How Old is Too Old To Go Trick or Treating?


Nicole Neyman

A car trunk decorated for a Halloween Trunk or Treat event. (Nicole Neyman)

Bailee Neyman, Writer

According to, around 70% of Americans planned to celebrate Halloween this year.  While the popular holiday may be over, the age-old debate that surrounds it remains: How old is too old for trick or treating?   


While a few locations, including Chesapeake, VA, limit the legal age allowed to participate in the Halloween tradition, the topic at large is left to the discretion of its participants. Therefore, it’s important to find the age that truly sets a reasonable limit. 


Setting the limit for trick or treating at a young age can upset older children who are still deeply interested in the holiday. On the other hand setting the limit at an older age can lead to awkward encounters with adults participating. 


Freshman Gianna Lazzaro argued against adults partaking: ”If you’re like a 32 year old man or woman and you’re just walking around outside, you probably shouldn’t be trick or treating because that’s scary and creepy for younger kids.” 


Therefore, to not upset younger children but also not bother slightly older partakers, the limit should be set at a midteens range of around fifteen to sixteen years of age. Not too young, but not too old. 


Local teen Aspen Kries felt that the limit is not needed: “I don’t think there needs to be an age limit. Especially with the rise of cosplaying and new costume ideas and there are costumes for adults.”


Allowing older individuals of all ages to partake in trick or treating can produce uncomfortable experiences with children, depending on the behavior of said adults.  Whilst dressing up is a fun aspect of trick or treating, it should also be noted that the main purpose of the event is to go out and gain sweet treats. The older partakers are, the easier it is for them to go out and get their own candy at the store. 


They were really nice. Sometimes they talk to you, but they weren’t rude or anything.”

— Gianna Lazzaro


Lazzaro described her own experience of trick or treating at fourteen as a good one. She claimed her interactions with adults were pleasant: “They were really nice. Sometimes they talk to you, but they weren’t rude or anything.” Overall, she may not have been young at the time, but the experience as a younger teen still wasn’t awkward or an inconvenience for children. 


While being able to experience good encounters with adults, participants at the mid-teen range also get the advantage of spending time with younger friends and siblings,without having to awkwardly walk around or cause trouble for younger participants. 


Overall due to the idea of creating a safe and enjoyable experience for all, the age limit for trick or treating should be set around the mid-teens. However, no matter what the result of the debate is, individuals should be able to have fun trick or treating without causing issues for others.