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When Should Kids Stop Trick-Or-Treating?

Halloween is one of the best parts about fall, hands down. We'd even go so far as to say that Halloween is one of the best parts of the entire year. There is nothing more fun that getting covering your home and yard with spooky decor, carving pumpkins, and getting dressed up in costumes. Plus, Halloween is the one time a year when candy corn is considered an actual food group!

We happen to believe that Halloween is a holiday that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, in one way or another. Kids love the costumes and trick-or-treating (not to mention the buckets of candy they procure over the course of the holiday!), and adults love the spooky, scary vibe. But is there an age limit on who can enjoy some of the fun offerings Halloween brings? For example, is trick-or-treating strictly for kids? How old is too old for trick-or-treating?

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This seems to be a debate we have every year at Halloween. There are those who believe that trick-or-treating is open to all, and don't mind handing out candy to tweens and teens who come to their door, as long as they're in costume. After all, it's one night a year, and who WOULDN'T want to dress up as their favorite character to score some treats? But, there are also people who feel very strongly that trick-or-treating should be left to young kids, and that older kids who participate take away from the joy and innocent fun of the holiday.

A town in Canada is coming down hard on the trick-or-treating age limits. New Brunswick, one of eastern Canada's Maritime provinces, actually banned trick-or-treating for kids over the age of 16 last year, and set a strict 8 p.m. curfew on Halloween night. They actually enacted their ban in response to pranks and mischief caused by teens on Halloween, and were hoping that the ban would cut down on the trouble-making. Which is certainly understandable!

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But there are problems with an all-out ban like this. First off, what about families whose parents work late, and can't head out for trick-or-treating until they get home? Or what about tall kids who meet the age requirements? Certainly there are some 12-15 year old in New Brunswick who look 16 or older. Are officials going to be asking for proof of age of everyone wearing a costume? There seem to be quite a few issues with a law of this sort.

We are firmly Team Anyone in a Costume gets candy. Listen, it's once a year! If a tween or teen wants to get dressed up and go trick-or-treating, what's the harm in that? Surely, this wholesome tradition keeps them from getting into actual trouble and mischief on Halloween night, right? We say live and let live, and if it really bothers, save the gross candy for the teenagers. But don't shut down the fun for kids (yes, they are kids!) who still want to partake.

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