Poll: When Should Kids Stop Trick-or-Treating?

Still, you were probably pretty tall.

Definitely no later than 8:00 PM.

::reads OP::


I don’t think there’s a definitive age that’s “too old.” Most kids will decide for themselves when they’re not into it anymore, and it doesn’t happen at the same time for all kids.

And I’m OK with the older teenagers, even those who don’t bother with a costume anymore; there are plenty of less wholesome things they could be out doing on Halloween night than trick-or-treating!

It doesn’t really matter to me how old they are. BUT I do tend to keep two kinds of candy: ‘good’ candy for kids (no matter the age) who are polite, and crappy candy for the kids (almost invariably teens) who have no costume, don’t bother saying ‘trick or treat’ (simply thrust a grocery bag in my face), and I know in advance they’re not going to bother saying ‘thank you’, either.

I cut my own kids off from the T o T thing after junior high, so they were 13. I think high school is too old, since I think of trick or treat as a kid thing. Of course, I’m not that big on Halloween anyway. It’s just not a big deal to me. We don’t get too many trick or treaters most years, even with the porch light on. There was a time when we had a bunch of kids in the neighborhood, but we’re in the no-kids part of the cycle right now, and on an out of the way street, so it’s not so busy.

Any age is fine, especially if they’re dressed up. Even if you’re 27, if you’re that hard up that you’re going to slog through the dark night to get your sugar fix, well then bless your heart; here’s a snickers.

I’m too scared of repercussions to withhold candy from un-costumed teenagers, but I will tell them to do a trick for it. Often I have to invent an explanation about costumes exempting one from the trick part of trick-or-treat, but most of them I can cajole or embarrass into doing something, even if it’s just singing their ABCs.

The best part is when a kid pulls out something really fun, like the ability to walk on their hands or something. Cool teenagers never want to stand out, so invariably their peers didn’t know they had a secret stupid human trick. Everyone gets candy, I get a moment’s amusement and all’s well.

Ditto. The puberty thing is silly, since different kids grow at different rates (you really going to tell a 10-year-old that not only does she get 40 years of blood and cramps, you’re taking away her free candy, too?). I can’t think of any kids I know who were banned from doing it – we all cut ourselves off.

I think that year just comes along where you realize you’re a bit older than everyone else, there’s a Halloween party going on at someone’s house, and candy’s really not that expensive, anyway.

For most kids, I think 12 or 13 is their choice. It’s simply not cool to dress up and ask for candy. However, as you reach 20, 21, or so, free candy for dressing up sounds like an awesome idea again. I’m 26 and I could go for some free grub.

I was sick or my mom was busy with medical school for most ToT nights as a kid, so I had to make up for it in middle and high school. And I did, with gusto. Always costumed, always enthusiastic. I only got one asshole who pretended to drop candy into my bag. If the kids have a costume, they get candy no matter their age. If they don’t, they get the crappy candy.

I clicked 10, but I really meant 10-11, the last year of primary school here (UK). It’s a little kid thing, not for teenagers or kids who are practically teenagers.

At first I thought the ‘puberty’ thing was silly, then I remembered one of the reasons I didn’t want my daughter to go trick-or-treating this year: she looks too much like an older teen despite being only 12. Her best male friend would love to go but gave it up last year because he’s the same age as her and looks about 25 - six foot tall and bearded. Sadly, it being a little kid thing means that some kids who still are little kids but don’t look have to stop it sooner.

Unless they’re accompanying younger kids, of course. Then they have to negotiate the booty with the littluns.

I used to live in a bad area of town and that was the place where I got the most “non trad” trick-or-treaters (high school students, some of them my height and above). What really pissed me off was that many didn’t even dress up; okay, I understand you can’t afford to buy a black velvet cape and have a latex mask created, but you can do wonders with stuff around the house like sheets and your mom’s cosmetics, or you can buy Halloween make-up for as little as $1 at any drugstore or grocery. Some of the most inventive costumes I’ve seen were done on the cheap.

Of course I did give them candy as I suspect their tricks would have been less soaped windows or toilet paper in trees than slashed brakes and planted meth.

I’ve always said “If you have boobs, you’re too old to trick or treat.” I was surprised to see that was (more or less) one of the options.

Somewhere between grade school and high school, depending on the community and the physical maturity of said kid.

My last year was at age 11, and while I have very fond memories of it I wasn’t at all sad to stop by 6th grade.

Yes and no. Like alice said, some kids have no shame, but even among those who do not, many will still be pressured by their friends to realize they’re too damn old.

14? Dude, by 14 you’re 5’7" and wear a D cup, and are studying for the SAT. Too damn grown to be putting on a clown outfit and asking your neighbors for candy.


Re: Some kids develop differently. Well yeah, but I thought we were speaking in generalities here.

Yeah, but T-or-Ting ends so early in the evening these days, parties don’t usually kick off until long afterwards. So there’s time to do both.


“I’m Crazy Newspaper Face! Now gimme some candy!”

As long as you put together a passable costume, you’re fine. You can be thirty, I don’t care, as long as you’re out for the joy of pretending to be Jabba the Hutt*, I’ll give you the candy.

*It had better be a costume, chubby. I want to see latex.

That’s fine, but like I said, I think anybody over 13 looks ridiculous trick-or-treating. But they, if they don’t mind, then more power to them I guess.

OK, now that would be awesome if it happened in real life.

I think 6th grade is the last grade you can be in and go out. I stopped going when I was 10 mainly 'cause the next year I didn’t want to be bothered making a costume.

I agree teens shouldn’t be going out. But when I used to give out trick or treats I always had left overs so I didn’t care if an older person got some.

I stopped when I got to high school, so 13. It just didn’t feel right any more. I handed out the candy at our house instead and my parents let me eat all the leftovers, plus my younger brother gave me whatever parts of his haul he didn’t like (we have totally different candy tastes, so this always worked out well). I never felt like I was missing out.

My parents never enforced an age limit, but neither of us cared to go out past middle school anyway. I think they stopped chaperoning when I was 11 or so and just let us go with friends.

From the perspective of the person handing out candy, I don’t really mind teenagers showing up if they’ve made an obvious effort to put on a costume and don’t come out too late. I think it’s kinda stupid, but hey, you put in the work, here’s the candy. And of course I’ll give some to teenagers shepherding younger siblings, costumed or not.

My mother did it at age 84. She wore a costume, had lots of fun, and everybody gave her candy!

(She won’t do it this year, as she just died last week.)

I like seeing the high school kids in costumes come out on Halloween. There are a few groups who are very creative with their ideas. I went until 12th grade and it was fun to act like a kid on a nice fall night.

I say anyone who wants to wear a costume can go out. My friend and I were going to go out this year but my MIL is coming to town. (we would donate the candy of course)