If you were a child raised in the United States or Canada, chances are good that you have been trick-or-treating on more than one occasion. Many are the fond memories of traveling from door to door, neighborhood to neighborhood and uttering the time honored phrase of “trick-or-treat!” in the hopes of receiving a fun sized chocolate bar, candy or potato chips (or for the few lucky kids in certain neighborhoods, entire full sized chocolate bars or cans of pop). Of course, part and parcel with this endeavor was the creation or purchase of a spooky or creative costume, a paper bag, plastic bucket or even the tried and tested pillow case.
Children of all ages can be seen trick-or-treating, and many adults enjoy dressing up to pass out candy on Halloween. But the question remains…
How old is too old to be trick-or-treating?
The answer remains wholly a matter of opinion but there is a fair bit of common ground among Halloween fans. Once children are in their early teens they are approaching the age of being too old to go out in search of candy. Of course, that doesn’t mean there have not been costumed teenagers and yes, even college students, known to prowl around in hopes of finding treats (and perhaps play a few tricks along the way). At the extreme end there are even those college students that feel the need (or perhaps have the courage) to travel door to door. Whether or not they are successful with households is another matter, as those passing out candy reserve the right to withhold snacks to those they deem “too old”.
Another angle to consider is the type of neighborhood being purveyed. A residential neighborhood with many families is the prime stomping ground for ghouls and ghosts to go in search of candy, as houses that participate generally have Halloween decorations and Jack-o-lanterns prominently displayed on their lawns or porches in some form. Apartment blocks might organize trick-or-treating through their community centers, but generally this is only for minors. A collegiate neighborhood will likely not see any action due to the fact that most college aged people are either out at Halloween parties, or down at the bars for holiday festivities.
This common thread runs throughout the festivities of the holiday: you are never too old to enjoy dressing up for Halloween. The weeks leading up to the night itself are all about the spooky decorating and creative costume designs, artistic pumpkin carving and of course, pumpkin baking. While there may be a general cut-off in the minds of most fans of the Halloween season for how old one must be to ask for treats door to door, those young at heart will always find fun during Halloween, whether or not they go out into the night in search of treats.
Remember,you can always buy your own stash of candy the day after Halloween when it all goes on clearance at the supermarket.