut off the treats? I don’t know. I’d probably put it at 14, but its not like you can ask for ID. I can definitely see where communities have set limits when they’ve had complaints about older kids collecting coming around to collect treats without dressing up.

  2. IrishCream Oct 14 at 11:00 am Reply Reply

    I’d happily give candy to anyone who showed up at my door in costume. Unless they’re dressed like Yankees players; then they get denied.

    I trick-or-treated (in homemade, non-hookerish costumes) until I was 18. I just love it, and if you’re willing to put in the time on a real costume, I don’t see why you shouldn’t be allowed to trick-or-treat.

  3. Cassie Oct 14 at 11:01 am Reply Reply

    If they take the time to dress up and actually look the part, I have no problem with a teenager showing up at my door and giving them candy. (Assuming it is at a reasonable time and not midnight.) ((Politeness towards the treat giver is a bonus too!))

    The thing I dislike is the designated dates/times kids are allowed to go out trick-or-treating. Because Halloween is on a Monday this year, the kids are actually designated to go out on Sunday evening, but only between 5-7:30pm. What happened to the unorganized, fun free time between the school letting out and bedtime?

  4. Dawn Oct 14 at 11:42 am Reply Reply

    A few teenagers show up every year. If they have a costume they get candy. They are usually polite and some even have good costumes. I always make sure to compliment the ones that do. If they do not have a costume I say. “Ok no costume then I at least need to hear trick or treat.” The kids always laugh and say it and I hand out the candy gladly. I wouldn’t mind if adults showed up as long as they were wearing a costume. I think that should be the deciding factor, not age.

  5. GM Oct 14 at 12:00 pm Reply Reply

    I dream of the day when green faced witches are a thing of the past but apart from that I’m in complete agreement with you. I don’t mind teenagers. I haven’t had to deal with any bad ones yet though. I think age restrictions are ridiculous. This is definitely one thing we don’t need our government regulating. There are much more important things to worry about than banning kids from healthy activities.

  6. Zoot Oct 14 at 12:38 pm Reply Reply

    I am so glad you wrote this. I have NEVER had a problem with older trick-or-treaters. And they’ve never been rude and banged on our door late after we turn out lights (I’ve heard that as a complaint.) My son is 16 and he may go out with his friends, and I warned him people may get ugly with him but if they do to tell him they could call me if they had a problem with it. :) As long as he wants to do a fun/safe activity why would I discourage that? And I have to say I’d be OUTRAGED if my city banned 12+. 

    So glad I’m not the only one ;)

  7. Marci Oct 14 at 12:54 pm Reply Reply

    I agree with the above commenters in that if they are wearing a costume, why not?  The problem in my household this year is that my 9th grader has swim practice that day until 6:30pm.  I don’t think she will be able to go out.  But I also have a 15 year old who is going to be with friends in their neighborhood, and a nine year old boy who certainly should be able to go out.  My daughter, the swimmer, is quite miffed that she has practice.  When I mention that maybe she is too old to go trick-or-treating, she disagreed with me.  A big part of it is that her siblings don’t have conflicts.  I am sure her high school coach believes that the teens are too old for Halloween.  

  8. Adriana Oct 14 at 1:16 pm Reply Reply

    A ban at 12yrs old? My son will be in 6th grade at age 12. He’d be devastated if I told him he couldn’t dress up anymore. He doesn’t even care about the candy… he doesn’t eat candy. He likes dressing up in costume and well at 11yrs old Halloween is really the only time he can.
    I think most kids stop on their own around 14, and if they want to keep going, as long as they take the time to dress up in costume and are polite and don’t scare or push around the little kids then I say go for it.
    I agree with the store bought costumes, except that I don’t sew. Don’t even have a machine. Not crafty in anyway. Wouldn’t know how to make a costume for my kids. ::sniff:: I guess I could just tape Kleenex on them and have them go as a ghost… or a wad of used Kleenex… as it is we’ve got a superhero (the girl) and a couple of star wars characters (the boys).

  9. Sid Oct 14 at 2:29 pm Reply Reply

    One of the only things that was good about having a baby-face was that I got to go trick or treating until I was well into high school (my poor husband was 6 feet tall at age 11 and he’s still bitter about getting cut-off by his neighbours as “too old”). Now as a parent (candy puchaser/distrubutor) I don’t mind giving candy to anyone who puts out the effort to wear a costume. I do however get ticked with the teens “dressed up” in their pajamas expecting a handout.

  10. Suz Oct 14 at 2:40 pm Reply Reply

    I agree with the majority.  The only time I have a problem with older trick-or-treaters is when they’re showing up at the door with an “I dare you to deny me” attitude.  If your son’s group showed up, I’d give them twice the candy for the effort & attitude.

    My kids are 13 and 15.  Neither of them has mentioned Halloween at all so far.  For a few years, starting in 5th grade, my now-15-yo and her friends spent months pulling together a (free) Haunted House in one of the other families’ yards, and spent their Halloween evening entertaining trick-or-treaters from surrounding neighborhoods.  Us parents bought them truckloads of candy to make up for the lack of trick-or-treat loot.  I don’t think she’s been trick-or-treating since.  My 13 year old will probably go this year, but it may be her last (8th grade).

