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Trick or Treating, How old is Too Old?

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Let’s face it, trick or treating is a blast! First you rush through the drama of figuring out what to be for Halloween, then you spend hours putting together the perfect costume, applying make-up, teasing your hair (or hiding it under a wig!), and then, you grab a sack or bucket and head out the door to canvas the neighborhood for delicious treats.

But, the lingering question looms, At what age should you call it quits?

Trick or Treating, How old is Too Old?


I have a confession to make, the last time I went trick or treating I was 17 years old. In all fairness, I convinced my (then) boyfriend and his best buddy that Trick or Treating was far more fun than smashing pumpkins and egging houses, the more common choice of fun among teens in our area. I hadn’t been trick or treating in a few years before that (since I was 13).

While most people were gracious and happy to see trick or treaters at their doors, I have to admit that I did get a couple of, “aren’t you too old for this?”, “Halloween is for little kids”.

The negative comments were more than enough to shame me into never going again. When you’re little and you knock at the door, you’re greeted with smiling faces who comment on how cute or neat your costume is, as you get old, you’re often greeted with raised eyebrows and skeptical glances.

Although I have long since given up trick or treating, I find myself presented with the same question this season as my own sons excitedly ask, “can we trick or treat this year?”

I’m inclined to say yes, I don’t care what their ages. In fact, the past couple of years we’ve gone to campgrounds during Halloween for the sheer purpose of handing out candy to the kids of all ages.

It’s been my experience that people who are camping like to have a good time, regardless of the age and seem to be less judgmental about whether others have a good time as well.
teenage trick or treaters

Leveling Up on the Halloween Treats

We’ve even gone so far as to put together a few alcoholic treats for those over 21. We give out “levels” of treats..

1 Candy and small toys for the little ones
2 Full Size candy bars for the teens, (these can be purchased bulk for better discounts!)
3 Airplane Bottle Liquor Shots or Caramel Candy Apple Shots for the adults.

In our house, Halloween starts about the middle of August and ends somewhere close to Thanksgiving. We frequent various haunted houses, hayrides, pumpkin patches, costume parties, and any and all festivals within 150 miles.

What do you think the cut-off age for trick or treating should be?

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20 thoughts on “Trick or Treating, How old is Too Old?”

  1. i’d rather see kids trick or treat at a later age than out smashing pumpkins, toilet papering tree’s, or egging houses. in our area, there aren’t any halloween parties for kids over 12, there isn’t anything for them to do. I don’t think Halloween fun should stop at 12!

  2. i think 12 is about the cut-off age for trick or treating, 16+ is the age for pranks (pumpkin squishing, toilet papering the shrubs, greasing doorknobs with vaseline, etc)
    oh, and when you hit 21, you can go trick or beer treating at your buddies house! Be prepared to play a trick most buds don’t want to give up there beer.

  3. i don’t mind kids trick or treating as teens as long as they aren’t causing trouble. a few years back we had to put our pumpkins on the roof for safe keeping and someone still managed to smash them.

  4. it all depends……12 for children without handicap’s……if the child is handicap or have dissabilities – thats different… son is blind and when he was at the age of 15 the doctor said he had the mentality of a 10 year old, so I took him out trick or treating. I got alot of raised eyebrows as well. I later chose to throw halloween parties and have his friends and his sisters friends over.



  5. i have no problem handing out candy to anyone from 1 year of age up to 100 years of age. If your young enough at heart to dress up and enjoy Halloween your young enough at heart to go trick or treating. Its a holiday of fun for every age.

  6. Wow, just saw on the news this morning that this may no longer be a question that we as parents ask ourselves, apparently the Police in Some Neighborhoods are actually TICKETING teenagers that are “Caught” trick or treating!!

    Some spooked cities ban teenage trick-or-treating – Today Halloween Guide –

  7. i think it doesnt matter the age because some people just want to dress up and then they have no where to go 🙁
    also sometimes people get bored…or like me dont have lives haha
    showing off your outfits are cool too. i still complain to my mom that i want to go trick or treating.
    i think its fun ^_^

  8. i think 12 or 13 is should be the cutoff year. I’ve never seen a cutoff year brought up before … would be hard to enforce really lol cops out on halloween asking for ids lol

  9. i have no problem with teenage trick or treaters…they are still kids and want to have fun on halloween. i remember going at 17 and we had fun. Kept us out of trouble and gave us something to do.

  10. 16 is definetly the cut-off year for trick or treating. I was very short when I was 14, so people just thought I was a 12 year old. The only reason i went trick or treating was because i wanted to show off my costume, and i LOVED free candy.

  11. i’m *ahm 20 and under 5 foot tall and my boyfriend is 23 at 6’4″ and we are still trick or treating tonight and we will have lots of fun and get lots of candy cause where I’m from the people are just happy to get rid of their damn candy

    • I’m 20 and under 5 feet tall and my boyfriend is 23 at 6’4″. We are still trick or treating tonight. We will have lots of fun and get lots of candy.

      Where I’m from, the people are just happy to get rid their damn candy.

      Those people have to buy that candy. If they are like me, they buy things that they like in case there is any left over. You and your boyfriend should have a party and stay home.

      You’re waaayyyy too old to be trick-or-treating.

  12. my children set their own cutoff. they didn’t want to be thought of as “little kids”. in addition, at 12 friends parents started throwing parties.

    But, if someone of any age comes to my door in costume, I give out treats. It is so much fun to see the costumes and smiling faces, I don’t care about AGR!

  13. It depends on the neighborhood. I see alot of older kids trick or treating and no one gives them a problem. It is a time to have fun!!

  14. My daughter is 18 and she’s not going this year, mostly because I’ve been kind of discouraging her the last few years and put my foot down this year! This year things are tight, but I want to start having a party instead – I think 15-17 is pretty much the cut-off, after that it starts getting a bit ridiculous, and there are plenty of things to do other than vandalize people’s property, parents just need to step up and work it out. It can also be a bit intimidating when you have a group of 5 or 6 teenaged boys ‘dressed up’ as punks come to your door!

  15. When I lived in the city, we had a lot of adults that came to our door, trick or treating. I never said anything, although I did sometimes have to go and buy more candy for the kids, since there were so many adults out. The adults would always tell us that they were getting candy for their sick children, who couldn’t trick or treat, but I knew some of them and knew they didn’t have children.

    I didn’t mind the fact that they were trick or treating nearly as much as I minded the lying about it. Now that I’m in the ‘burbs, it hasn’t been a problem. I think 13 is the cut-off, but I wouldn’t deny candy to anyone.

    Trick or treating ends before it gets dark, for safety reasons, do the whole thing is over early. We have never experienced any vandalism, or seen any around our house. I’m pretty sure my granddaughter would discourage any of her friends from TPing our house or trees because she’s afraid I’d go out and collect it so it can be used!

  16. I think the oldest should be around 6th grade, or about 12. Anyone who is taller than I am (5’8″) needs to go home. What bugs me even more, is parents trick-or-treating with infants.

    Yes, the baby looks really cute in that costume, but we all know it’s mom and dad who are going to eat the candy. Take pictures of the baby to post on Facebook, and buy your own candy.

  17. I know this won’t be read by the above poster, as it was posted 3 years ago, but I feel the comment is so unfair!

    My daughter was 5’8″ at the age of ten or eleven. It isn’t her fault she’s tall and looks older than her age. She went trick or treating with a friend and the friends sister who was 17 but short and looks very young.

    The older girl was given candy with no problem, but my little girl was constantly hassled. Let’s all just have some fun, if you don’t want to give candy, turn off your light!


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