Too Old for Trick-or-Treat?

My local radio station covered a story this week about the town of Saltsburg, a borough near Pittsburgh, that has an age limit of 12 years for those permitted to trick or treat.

I had never heard of limiting those allowed to participate, but after some research, I found that cities in the states of Illinois, Virginia, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Maryland have similar ordinances limiting the age of trick or treaters.

Though they are rarely enforced, there are fines of up to $100 and/or jail time as a penalty for trick or treating over age.

Some of the same ordinances also prohibit anyone over the age of 12 from wearing a mask in public on Halloween and every other day of the year.

It's Feedback Friday...

Do you agree with setting an age limit for trick or treat?

How old were you when you gave up trick or treating?


  1. I don't know about setting a law, but I wish parents would limit their older kids. I like to buy decent candy (in hopes we might have leftovers-ha!), and it gets expensive. It is really, really annoying to see pack after pack of older kids come through our neighborhood. They pretty much just demand it. I find that the little kids are usually more polite too. I especially feel like the teens need to give it up. If you're old enough to have a job, then you can buy your own candy!

  2. As long as you make an attempt at a costume, and have good manners, you are welcome at my door.

    When we lived in Monroeville, we used to get parents wheeling babies in strollers. Even I am not gullible enough to believe a toothless infant was going to be chowing down on candy.

  3. It seems sort of tough to have a law picking an age. These days kids range in age due to many parents opting to hold their kids back before starting school, and other reasons. My youngest son has a Sept b-day so he would be 12 sooner than his peers.
    A friend of my middle son's reached 5'9" when he was 11.
    I was 13 for my last year going out.

  4. It seems a little silly that people actually pass laws and impose penalities for trick-or-treating. Seriously. I am not an equal-candy-giver-outer. Younger kids, kids I know, really clever costumes, polite kids and older kids escorting little kids get the good stuff. A teenage boy sporting a flannel and telling me he's a "hobo" gets a small piece and a "Happy Halloween".

  5. It's not law-worthy, but I definitely think parents should be more strict about it. I had teenagers and adults coming to my door last year. I am not even going to turn my light on this year. I was really frustrated by the adults not in costume asking me for candy. Seriously, go to Target and buy a bag of candy!

  6. In the UK we sometimes get teenagers in just a mask at the door wanting money or sweets, don't think they should be, I do think an age limit should be set and if a child is trick or treating it should be with a parent if young as we also get children on their own in the dark.

    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!

  7. What? That's crazy. I think as long as the kid is still a kid at heart, they should be able to indulge in childhood fun. Every kid who makes an attempt at a costume gets candy at my door regardless of age. Teens with a mask in their hand get told to come back to the door with the mask on.

    I trick or treated probably well past when I should have given it up. Our cross country team would get together for the evening in full costume and go trick or treating, but I looked like a 12yr old at 17(distance runners tend to be 85 lbs.)

    1. Totally agree with you. '-)

  8. I also am not sure that it's law worthy but do believe in setting limits for your kids. My almost 9 year old son goes trick-or-treating for the experience, not the candy. He's allowed a few pieces throughout the next couple of weeks but the vast majority is given away. My almost 2 year old is going this year (her 1st) but will not be allowed any candy. It's about having fun. Older kids have the right too, but their idea of fun tends to be different and can indeed spoil younger kids experiences.

  9. I think that anyone should be allowed to go trick or treating AS LONG AS THEY DRESS UP! It's kind of ridiculous the number of kids AND adults that I get at my house expecting me to dish out the candy when they aren't even dressed up. (And it's not like I'm going to turn them away if they aren't. Where I live, I'd probably get my house/car egged if I did that, plus the little ones that aren't dressed up, it's not their fault, it's the parents). Not dressing up and still coming up to my door for candy kind of ruins the holiday for me.

  10. My parents had a rule that we had to stop trick or treating at 12, unless we went trick or treating with our younger sisters or with nieces and nephews. It was horrible at the time, but looking back, I really enjoyed staying home and making Halloween goodies with my mom, and the parties were a lot of fun too.