    As far as costumes go – we’ve done home-made for a while now.  I keep reading about these slutty girl costumes on the internet and otherwise, but I have yet to see them in real life.  Last year my younger daughter & her friends dressed up as “punks” with clothes from their mothers’ closets from the 1980s, and my older daughter and her friends dressed up as a “1950s family” – my daughter was the little boy. In a flannel shirt and a baseball cap.  

  11. Michelle Oct 14 at 7:14 pm Reply Reply

    I don’t mind teenagers trick or treating as long as they show up in costume and are pleasant. I don’t like it when they come in regular clothes; it seems like they are just up to no good.

  12. Julie Oct 14 at 7:27 pm Reply Reply

    I agree with the other commenters. The limit isn’t age, it’s attitude. They’re too old to trick-or-treat when they’re too “cool” to actually dress up and say trick or treat and ham it up a little bit. As long as they’re willing to put out the effort to come up with a costume beyond their highschool sports uniform and come before I turn out the lights, I’m happy to give them candy. I remember taking my little sister out trick-or-treating through high school. I’d wear a costume, and usually only hit a few select houses – ones where friends lived or where I knew there was really good candy. But the dressing up was always the fun part! I remember being glad that my sister was young enough that I had her to give me an excuse to dress up!

  13. good2Bqueen Oct 14 at 8:32 pm Reply Reply

    At my house, all are welcome.  It’s usually pretty chilly by the time Halloween rolls around so we keep a table with hot coffee and pumpkin bread and finger sandwiches for the adults and hot chocolate and candy for the kids.  We used to get a few “entitled” teens, but usually, even if they aren’t dressed up, they enjoy our decorations and treats enough that they smile and say thank you.

  14. mostlyfitmom Oct 15 at 11:30 am Reply Reply

    The only problem I’ve had with older trick-or-treaters is that a few have come late, after we’ve turned off the lights, expecting treats, and then get mad when we answer the door and say we’re out of treats.  Has happened more than once.  And they weren’t really dressed up.  Of course, we’ve probably had lots of older trick-or-treaters who were dressed up and maybe seemed a little tall, but we just didn’t notice because they were dressed up and polite.  Have no problem if older kids want to come to my door, as long as they’re polite (I have a higher tolerance for impolite 5 year olds, because they’re just so darn excited about Halloween).

  15. Tammy Oct 15 at 2:29 pm Reply Reply

    I would have no problem if an adult trick-or-treated at my house, so long as they 1) have on a costume, and 2) actually say, “trick-or-treat.” Nothing irritates me more than when a kid (of any age) just stands there staring at me with his bag open when I open the door.

  16. rachel Oct 16 at 12:06 am Reply Reply

    how young is too young to trick-or-treat? we’ve had adults in plain clothes come to the door with their babies dressed up and hold out their bag for candy. babies, like can’t even walk or talk little cuties. must be the new neighborhood we are in as i have never experienced that anywhere else before.

  17. tasterspoon Oct 17 at 2:40 pm Reply Reply

    @Rachel, my baby will be 1 year old and we’re going to carry her around, and she actually has a little bag because it is so darn cute (it’s a 5″ felt candy corn!), but she doesn’t eat candy and my hips don’t need it so we’ll just peek in and admire the decorations as other kids ring the bell and get their treats. Fortunately our neighborhood Halloween is so lively it won’t be difficult for us to hover and admire. And my husband, the baby and I will all be in costume. If we were in a quieter neighborhood we would not impose but I love dressing up so we’d have a party for babies at the house. I agree that parents scoring candy for themselves is greedy and strange.

  18. Rosana Oct 17 at 3:39 pm Reply Reply

    My birthday is on Halloween and I trick-or-treated until my 18th birthday :) I still absolutely love to dress up. Having a masquerade party for my 25th next year :) Anyway, I think it’s ridiculous to put an age limit on trick-or-treating. I always wore a costume and said “Trick-or-treat” so as long as everyone is doing that I think you shoud be allowed. I don’t go trick-or-treating anymore unless I’m with kids though :) Just my personal decision :)

  19. Valorie Oct 18 at 12:26 pm Reply Reply

    As we got older (late jr. high and high school), my friends and I started trick or treating for UNICEF.  Then, we started designing our own mini “haunted houses” for the young kids in the neighborhood.  I remember making tombstones out of cardboard boxes and spray paint, saving my babysitting money to run down to Salvation Army to buy wigs and white sheets, asking Mom to spring for a black-light bulb for the front porch.  THOSE were the days…

  20. Kabe Oct 19 at 10:14 pm Reply Reply

    Maybe it’s just where I live, but my friends and I trick or treated until we were seniors in HS … and were far from the only ones who did so. We dressed up, politely said “trick or treat” and “thank you” at each door and never had anyone look at us like we were strange for trick or treating.

    Of course, I’m a huge fan of Halloween. :) I’m 22 and a graduate student and seriously considering trick or treating this year just for the fun of it! I may take the kids up the street I sit for, to give their mom a break … or I might go alone, since I get mistaken for a high schooler constantly anyway! :) Regardless if I take the kids or go solo, I’ll be trick-or-treating for UNICEF.

