How Old Is Too Old to Trick or Treat?

Is elementary school-age the limit or is it OK for teens to join the ranks of neighborhood trick or treaters?

Preparations are under way and families are getting ready for the big candy fest scheduled for the end of the month. Costumes catalogues are being scoured for the right outfit for little trick or treaters, shelves are being stocked with yellow and orange candy bars and front yards are decorated with ghosts and goblins - there's no doubt, October is here. 

We're all happy to see those cute little angels, pumpkins or miniature Superman look alikes who knock on our door and sing "trick or treat" on Oct. 31 each year. Well, most of us are anway. But how do we feel about the 14- or 15-year-olds, some not even bothered to dress up, who stop by for their share of the loot?

Organized events in many municipalities have a stipulation - elementary school-age only and participants must be dressed for the occasion. But it isn't so easy to enforce this when an older child or teen knocks on your front door and holds out his or her pillowcase, often already laden with goodies.

So what do you think? What age is too old for door-to-door neighborhood trick or treating?

Susan October 06, 2012 at 01:22 PM
I think by High School you can start making them hand out the candy. I remember my brother and his 2 best friend dressing up as ZZ top in High School to get candy-they looked so goofy. My 16 year old is 6'5" and is taller than all his teachers, I think I will send him to the haunted house this year instead.
Sharon Swanepoel October 06, 2012 at 01:26 PM
That's actually a good idea - I hadn't thought about them handing out the candy. Of course they would be wanting to hang out with friends, but there's nothing to stop them congregating at one of the houses together and handing out that way. Maybe a "handing out Halloween Party" would be a good way to handle the teens.
Scott Terry October 06, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Any age is too old for door to door. After having our home vandalized two years in a row, we stopped participating in the Trick or Treat tradition. Being tricked is no treat when it cost money to repair or replace. With crime the way it is and generosity being a liability, parents should participate with their Halloweiners at local churches that support safe Halloween festivities.
Rebecca McCarthy (Editor) October 06, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Scott! That's terrible. We have children come to our neighborhorhood from other places in Athens where they don't feel safe walking around at night. These children have been polite and thankful for candy; I have to encourage them to take some. I like the idea of having older kids dress up and hand out candy. A woman in my childhood neighborhood used to dress up like a witch--we were too scared to venture onto her porch. I may try that!
Darcey Bailey October 06, 2012 at 08:23 PM
The South football players are going to dress up and wear costumes while they volunteer at the Boo at the Zoo event and pass out candy. I think it's a great alternative for trick or treating. And I think by high school kids don't need to trick or treat. And definitely do not trick or treat if you aren't wearing a costume!
John Souter October 07, 2012 at 02:41 AM
I'd say 45. Can't help it I have a sweet tooth:)
Global Warming October 07, 2012 at 03:03 AM
I think that any high school student that can complete comprehensible sentences should be just fine wondering around in the dark on Halloween night. Others who obviously can not, should probably stay home, check their lottery numbers, watch Entertainment Tonight and see what Obama has to lie about that day. We ALL may be safer under these conditions.
Tammy Osier October 07, 2012 at 03:47 AM
When our kids were little and brought home their loot, they were required to pour out their bags in the middle of the floor. Then, we "took" our 10%. After that, they were welcome to whatever they wanted. When they protested, we told them that the 10% chocolate tithe was to help pay for the costumes. lolol
Eddy Morgan October 07, 2012 at 12:25 PM
We lived where there were sidewalks outside the burbs. Our neighborhood parents have come up with a safe solution - Dads in their trucks with trailers hooked behind and the kids ride in it. Love sitting in our driveway seeing the little ones in their cool outfits. Now that I'm a Nana to an 18 month old, I can't wait to watch her have fun! As for the question: Does it really have to be an age limit? Put on a Pirate, Farmer, Ninja costume and you get a handful of treats from me! Nowadays, I bet these kids can come up with something out of their closets. They've become so creative!
bobby black October 07, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Any big fat mama carrying a baby and pretending the candy is for the baby.
Tracy Putnam October 07, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Why is there an age limit? This is a commercialized tradition. If we put an age limit on this then we have to put an age limit on Christmas presents. Let's say, when you no longer believe, you no longer recieve.
Jim Aspen October 07, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Joe Biden has been tricking voters for decades/
Global Warming October 07, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Upang Band October 07, 2012 at 04:05 PM
If you come to my door in costume on October 31st, you get candy. You are never too old to have fun.
Millie Habtemariam October 07, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Must you politically taint everything, try for a moment to have fun with your families. Please cleanse yourself of the vapid comments. I vote yes to Trick or Treat, and I approve this message.
Global Warming October 07, 2012 at 04:37 PM
What's your address?
tracy pinkney October 07, 2012 at 07:06 PM
I'm n my 40's n I still look forward 2 trick r treating
michele October 07, 2012 at 10:12 PM
All ages are welcomed @ our house! I figure if they wanna come out dressed or not for candy then we're gonna hand it out. They could be out doing things to get in trouble so we welcome them & give the bigger kids more candy. My guess is the adults w/ smaller children are the ones actually eating the candy anyway.
Mr. Z October 08, 2012 at 12:43 AM
If you can have peach fuzz or you can grow a mustache, you're too old.
Mandy McManus October 11, 2012 at 03:06 PM
No age limit for kids who just want to have fun! I agree they could be doing much worse things than dressing up and walking around the neighborhood. Let em" eat and have candy! That's what I say.
Candy Graham October 18, 2012 at 02:16 PM
All ages are welcome. Better to let them enjoy being a kid. My middle child was five feet tall when she was only ten. She is 14 now and still loves dressing up with her friends. They go out as a group and are polite and well behaved.
Roberta October 19, 2012 at 02:10 AM
I am not thrilled to see them if they are not dressed up. I may even admonish them if they also fail to use manners. However when teens go out dressed up or taking younger siblings I feel happy to give just like any other young person.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew October 19, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Because its just redistributing the wealth 101... (Sorry couldn't resist Smiles)
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew October 19, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Trick or Treated in your own home as the Taxman or a temple priest HUH? GOOD life lesson...


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »