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How Old Is Too Old for Trick or Treating?

Should teens be out soliciting candy on Halloween?

Most of us have all experienced it -- a teen or group of teens, oftentimes not even wearing costumes -- who show up at the door on Halloween wanting candy.

Sometimes the teens might make some small effort at a costume -- a mask perhaps or some type of prop. Other times, these trick-or-treaters are wearing street clothes, carrying pillow cases or large bags and expecting you to just hand over candy.

Personally, I don’t mind teenage trick-or-treaters when they make the effort to entertain me with a real costume and observe the niceties such as actually saying “Trick or treat” instead of just holding out their bag like some kind of highway robber. I also appreciate it when the trick-or-treaters -- no matter what their age -- remember to say thank you.

Unfortunately though, it seems as if more and more un-costumed, ill-mannered teens hit the streets on Halloween each year. The choice for those who decide to distribute candy is to either hand over treats to these teenagers or risk becoming the victim of an egging, yard rolling or worse.

Do you think it is appropriate for teenagers to go trick or treating? How old is too old to go door to door begging for candy on Halloween? Tell us in the comments.

Gail Young October 16, 2011 at 07:11 PM
I hink 12 or 13 is too old to be trick or treating...
Kristi Reed (Editor) October 16, 2011 at 07:16 PM
Personally, I'd rather just buy my children a bag of their favorite candy than let them go trick or treating. Thankfully they are both old enough that I don't have to worry about it anymore.
Jazz Man October 16, 2011 at 07:26 PM
I stopped handing out candy when the kids were all taller than me... and as you stated disrespectful. I think the cut off age should be... 11. To be PERFECTLY honest... I think trick or treating has run its course anyway. I know I'm older than dirt, but it USE to be fun and safe. These days you have to walk with your kids close by your side, check every piece of nasty candy... and all the costumes are store bought, rarely do you see anyone use their imagination and make one. I can go to Wally World to see these same costumes and it's cheaper than the junk we're passing out to the kids.
Kristi Reed (Editor) October 16, 2011 at 07:32 PM
You know what else is so bad? There are a lot of teens and adults with small children who don't get the whole "Don't come to my house if the light is off" thing. That bothers me. I don't stay up all night handing out candy - especially when Halloween falls on a school night. I will turn off the lights and people will still keep coming. I ignore the doorbell at that point, but it is still annoying to have people ringing the bell at 10 p.m. or later. And you are right about the costumes - it is rare to see anything truly creative.
Gary Fox October 16, 2011 at 10:11 PM
Yeah Kristi!!!!!!
Betty Bullock Cook October 17, 2011 at 12:14 AM
I think they shouldn't trick or treat past the age of 12. I have had 18 year olds come to my house. It's for the little kids not the big kids.
Kimberly Bradley October 17, 2011 at 11:42 AM
I believe it really doesn't matter the age. To me you're never to old to trick or treat. Kids grow up to fast as it is. Let them all trick or treat. Believe me they know when they feel they are too old!
Gary Fox October 17, 2011 at 12:04 PM
Hey racing weather man!! You out there?? It's a little too early to have your halloween mask on - and besides I thought you wore "Batman" last year. :) :) :) :)
michelle thornton October 17, 2011 at 12:43 PM
You are never too old to trick or treat, but I do agree that the teens should at least dress up to do it! They still want to have fun, and it is an innocent way to do so.
North Georgia Weather October 17, 2011 at 04:03 PM
I didn't wear anything last year??? Wait... let me re-phrase that, I didn't trick or treat last year! :-))
Dacula Momma October 17, 2011 at 05:53 PM
I will hand out candy to anyone wearing a costume, regardless of age. The teens that come to the house NOT wearing costumes simply do not get candy. My husband thinks I'm crazy. :-)
Brenda Knight October 17, 2011 at 11:23 PM
Yes, I think when they show up with no costume and are taller than me, it's time to say no. But you risk that they will vandalize your property is you confront them. After I've seen most of the little ones and I get two groups of the big kids, I just turn off my front porch light and go back to enjoying the evening.
Cynthia Montgomery October 18, 2011 at 04:20 AM
I love to see an older kid or better yet a group of older kids come to the door for trick or treat. I also believe they grow up to fast. I enjoy seeing the fast forward of their lives as I have been in the same neighbor hood for 13 years. I remember the 15 year old now at my door with a pillow and no costume that have visited my door for the past decade. It gives me a walk down memory lane year after year. It is sad when the "group" feels to old to enjoy this innocent joy of childhood. I love giving candy to the Dads and Moms of the new babies out for their Halloween. In the past 18 years none of my children's candy was bad and not one time did they feel like they were in danger. My heart would sing if they came by the house just one more time as a princess or pirate. But when the candy is gone, OUT GO THE LIGHTS! BOO!

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