  21. Kelsi Oct 20 at 11:53 am Reply Reply

    When I was about 16, I went with my best friend. We did not dress up… But we DID dress up our two cats (hers as a pumpkin, in an orange suit like you get for babies, mine as a clown, with a spotted ruff and pointy hat)!! It was quite silly.

    Some people were snobbish about it and seemed reluctant to give us anything; others found it absolutely hilarious and offered us extra! We laugh about it to this day, and it’s one of the best Halloween-related memories of my life!

    We came from a really small town, and teenagers would do drugs and get into trouble out of sheer boredom. Instead, we got creative and acted like total dorks. Which is better for a city, really?? I would DEFINITELY get a bit outraged to find our town had since banned from any age!

  22. Ashley Oct 20 at 12:58 pm Reply Reply

    Agree with pretty much everyone else…a costume + positive attitude = candy, regardless of age. I only felt compelled to chime in because “fairy-whore” is going to have me snickering all afternoon, so thanks!

  23. angie Oct 20 at 8:59 pm Reply Reply

    i helped with my 2nd graders halloween party at school last year. A little girl came up to me and said “Guess what I am!” i had to stop myself from saying “whore” out loud. I had to examine her fishnet stockings, weave laden hair, short short black lace edged skirt and finally got to her red with black polka dot lace up bodice before I guessed “lady bug?”. We make our costumes at home too.

    • Alan H Oct 31 at 6:57 pm Reply Reply

      Dear, Lord.. That’s really mean and judgemental of you. There’s nothing wrong with dressing skimpily, and you should be more mature and kind than that. I definitely think you should STOP participating in Halloween if you’re going to judge people trying to have fun.. horrible.

  24. lazza Oct 21 at 4:36 am Reply Reply

    my dad was a firm believer in the creative quality of halloween, and if i wasn’t living in new zealand now half a world away (where halloween is still catching on), i would be continuing his trend in making the scariest house on the street that kids came from all over town to see. 

    at any rate, the teenagers in no costume used to bug him so when some of them arrived, i (as a kid) after my own trick or treating would hide on the porch to scare them in some way. usually posing as a dead body or mummy or something else sitting very still until they dared each other to find out if i was real, then grab onto one of them and hold on like a rabid terrier. always scared the hell out of them.

    and to top it off, dad would keep a collection of old ketchup/hot sauce packets etc from the year or other odd things that end up in your kitchen – twist ties etc. and hide them in the bottom of the candy bowl. when he got the teenagers-o-non-effort, grab his hand down to the bottom and palm one or two sauce packets into their bag without them noticing. 

    passive aggressive way to deal with them and keep in the spirit of halloween!

  25. a suburban kitchen Oct 25 at 9:29 am Reply Reply

    Never too old for trick or treat! Let them do it as long as they like.

  26. CarrieO Oct 25 at 12:26 pm Reply Reply

    Amen to your post! I agree with all of it. :)

  27. Julie and little Oliver Oct 27 at 2:40 pm Reply Reply

    This is quite interesting reading for me, because I’m from Norway and we don’t really celebrate Halloween in Norway. Not until recently anyway. Now the tradition has rubbed off from television and the internet and it seems like everybody dresses up on american tv-shows. I think it was According to Jim where the whole family went trick or treating, including the aunt and uncle. Does anyone do that?

    As for the 12+ ban it seems kind of strange for me to have that kind of regulations. If they dress up and behave I really don’t see the problem.
    In Norway we have a simular tradition between christmas and new years where people dress as “nisser” (a kind of small santas that live in the barns) and if older teens go this round with costumes they can get a glass of Akevitt which is typical for xmas in Norway (but you are often asked if you are 18 which is the legal drinking age in Norway).

  28. mom@42 Oct 28 at 4:15 pm Reply Reply

    i fully intend to let my daughter determine when she is too old – the same way my mom did (yikes!) almost 30 yrs ago. when i hit 12 or 13 , i was very tall for my age and though, we knew most if not all neighbors in our subdivision, by then .. my bff and i dressed up and hid in the bushes – scaring the pants out of the other kids =D

  29. Victoria Oct 28 at 4:16 pm Reply Reply

    My friends and I were contemplating going trick or treating, and we are all in at least our junior year of college. It beats going to the filled parties with bunny whores running rampant. I personally see nothing wrong with going out with friends at any age to fulfill a tradition that has been popular for hundreds of years. The only limitations that exist are the ones that society imposes. If an 80 year old wants to go trick or treating, why would you stop grandpa from fulfilling his little old heart’s desire of having fun and reliving his childhood? There’s no need to be close-minded and the reason most people are probably upset is because they cannot go themselves. Cheer up, eat a Reeses in your “box dice” costume. It will make your golden years.

  30. Betsy Oct 28 at 4:17 pm Reply Reply

    My Best friend and I went when we where in college before we had kids.. But we dressed up and had fun with it, we did tag along with my niece and nephew.. so we where actually taking kids also. But we had a great time and we collected candy only at a few houses not all of them.. lol .. but great things about having kids is dressing them up and watching them have fun no matter how old. My mom even helped us with our costumes.. two old ladies.. down to walkers and canes it was one of my most favorite memory ever.

  31. Andrea C. Oct 28 at 4:19 pm Reply Reply

    I don’t mind older kids trick-or-treating in costume. What I mind are the really big kids–big enough to be pushing their own kids in a stroller–trick-or-treating for both themselves and the baby in the stroller. Sometimes the baby has a costume, sometimes not. I started buying baby-appropriate treats to hand out to these trick-or-treaters. If I’m giving a treat to a baby, I think it should be something the baby can eat: animal crackers, etc. 

  32. Denise Oct 28 at 4:23 pm Reply Reply

    Here’s my take on this…  I always LOOKED older than I was, so I was TOLD at 9 years old that I was TOO OLD to trick or treat, and that hurt my VERY YOUNG feelings.  So, now that I have kids of my own, I won’t EVER tell them they are too old to go out!  It’s safe, it’s fun, it’s not hurting anyone, and with all the other things kids COULD be doing at night, I would much rather they do this!  Anyone, any age, who comes to my door within reasonable hours, IN COSTUME, gets candy.  That’s my only condition, have fun with it, be a little creative.  No jeans and hoodies, have to be in costume, and I have to say, most of the teens around here are VERY creative with their costumes, it’s fun to watch.  If they ever get rude, and they haven’t in the five years we’ve been here, I might rethink my stance.

  33. aimee Oct 28 at 4:24 pm Reply Reply

    My son is 13 and wants to go…he’s all about the candy! We moved to this neighborhood a little over a year ago and according to him “we hit the jackpot!” The neighbors give out great candy! My rule is that if you want to go trick or treating, I’m fine as long as you dress up. Seriously, make SOME effort!!! I don’t like the teenagers (and adults!!) that come without a costume and want candy. My husband interrogates kids who aren’t in costume and won’t give them candy until they can tell him something that they are dressed as! My son might not be walking the neighborhood this year dressed as a bunny or a clown or a superhero, but if he wants candy he WILL be in some sort of costume!

  34. Julie Oct 28 at 5:34 pm Reply Reply

    If a kid wants to trick or treat let them; who cares how old the kid is. If you don’t want to give out candy then don’t give it out. People just seem to love to have something to gripe about. Halloween and trick or treating is supposed to be fun. What are we going to do? Start requiring proof of age from trick or treater’s?

  35. ellen Oct 28 at 5:46 pm Reply Reply

    the person that looked at you funny must have gotten cut off too early…i love it and we live where we have no trick or treaters..it’s all about fun..i say 13 they start getting tired of it and would rather hand out candy…but have never heard of a cut off age..

  36. Berneice Oct 28 at 6:04 pm Reply Reply

    I think around 11 or 12 is a good age to quit, but if they have a good attitude up to about 14. older than 14 should probably have a party with friends.

  37. Joyce Oct 28 at 6:04 pm Reply Reply

    When I was growing up it was for grade school kids.  I still think that’s the way it should be. Any older than that and it just seems greedy to me.  Also, man of the older ones tend to just run over the little ones in order to get as much candy as possible.  Let’s keep it for the little ones.

  38. katphish Oct 28 at 7:41 pm Reply Reply

    As long as they are still dressing up and having fun I see nothing wrong with letting them do it until they are out of high school. Once they are in college that diff. But then again, once you have your own kids, you usually dress up and go out with them. So it seems that there is a very little window of where it would not be appropriate to trick or treat. go for it and have fun.

    • Justine Jun 19 at 6:15 pm Reply Reply

      Yeah I agree. BUT, I think anyone can go at any age as long as 
      1.They have on a costume (and not just their school uniform or something like that)
      2. Say trick or treat 
      3. Has a positive, polite attitude
      4.Doesn’t ruin it for all the younger kids, or anyone else.

  39. tep1031 Oct 28 at 8:37 pm Reply Reply

    I think teenage trick or treaters should have a costume just like the younger kids. Other than that, they will quit on their own before they are out of high school.

    @good2Bqueen – I would love to trick or treat your house!

  40. walkssosoft Oct 28 at 10:58 pm Reply Reply

    i had trick or treaters that were ages 9 months to 50 plus years 2 years ago. I loved seeing each and everyone of them comming and having a great time trick or treating. I don’t care what age you are if you dress up and are doing it all in fun that is the name of the game. You are only as young as you feel and I love to see people have good clean fun. Put a sign on your door if you didn’t care enough to dress the part of a trick or treater don’t bother knocking for treats.

  41. Lana Oct 29 at 12:52 am Reply Reply

     Look at all the adult parties each year.That shows you there are plenty of older people that enjoy Halloween and it’s not just for kids up to age 12. My daughter and niece looked young for their age and treat or treated unti they were 18. Halloween is suppose to be a fun time of year so if teenagers want to go in costume from door to door I say, Let them enjoy themselves!  

  42. natalie Oct 30 at 2:47 pm Reply Reply

    would you rather have me wearing slutty costumes to a party like typical teenagers do on halloween? im 18 and i cant wait to go trick or treating on monday with my friends!

