How old is too old to trick-or-treat?

I’d heard this being talked on the news and on other blogs but I never really gave it too much thought but after this morning I thought I’d get in on it and ask you guys.

I’m lucky to get 4 trick or treaters and 2 of them are my grandchildren. I love Halloween and always have. I can remember when my brother and I went in the late 60’s and early 70’s, we went all over the whole town alone. Our parents never went with us and people were really into it. I remember one guy had a big barbecue going and he made hot dogs for all the kids. We went until we were pretty old. I’m thinking I went until the dances started in jr high. What would that make me? 12 or 13 I’m guessing. Then we all celebrated at school. Do schools do that anymore? Have Halloween dances??

Sorry, got off track. This is the question. They are talking about making it against the law for kids older than 12 to go trick or treating. In West Springfield, Mass kids would get fined $100 for trick or treating if they’re older than 12 and there could possible be jail time. I kid you NOT. Single parents and the elderly are “afraid” of the older kids coming to the door in scary masks.

I feel if you’re afraid then you shouldn’t go to the door at all. Maybe leave a note that you’re not home and take one piece please and go do what you want to do in your house. What if some child was just tall for his or her age? This has way too many “ifs” in it for me and just pray tell who’s going to enforce this? We can’t keep big crime under control but now we’re going to have Halloween police? I’m sorry but I just had to say that. Being afraid is about the lousiest (I don’t care if that’s not a word!) excuse I could imagine anyone saying. It’s Halloween! I feel if someone took the time to get in costume and they come to my door, I’m going to give them the candy bar. Who is that possibly hurting? So they’re over 12, no candy for them? Also, a lot of kids mature at different times and I think this is really taking something away from kids and I really feel this is being petty.

Here is something from our own WCCO. It came on at noon today while I was contemplating writing this post.

How old were you when you trick or treated for the last time? Do you think this should be against the law for these kids? What do you think? Anything to add?

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9 Responses to How old is too old to trick-or-treat?

  1. Laura says:

    This is pathetic. Honest to pete, you’d think people have better things to do than make 12 year old’s into criminals for doing what kids do!!

    We naturally quit trick-or-treating around that age, because we didn’t have younger siblings to take around. I knew kids who were 15, though, and still dressing up, because they had younger brothers and sisters. They figured, “I’ve gotta take them out, so I might as well have fun doing it!”

    We don’t have anyone who comes to our door, but we used to live in a place where people came. I would give candy – I’m one of the “good” houses (M&M’s, Kit-kats, Butterfingers, Snickers) – to anyone with a costume on. If they just had a bag and no costume? No treat. You’ve got to make an effort, at least. And I don’t care how old you are! We once had a grandmother come to the door dressed up as this old hag. I mean, she really did it up good, green face, moldy old ripped cloak, big walking stick – it was awesome! She was out with her grandkids, and I gave them each extra candy because she was so cool.

    So I say, let them t-or-t. As long as they go through the effort of dressing up, why not? It’s one stinkin’ night! Get a grip.

  2. SKL says:

    This is ridiculous. This sounds like another example of the sensationalist and unfounded fears of Halloween crime. Fact is, if anything, crime is lower on Halloween. Some people have been watching too many movies.

    What do they think these young teens are going to be doing while they are being kept from trick-or-treating? You take away their treats, that only leaves the tricks. Watch and see.

    I trick-0r-treated with gusto through age 12. Went out at 13, but felt a bit funny about it. When I was 14, my baby sister needed a chaperon, so I kept going out, but didn’t bring my own bag.

    One of our neighbors was pretty tall for her age. She and my sister went out trick-or-treating when they were 10. Someone chided the tall girl for being too old to trick-or-treat, so she went home and never went out in a costume again. How sad is that?

    Who cares if some teens score some candy at our expense one night of the year? If you don’t want to be generous with them, keep a stash of cheaper stuff for older kids. If you’re scared of them, call your psychiatrist! Who do you know that has ever had an actual problem with teen trick-or-treaters, as in, they broke into the house or kidnapped a tot? Seriously.

    One of my pet peeves for this time of the year is all the “safety tips” they give to parents of trick-or-treaters, which do nothing but spread paranoia. The latest I saw: (a) Mom has to go with kids up to age 13. Even older teens should not go out alone, but stay in a group. (b) Go only to houses where you know the people. (c) And only if you know for sure the people are home. (d) Beware of dogs. (e) Mom must rifle through the stash before the child may eat any. Look for tiny little holes in the wrappers that could be from a hypodermic needle, etc. [Recall that these allegedly poisoned / drugged candies came from your friends, because you didn’t let your kids go to anyone else’s house, if you followed all the rules. Ugh.]

    Halloween is relatively traditional around here. If a big boy or girl desires to dress up and trick-or-treat, then that’s where they are developmentally. Who am I to say that’s a problem? It’s just a little candy, for Pete’s sake.

  3. Jenny says:

    I went when I was still….16 yup I wrote 16. I wanted candy! What can I say? I don’t think there should be an age limit. What are we gonna do? Start carding every kid that comes to the door? This is the only time that I wished we lived in town. we get 2-4 kids like Joy mentioned. It’s fun to see all the kids dressed up and hand out candy.

  4. Just a Mom says:

    This is stupid! My oldest daughter went trick or treating last year and she was 17! And it was treating not tricking! I think I went until I was 15.

  5. Sue says:

    Stupid is right! I think the last year I went TorT was 1990. That would make me 11 and I know b/c the following year was the Great Halloween Blizzard and I was stuck at my Bf’s house ALL weekend! I don’t think there should be an age limit. I think it depends on your friend’s too. If your friends are going, you’ll probably go, but if they don’t go you probably won’t either.

  6. Nikki says:

    Well I don’t really think grown adults should be trick or treating, but to have a legal age to do so is ridiculous! And fined? Wow, what has this world come to. Pick your battles, and this shouldn’t be one! If you are scared to open your door, shut your lights off and simply do not participate. Or put a bowl out.

    I can’t remember when I stopped going to be honest. I have no recollection of when I stopped. I only remember going out a few years, but my memory of my childhood is extremely hit and miss. I’d say Bailey will go out as long as he feels like. He likes candy! He’d go with or without friends. I’d never at any age, tell him he can’t.

    We saw a bunch of teenagers at Walmart last night in their costumes. We laughed at their costumes! The imagination of kids these day is something else! They’re having fun, and I think some adults need to just take a chill pill!

  7. starlaschat says:

    We don’t get many trick or treaters. Last year we had one small group ( I think it was last year one or none I can’t remember the years are starting to blend together.) There was an older kid in the group, he did not have a costume. I noticed his age but I thought why not I’m happy to see the kids and I’d rather give him candy and see that he is out and about having fun. I think it’s silly if kids and older kids want to go out trick or treating I think it’s fine and if they go with sibling then the adults may get a break. I think usually kids stop going on their own because they don’t won’t to be thought of as a baby by their peers. So I think kids themselves usually stop on their own when they feel they are to old.

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