As someone who isn’t happy to give out candy to greedy teenagers in last minute costumes on Halloween, I’ve sometimes wished for a solution.  I could always turn the youths away, but this often leads to property damage. If you’ve ever had your house toilet-papered or your vehicles egged then, like me, you may decide that a mini-chocolate bar is a worthy investment to prevent it from happening again.

In some cities such as Meridian, MS; Bishopville, SC; Boonsboro, MD; Belleville, IL; and Newport News, VA, the law has stepped in to say who can trick-or-treat and who cannot, with the cut off age usually being 12 years old.

It seems a little extreme for the government to have to establish laws on trick-or-treating age limits, but when parents fail to tell their grown children: No, you’re too old, the rest of us are left in an uncomfortable position.

While I can’t control what other parents do with their teens on Halloween, I do have two of my own kids who I have to make the trick-or-treating decision for. In my experience, usually after age ten, you will start to wonder when you should no longer let your child trick-or-treat. However few kids are going to tell you they’re too old. Who wants to turn down an opportunity for free candy? It’s going to have to be a judgment call on your part. If you’re unsure whether or not your son or daughter is now too old to trick-or-treat, here are 10 indicators that will help you decide before Halloween.


1. Your child is tall enough to find and reach—without the help of a step ladder—the candy you bought for trick-or-treaters and hid in an upper kitchen cabinet

2. You would feel comfortable letting your child trick-or-treat without a parent present, because you know she and her friends could fend for themselves.

3. Your child isn’t the least bit scared of the house in your neighborhood which is known for trying to frighten trick-or-treaters.

Read Related: Halloween Candy Consumption: Kids and Parents Prefer Chocolate

4. Your son’s baritone voice startles your neighbor when he says, “trick-or-treat”.

5. Your child would rather watch Friday the 13th than It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

6.Your child asks you to stock up on eggs and toilet paper the week before Halloween.

7. Your child can safely carve a jack-o-lantern without any supervision or assistance.

8. Your child can legally drive him/herself to the store to buy a Halloween costume.

9. Your daughter gets creepy looks from older men when she dresses like a nurse, cheerleader or French maid.

10. Your son decides to dress as a character with a mustache and you don’t need to draw one on his face, because he can grow his own.

Remember, just because your teen is too old for trick-or-treating, doesn’t mean they can’t have some fun. Let your son or daughter throw a Halloween party and invite their friends, have them hand out candy to the little ones at the door, or encourage them to set up the yard to scare the neighborhood kids.

Happy Halloween!