  43. Katherine Oct 30 at 7:35 pm Reply Reply

    I wanted to comment on this, seeing as I’m 14 and going trick or treating tomorrow. I’m part of the unpopular crowd, and I don’t get invited to Halloween parties. My friends and I have spent literally an entire month putting together our costumes. I personally am going as a sith (for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a jedi that has fallen to the dark side of the force). We’re going trick or treating like we have every year since we were little kids. All the unpopular kids in my town do this. My sister is a senior in high school and she’s going trick or treating with her friends. They’re going as parents who take their babies trick or treating. No really, their costumes are hilarious. So like most people have said as long as we’re in costume and polite, what’s the problem?

  44. Catherine Oct 30 at 8:31 pm Reply Reply

    I Trick or Treated until my senior year in high school, but I always made an effort to have a creative and recognizable costume.  I think the age laws are silly and that cities should be spending their resources on more important things.  How on earth do they think they are going to enforce such a law?  Position a cop at every door?  Have kids show their IDs?  Give me a break,  

  45. Amy Oct 31 at 6:28 am Reply Reply

    Halloween is a time for all ages to dress up silly. Anyone in a costume is welcome to my candy.

  46. MommaFergie Oct 31 at 11:15 am Reply Reply

    As long as you say Trick-or-Treat you’ll get candy from me. Heck I’m 32 and my own mom gives me presents from “Santa” for Christmas :)  It makes me smile and feel like a little kid again. Have some fun and enjoy the holidays.. they are a time for everyone to remember the magic.

  47. Alison Oct 31 at 1:14 pm Reply Reply

    Why do people have to be such scrooges sometimes? It’s just candy! I say as long as you have a costume and you’re polite, you can trick or treat as long as you like. You’re never too old to embrace your inner child. :)

  48. Heather Oct 31 at 1:28 pm Reply Reply

    I will let the boys trick or treat as long as they want, like you said adulthood is forever.

  49. Nelson's Mama Oct 31 at 2:21 pm Reply Reply

    Any age is welcome at my door as long as they are in costume and polite.  Sometimes it’s more fun to see the creative things the older kids come up with!

    I trick or treated until I was a senior in high-school.  My grandmother and all of her neighbors still EXPECTED me and my group of friends.  They had regular candy bars saved for us; they were a part of our childhood, and were probably as reluctant to see us grow-up as we were to become adults.

  50. Cara Oct 31 at 2:43 pm Reply Reply

    I don’t care how old as long as they have costumes on.

  51. Lucinda Oct 31 at 5:01 pm Reply Reply

    I love when the teenagers show up because it means they are having fun and they aren’t causing trouble.  Like someone above said, if they don’t have a costume, I tell them they at least need to say trick-or-treat which usually gets a grin.  Banning at a certain age just sounds like a need to control the situation which is silly.  I would be sad for my kids if someone else decided for them at which age they should stop.  Like you said, they usually decide on their own.

  52. Cath Young Oct 31 at 6:58 pm Reply Reply

    No age limit for the “treating”. The problem is that some of them come “a-tricking, and that can segue into vandalism, just like that.

    But even with just a hoodie,and mumbling, they get candy at my house. I’m sad that in our neighborhood so few kids go door to door anymore on Halloween.

  53. Leeann Oct 31 at 7:58 pm Reply Reply

    I have three kids, ages 16, 13 and nearly 10. All three of them are out Trick or Treating tonight and all three are in costume. 

    My rules are simple: 

    Kids must be in full costume, not a lame costume or crummy t-shirt.

    You  must be going with friends I know and you must be very nice to small children and adults (and everyone in between.)

    You must say Thank You!

    I do think you need to know your kids. If they truly enjoy the fun of the holiday and it is innocent fun, then fine. First wind I get of one of them being sh*tty in any way, and their Trick or Treat days are over!

  54. Sharon m. Oct 31 at 8:51 pm Reply Reply

    All trick-or-treaters’ are welcome at my house on Halloween, with or without a costume, as long as they are polite. I can’t believe that anyone ever tells a child that they are too old. Who made them king? I agree…let kids be kids for as long as they can.

  55. Kelley Nov 01 at 12:29 am Reply Reply

    I think through high school age is completely fine.  I don’t even have a problem with under twenty, if they are polite and in costume.  However, what I do have a problem with is parents who bring their kids digging into the candy supply for themselves.  I don’t want to start a war on my front porch so I have tolerated it so far, but it seems pretty ridiculous to me.  

  56. meredith Nov 01 at 7:05 am Reply Reply

    My 13 year old decided she didn’t want to this year. She handed out candy with her friends. But if she decides to get dressed up and trick or treat in the next couple of years, why not? Let kids be kids.

  57. Brigitte Nov 01 at 8:45 am Reply Reply

    Last night we saw tons of teenagers trick-or-treating, all in costume and having fun, and I see nothing wrong with it whatsoever. Heck, I’d give candy to people MY age as long as they’re in costume!