  11. Laws? No. Please. Not everything has to be statutory. But I, too, wish that parents would enforce some common-sense restrictions. If kids over age 12 want to dress up and really take part in the fun of the holiday, then that's fine. To tell the truth, I am pretty generous with candy--but I hate to give candy to anyone who's not dressed up and partaking in the FUN spirit of the holiday.

    Now, while I'm not for trick-or-treating laws, I would love to see laws enforced against teenagers or adults acting like thugs. Demanding money at the door of older folks? Egging houses? Slashing tires? Those behaviors should be punished.

  12. Honestly? This is not a joke?

    I mean, over here in Germany, Halloween is no big deal, so there are no regulations necessary.
    But we do have Carneval.
    A really, really big Carneval. With lots of sweets - for everybody. And people get dressed up - not only the kids, but - again - everybody. Even my husband, who works for a big insurance company and has to wear white collar with a nice tie all year long, dresses up as a nun and goes rocking it out with his boss, who´s dressing up as a teddybear.
    Who came up with the idea that fun needs an age limit? I buy sweets according to my budget, and hand them out. And when they´re gone, they´re gone. I really don´t mind if they are eaten by a toddler or by a granny, they taste nice for everybody :)
    What´s next, a law that Santa Claus only brings presents to those who still believe in him? Oh my.

  13. I'm pretty sure that my 3 brother's and I stopped around 10. I just want an attempt at being nice, nothing too scary, the little one's don't need to see the really scary stuff. Mostly I don't want to feel like my car will get egged if I don't stand at the end of my driveway all night handing out candy.
    I have a kid with a birthday close to Halloween, that was an awefull Halloween in our house because of the tiny baby and obnoxious teens.

  14. I think it is silly to pass a law about it. As long as you're dressed up I'll give you candy at my door. I also really enjoy being able to send the older kids out with the younger ones - if you're not dressed up don't expect candy from me!

  15. I can understand the logic why people might want to limit trick-or-treating age, since there will ultimately be troublemakers out on the streets after dark just looking for an excuse to egg people's windows, etc. But troublemakers are going to make trouble regardless of rules.
    I don't honestly think it's fair to set an age limit, though. Trick or treating is a fun thing for kids to do, I'm guessing most people grow out of it pretty soon.

    In my area in the UK, the local police/council distribute 'no trick or treating' flyers for people to put up, and generally say not to go trick or treating. One of the reasons is that 'it scares old people'....well, my grandparents love trick or treaters; every year my 80-year-old Nan buyws a big multipack bag (or two or three) for the kids that come by! And my late Grandad used to do his best to scare them!

    Maybe I think differently about it since Halloween isn't such a big thing here; I guess if it was I'd find it annoying to get bothered every five minutes by kids wanting sweets! Last year we only had one lot of trick-or-treaters--and that was a group from a party the neighbour's kids had, so around ten 3-6 year olds, accompanied by plenty of adults! And that was pre-arranged that they would come (their mum came around to check it was OK, and even gave us sweets to hand out!)

  16. Anyone who comes to my door in a costume and SAYS "trick or treat" is welcome. The only rule I have is that if you're older...I make you sing "I'm a little tea pot" to earn your candy. This has worked out great! They get their candy and leave happy...and most of the older kids don't come back the next year as they know I will make them sing! ;) I give out good candy though...so I've never gotten tricked. It's Halloween! I'm 36 and STILL dress up and decorate for Halloween! It's a fun holiday we should ALL be able to enjoy it.

  17. I say if you want to dress up, you deserve a treat!

  18. I don't know that cities need to set a law over it. That seems pretty extreme and hard to police.

    I'm more in favor of parents stepping up and telling their kids that they are too old.

    Or you can do what I do. I buy really good candy for the young kids and I buy sour/crap candy for the older kids. My thought - that will teach them. LOL.


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