Trick-or-Treat: How Old is Too Old?

by epi on October 31, 2011

Q: I hate when older kids trick-or-treat.  Can I refuse them candy?

A: Masked teenagers at the door might seem intimidating, but it’s best to take this in stride and hand out some treats anyway.  After all, Halloween is an occasion for teens to enjoy just as younger kids do.  But if you’re really nervous, try turning off your lights after 9 PM- that will likely deter them.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

staci ericson October 31, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Great answer.

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Country Girl October 31, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Just a side note: (as this subject came up on a thread a few days ago) for safety reasons, there actually are American cities that have trick-or-treating laws that prohibit anyone over the age of 12 to trick-or-treat. An over-age trick-or-treater could actually wind up with a $100 fine depending on where you live.

A growing trend, to keep older teens from running the streets begging for free candy on this night (or worse drinking or vandalism) , is a free teen Halloween dance or event often put on by a local radio station or a business sponsor. Perhaps if you notice a large number of older kids with nothing to do on Halloween, you could suggest this option to area businesses who cater to teens.

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JB October 31, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Here is something to consider … perhaps some of the older kids never had the opportunity to experience trick or treating when they were younger. My 17 year old son has a girl friend who has been through the foster and adoption system; unfortunately, it was never a good situation. Now, at age 18, this lovely girl is having a wonderful time planning out her costume and is looking forward to walking around our neighborhood this evening to trick or treat for only the second time in her entire life. While my son has typically been staying at home to answer the door for the past few years, he will be accompanying her in a “matching” costume (cowboy & cowgirl — her idea). I am sure my 6’2″ son will receive a few funny looks from people, and perhaps even a comment or two about him being too old, but I figure why not; the enjoyment this young woman is having is worth it. It’s one of their last opportunities to be kids, and it’s candy. I hope they have a marvelous time!

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Karen November 2, 2011 at 12:22 pm

That’s sweet. I’m surprised anyone would begrudge older kids the opportunity to trick-or-treat. I think it’s a different issue if you’re college aged and fully capable of buying your own candy but, at least in the community I grew up in, there weren’t many high-school aged people with jobs of their own and therefore Halloween was pretty much the only opportunity to eat lots of candy. I didn’t get to celebrate Halloween as a child because of my parents’ religious beliefs and now, in years I’m not up to attending a Halloween party, I take the younger children of friends trick-or-treating. Though I don’t carry a bag for candy I do dress up, and I think it’s wonderful that adults get at least one day a year to play pretend.

Besides, I would worry about being a TP target if I refused older kids candy.

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Susan November 15, 2011 at 12:18 am

My 18 year old went trick or treating with friends in very appropriate “scary” costumes. Another group of girls dressed in mini skirts that left nothing to the imagination, along with thigh high stockings, went to parties and drank….hmmmm, I say let them trick or treat!

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