  58. Sewmouse Nov 01 at 11:18 am Reply Reply

    Last nite I had kids from about 6 months (in mom’s arms, in a ladybug outfit made from polar fleece – I almost cried from the cute overload) to well into-teens. I give them all candy. I even throw an occasional candy out to their escort parents on the sidewalk. It’s a piece of cheap candy. It’s not like I’m handing out Rolexes. The kids smile, they’re all polite, and everyone gets candy.
    My folks used to get all traumatized by the older kids coming around, and I to this day still think it is rather ridiculous. It is a nite for fun, and the child in me loves being the one to answer the door!

  59. Casey Nov 01 at 12:22 pm Reply Reply

    I have no problem with older trick-or-treaters… as long as they are in costume! Heck, I trick-or-treated in high school with my youth group every year. It is a fun activity that doesn’t involve drinking or smoking or making out behind the school. I’m all for it :)

  60. liz Nov 01 at 3:06 pm Reply Reply

    As long as they’re in costume, I don’t care if they’re in college.

    Especially if they put actual thought and effort into the costume.

  61. Carolyn Nov 01 at 3:28 pm Reply Reply

    Are you EVER too old to dress up? We have a yearly Fall Ball (see website link for this year’s pics) that we usually theme. This year’s theme was cartoon characters. Not ONE adult showed up without a costume.

    But I think the problem is that many kids believe that they don’t have to dress up. THAT is where people have issues. You make an effort, I’ll give you candy. You don’t make an effort and you’ll still get candy, but I won’t guarantee what year it’s from.

    And really, it doesn’t always take a huge effort. My 13 year old went as a “Got Milk?” billboard. I thought it was hysterical.

  62. Sharon Nov 01 at 4:27 pm Reply Reply

    I am happy to have high school kids come to my door.  A costume is nice and acting polite, of course.  I did feel a bit miffed though when full fledged (30ish) adults came begging.  When my husband asked one woman if she wasn’t a little old she replied “Mama needs some candy too”.  Another adult (this time a man) told my husband that he was collecting for his pregnant daughter.  A costumed high schooler would be a breath of fresh air after them….

  63. Joy H Nov 01 at 6:30 pm Reply Reply

    I’m over the mini-whores and constant gore too. I don’t think there is a set age for teens as long as they are in costume and being respectful; don’t they want to ‘have parties’ at some point anyway.

    Adults trick-or-treating is just strange.

  64. Lish Nov 02 at 12:06 am Reply Reply

    My town has an age limit of 12.  I’m not sure what will happen if you are caught, but I heard a rumor your parent will be fined.  *eyeroll*  My town also has a huge Halloween parade each year that is far more popular than actual trick-or-treating.  Kids, adults, and pets of all ages dress up and collect tons of candy that’s thrown from the floats.  Every few years a group of teens will not mind their manners and will overpower the little kids for candy which causes a big brouhaha about enforcing an age limit of 12 for the parade as well (on who can collect the candy, not attend).  But most of the time the teens and adults don’t really take the candy they catch, but instead give it to the little kids around them.  

    Honestly, I don’t care how old you are as long as you are in a costume.  But then again, I’m the evil person who will grab the smaller “icky candy” bowl for those over the age who try to ToT in a sports team hoody and grocery bag.

  65. Sarah Nov 02 at 12:49 am Reply Reply

    I agree that teens should have costumes, and my family always turned out the lights once it got too late for the younger kids to be out anyway.  I teach grade 7 and 8 and some of my students had great costumes yesterday! (No gore or weapons for school though).

    When I have had a few older kids come by without costumes (“hockey player” or “skateboarder” usually) I would ask for a joke or a song instead before they got their candy.

    This year I was a Halloween grinch though – I fell asleep after work, and when I woke at 7:30 I left the lights off, grabbed a snack for dinner, then hid at the back of the house to work on report cards.  Whoops!

  66. Jackie Nov 02 at 10:18 am Reply Reply

    IMO as long a the child is dressing up and makig any kind of effort I have no problem giving them candy. It’s he kids that come up to the door with a pillow case and no costume that is annoying. I still give them candy only because as you stated they grow upto fast as it is. They also could be throw eggs at cars and houses. So as long as they are getting candy and are happy what does it matter?

  67. Samantha Nov 02 at 7:14 pm Reply Reply

    As long as they have a costume and are respectful, they get candy. I’ll give out candy to parents too if they’re dressed up. Why not? It’s all in good fun!

  68. SuperMomWannabe Nov 02 at 10:53 pm Reply Reply

    I agree – always though desired trumped age.  And I agree they seem to “wean themselves” usually sometime in middle school.  I know we still get a lot of teenagers trick or treating at our door, though some of them forget their costumes (that’s when you know they’re just out to get a bunch of candy I guess) If they’re having a good time, then why not?

