Is There Such Thing as "Too Old" for Trick-or-Treating?

There are plenty of fun things to do during the Halloween season that you couldn't do as a kid. But the one thing that childless adults miss out on is trick-or-treating. Everyone has gone through the phase of being “too cool” to dress up in a costume and go door to door asking for candy. However, it seems more and more that young adults, especially college age, wish to be little kids again, so they can walk around neighborhoods in costumes without raising eyebrows. 

Many holidays come full circle; it’s fun as a kid, then not so much in the middle school and highschool years, then you miss it until you can experience a whole other side with maybe your own children, or younger family members. 

So, do you reach an age where you are “too old” for trick or treating? Many kids stop trick-or-treating around 14 years old, whether by choice or perceived social pressure. But is this too soon for kids to let go of their childhood and grow up? As Melissa Fenton writes in the blog Grown and Flown, “Before their lives become all about college entrance exams, AP courses, volunteer hours and part-time jobs, why not let our teenagers spend one last night carefree, with zero pressures about their futures, and just the freedom to be a kid again?”    

Towns in the US and Canada have actually placed laws into effect to stop older kids from trick-or-treating, along with a fine or other form of punishment if violated. This seems a little extreme, but it stems from wanting younger children to experiece Halloween safely. But Lizzie Post, an etiquette expert, doesn't see anything wrong with letting teens trick-or-treat: “You want to make sure younger kids are getting the chance and the opportunity, but I don’t want to discourage teens from enjoying this as long they’re behaving well.” The concern for younger kids is understandable, but laws against young adults trick-or-treating doesn’t appear to be a fair solution. 

One blog, Spoon University, says that Halloween and trick-or-treating should actually be FOR college kids! “It’s no surprise that the holiday is appealing to college students. It’s an escape from the bagged eye, over-exhausted reflection in the mirror and an opportunity to take on a new persona (or many) for at least a few days.” Halloween delivers a sense of nostalgia since college kids are in the process of becoming full-on adults, and it also provides a break from the mundane routine that college life can be. 

Basically, if you want to partake in the nostalgia and innocently enjoy a night of collecting candy (and probably the most exercise you’ve gotten all semester) go for it. Coordinate costumes with your best friends, grab your pillow case and take one night to transport yourself back to the good ol’ days.