  69. edj Nov 03 at 2:00 am Reply Reply

    I think any age is fine as long as they are in costume and still totally excited. My kids grew up in northwest Africa, and this year marked their second Halloween ever. (not counting when they were babies…) They are 14. There was no way I would tell them they were too old! They dressed up and had a blast! My 16 y/o thought he was too old and didn’t go, and it made me sad. I saw other kids out there who had to be at least his age, and imo, he should get to experience Halloween at least once more from the kids’ end of things. (I also took a bunch of Iraqi refugee kids trick-or-treating for their first time ever! Needless to say, it was a huge hit with them)

  70. norfolk1890 Nov 06 at 4:54 pm Reply Reply

    Never too old !!! Our street is Halloween central – blocked to cars from 5 – 7:30. Truly – one of the most fun nights in our town. It is great to see parents dressing up along with their kids and the teenagers who dress up (or not) are pretty inventive. I’ve given candy to a whole generation of teenagers by now ever since they were little. I tell the older kids to come back toward the end of the night and whatever I have left is all theirs. No candy sitting around begging to be eaten on November 1 and happy teenagers. Yea !!

  71. amy Nov 08 at 4:44 pm Reply Reply

    I was at home alone giving out candy this Halloween and a guy that had to be 20 yrs old (because we live in a college town?) was at the door trick-or -treating. It freaked me out, and he was really creepy.

    That being said, often teenagers who put some effort into a funny or entertaining costume are my absolute favorite Trick-Or-Treaters.  Because they make an effort, I usually give them extra candy.

    What annoys me more:babies being pushed in a stroller with greedy parents hoisting a huge bag of treats.  You are too small for that much trick-or-treating!

  72. Katherine Scott Sep 21 at 10:46 pm Reply Reply

    Honestly, as long as someone had a costume on (and that costume had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Florida gators) (bonus for a georgia bulldogs costume) i would give them candy. 

  73. Amanda Oct 12 at 2:13 pm Reply Reply

    I am almost sixteen, and I’ve just got to say that I love trick or treating, admittedly far more than parties. I’ve gone out trick or treating every year, with my younger siblings as well as my older sister, who is five years my senior. We all dress up in elaborate yet tasteful costumes that we put a lot of thought into, and that, paired with our politeness, always pays off.  We have yet to have anyone turn us down for being too old, likely because we make sure to be polite and friendly, and people certainly enjoy our costumes. I believe that there shouldn’t be an age limit, and that as long as you still love trick or treating and put effort into your costume, are polite, don’t go ringing people’s doorbells when they have their lights out etc then you definitely should not be denied.

  74. Riley Oct 20 at 11:50 am Reply Reply

    As a 16-year-old, I think you should be able to Trick or Treat until at least 18-20 years old, or I suppose until you feel like its pointless to travel town just to get candy.

  75. Ana Oct 22 at 3:33 pm Reply Reply

    NEVER too old. My bf and I did it 2 years ago we were both 33 then. We dressed up dressed our yorkie up and went around our neighborhood. Everyone loved it and of course the dog got more treats than we both did! Lol last year we bought a house in another city. We still dressed up (with our yorkie) but decided to take our golf cart out handing out candy to those walking and occasionally stopping at some neighbors homes to chat and get candy. Again everyone thought it was pretty cool. ❤️ South Florida

  76. Grace Oct 27 at 10:11 pm Reply Reply

    I’m 15 and this year me and my 2 friends were planing on dressing up in costumes (homemade but actually costumes!), and not thinking much of it I didn’t think my parents would mind but when I asks today I was told I was not aloud because I am “to old” personally I found that very messed up if you want to dress up as go trick or treating for fun then you should be aloud to go I you just go around asking for candy you shouldn’t trick or treat but I think why they said is just rude because u personally know older couples who live dressing. Up together and go trick or treating and they don’t even have kids they just enjoy trick or treating so what my parents said by being “to old” is wrong because that’s like telling everyone with or without kids that are over a certain age limit is not aloud to go so meaning if you have a 5 year old the parents want to be able to dress up with them and take them trick it treating they shouldn’t be aloud because they are “to old”. Which is completely wrong thats why u strongly believe if you enjoy trick or treating and dressing up at any age do it! Sony let anyone stop you!

  77. jess Oct 28 at 3:17 am Reply Reply

    I’ve been reading the other comments and I’m wondering how on earth can it be greedy to trick or treat past 14? My daughter is 16 and wants to go out and I don’t understand why that’s an issue?? Isnt it supposed to be for all kids? Its ridiculous that some people should cop an attitude because they feel in “Their” opinion that kids in their teens are too old. Who died and made them the Halloween police? I agree with many of the people that as long as your in costume and respectful you should be able to participate in this holiday that has never had an age limit. Its really sad that now a days eveyone feels like they have to regulate what everyone else is doing if “They” in their opinion don’t agree with it. Does that mean only little kids should hunt easter eggs? Why get presents at Christmas from santa when your older? Is that being too greedy? Give me a break. We live in a country that is over run with a ridiculous amount of political correctness and people with opinions thinking they know best for everyone because that’s what they think or would do. Let the kids tricm or treat no matter how stinkin old they are. Its fun and keeps them out of trouble. Kids are growing up too fast as it.

  78. lee Oct 30 at 3:10 pm Reply Reply

    i think 15 is too old.

  79. Ravenalyse Oct 30 at 7:42 pm Reply Reply

    I think as long as your still in high school and younger. Your still a kid. So you want to go trick or treating go ahead. But dress up and make it fun. If your running around in jeans and a t shirt. You might just want candy an that’s fine but At least show your trying and try to come up with some type of outfit. If you cant afford a costume, thats when you have to get creative. Throw a white sheet on and look your a ghost! But you have to realize kids now days are looking older and are built differently. So they might only be 12 but look 17 or 18. So don’t judge and if you come to my door dressed up. In gonna give candy regardless.

  80. Analise Oct 31 at 11:59 pm Reply Reply

    I think that…well, I think that you’re still a KID in SOMEONE’S view always, and you’re still young if you’re in college and etc. and there shouldn’t be anyone stopping you at any age to DRESS UP at the least…and yeah, you still count as a kid until…a LONG TIME but in trick-or-treating’s sense, I would be REALLY MAD to be robbed of my childhood, because even in high school, as long as they are respectful, who am i kidding EVERYONE should be respectful, then they can get candy. Also, effort works. But yeah. :)

    • hannahloveshunter Oct 28 at 8:45 pm Reply Reply

      I agree :)

  81. amaya Sep 14 at 3:01 am Reply Reply

    14

  82. Emily Sep 28 at 6:05 pm Reply Reply

    I was raised by my father to always get super involved in halloween. I always will because it is the one time of year when it is socially acceptable to act like a kid. My father dressed up(in his 40s and 50s) as something scary and scared other trick or treaters while he took me out on halloween. It was my favorite night every year. The last time I trick or treated was when I was 16 but we weren’t lazy about it. We went to the older communities fully dressed up and sang classic songs to everyone who opened the door. It was late enough that most of them ended up giving us the rest of their candy. My point is that you should never put a limit on the happiness that comes from acting like a child. It will keep them younger, longer.

  83. hannaloveshunter Oct 28 at 8:43 pm Reply Reply

    ok, look, I am 20 and I do it with my friend (he is almost 18) its so much fun guys!!!!!!! and we actually dress up, not like allot of kids and adults who don’t. there is no age limit, people are so nice to me to, they compliment me and are so nice hahah and then we go home and watch slasher films and stuff so its a blast. have fun every one no matter what you age is and remember the Halloween spirit :)

  84. Francisca Oct 29 at 8:07 pm Reply Reply

    I’m going trick or treating for the first time (at 16!) with my younger siblings and I’m actually scared to get judged for my age. 

  85. Breezy Oct 30 at 9:52 am Reply Reply

    The only problem I have is with parents trick or treating with infants. The parents obviously want the candy for themselves. There comes a time when people need to stay home and have the fun of seeing the costumes and happy faces of little kids. Wait until your child is old enough to really enjoy getting dressed up and going trick or treating. I started my children at 2 years old and only just to the neighbors homes. That was enough for them. As for teenagers, as long as they are polite and make an effort to dress up!

  86. UNO Oct 31 at 6:25 am Reply Reply

    So far this year my 12yr old daughter is catching grief about dressing up. We (my 10 son, daughter,and I)went to a festival and when she played the games they would not give her the candy..:-(.. Then we went to a trunk or treat and one was rude and said “how old are you?!”while rolling her eyes. I told my daughter if anyone else has a problem with your participating to tell them at least your not out stealing little kids bags of candy..Every year we try to do fun things together as a family,, and it is irritating that people can be rude. She is dressed head to toe in a cute costume she put together on her own..

  87. LINDA Oct 31 at 3:36 pm Reply Reply

    at 12 your too old to go like something lame! 12-18 should be the best time of your life! here some of the youngest trick or treaters are 13 yrs old sooo

  88. Melissa Oct 31 at 7:40 pm Reply Reply

    As long as children and teenagers are wearing costumes they deserve to go trick or treating. Even when I was a teenager I still went trick or treating and only stopped when I became 19 (basically when I graduated highschool and enter the adult world — my how I missed being a child).

    But for adults, however…sorry but I’m not impressed. Just had an older woman ring my doorbell asking for treats and she was all alone. First thing that came to mind was that she wanted to take advantage of getting free candy. Though it was weird because no one hardly comes to my neighbor anymore…it’s too dark, quiet and empty. I also think that parents using their infants as an excuse to get candy isn’t appealing as well. Toddlers I can understand, but babies? No.

  89. Jane K. Scott Oct 31 at 7:50 pm Reply Reply

    My rule of thumb is that you’re NEVER too old for Halloween. You can dress up in any costume no matter the age. However, when it comes to trick or treating the age stops at 18 when society views you as an adult — or when you graduate high school. At that point you stop being a child and take adult responsibilities. Besides, at 18 I was more interested in partying with my friends then trick or treating with the little ones.

  90. Rebecca Oct 31 at 8:05 pm Reply Reply

    I was physically fully developed and tall by the time I was 12, but that didn’t mean that I wasn’t still 12. My friends and I trick-or-treated all the way up through high school, always wore costumes that we had planned out for days, and had a great time on Halloween going around getting candy, seeing all the decorations and other costumes and oohing and aahing over the cute kids. No one ever gave us any trouble or tried to lecture us about being “too old.” There’s no such thing as being too old. I remember living in an apartment a few years later and the adult couple (with no kids) who lived next door to us went out trick-or-treating wearing cow costumes. No reason to be a fuddy duddy to anyone who is putting in an effort to have some holiday fun!

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