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Go Ask Mom

Halloween and Teens: How old is too old to trick or treat

Posted October 25, 2010

I asked a 13-year-old the other day if she planned to trick or treat. Her answer: Not sure.

Last year, at age 12, she dressed up and went door-to-door. This year, she's torn between feeling too old and wanting candy.

I suspect this is a common question for parents and young teens. I trick-or-treated all through high school as did all my friends in the small town I grew up in. But we also came up with elaborate costumes that required all kinds of paper mache and glue guns. We definitely worked for our candy.

But it seems teens are discouraged these days from going door-to-door. And some cities (though none around here that I know of) actually ban teens from trick-or-treating.

If your teens are looking for an alternative, there are some Halloween events aimed at them.

Youngsville Realty will be hosting a Teen Halloween Bash from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday for kids ages 13 to 17. The event at Crossroads Entertainment, 413 Brooks St., in Wake Forest will include a costume contest, music, dancing, giveaways, lots of candy and refreshments. The cover charge is $5. Call 919-556-2588 for details. (Note: The Teen Halloween Bash is not the same as the Oct. 30 event advertised on Crossroads' website).

This is the first time Youngsville Realty has hosted the event. Anne Marie Della Morte, the realty company's owner, said she has left her business open on Halloween night to give out candy. But she noticed mostly young children coming by.

"The teens don't have anywhere to go," she said. "They have nowhere to go, nothing to do and guess what ... they get in trouble."

DellaMorte said her 14-year-old granddaughter and grandson will both be there.

"That was my main motive to do this, for them," she said. "I just figured they could socialize with other teens, dance and get to know other kids."

Here are a few other events teens might enjoy. A couple of them are organized by teens themselves.

  • Cary offers a Reel-ly Scary Movie Series at Koka Booth Amphitheatre starting Tuesday through Saturday. Gates open at 6 p.m. And the town's teen council and youth theatre will hold a Halloween Bash on Saturday with carnival games and a haunted house. The event is for all ages. Teens might enjoy the haunted house the most. Click here for details on both. 
  • Durham will hold a costume party for teens ages 13 to 17 at W.D. Hill Recreation Center, 1308 Fayetteville St. from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday. There will be dancing, entertainment and other activities. Call 919-560-4292 for details.
  • Wakefield Theatre Company of Wakefield High School in Raleigh will hold its annual Family Fall Fun Festival from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. The event is for all ages and includes a haunted house. Click here for details.
  • The Halloween Teen Dance Party & Costume Fashion Show at Garner Road YMCA in Raleigh is for kids ages 13 to 18. The event is 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $6. The event is a fundraiser for Second Round Boxing, which connects at-risk students with positive role models, and N.C. H.E.A.T., a student organization that has actively opposed some of the Wake school board's decisions.
  • And of course there are all the haunted houses in the area. Check the Halloween and fall fun guide for more.

I'm sure there are more. So feel free to include your event in the comments. What are your teens doing this weekend?

12 Comments

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  • cap4dogs Oct 27, 2010

    One of the problems we have today is that we expect our kids to grow up toooo fast, then we moan the blues when they end up in trouble. In my day, the teenagers were just as much or more into Halloween as the "kids". In the origins of Halloween, the whole community used it to blow off steam and scare off evil, and lord knows we could use enough of that. Why would anyone begrudge a bit of innocent fun and Candy to ANYONE at any AGE. In today's stress filled world, I would love to see Adults dressing up and trick or treating, just to relieve some of the tension. Don't make our children grow up too fast and don't deny them the simple pleasures of trick or treating. If an 18 year old shows up at your door, smile, give him/her a great candy bar, and thank the lord they are not out drinking and driving, or papering your lawn, or egging your vehicles, just because they are bored and considered (by some) "too old" to trick or treat. God Bless

  • 007KnightRider Oct 26, 2010

    "I don't mind the age, but I do think the kids needs to make sure they come by early. The ones that wait till 8/8:30 make me nervous and I tend not to open the door after that time. Also, the kids that change costumes and come back around a 2nd time. These kids are not starving or poor. They don't need the candy - they're just greedy!" - JAT

    The kids in my old neighborhood didn't change costumes they just came back a second time.

  • edith wharton Oct 26, 2010

    My teenagers will be doing a Trunk or Treat early in the evening for the little kids at church, then will go trick or treating with their friends (in costume) later on. I've never understood why people think Halloween is only for very young children. They enjoy it the least of anyone!

  • JAT Oct 26, 2010

    I don't mind the age, but I do think the kids needs to make sure they come by early. The ones that wait till 8/8:30 make me nervous and I tend not to open the door after that time. Also, the kids that change costumes and come back around a 2nd time. These kids are not starving or poor. They don't need the candy - they're just greedy!

  • khoggard Oct 26, 2010

    I agree with a couple of the other comments that after elementary school, it is time to stop. My 3rd grader had earlier said he did not want to go but has since changed his mind. We do not go door-to-door anyway but to church fall festivals in costume where he gets just as much candy.

  • mewubbau Oct 26, 2010

    My daughter just turned 14, but I'm planning on allowing her to dress up and go out. One of her friends has already invited her in their neighborhood. I agree with the comments that as long as the kids are dressed up and not being punks I am glad to have them out and about. My daughter's birthday is the day before Halloween and I've also got to figure out what we can do that night, I always try to do something NOT Halloween themed. She wants to do a corn maze, but not a haunted one?!?!

  • Lab mom Oct 26, 2010

    I have to say once you are out of elementary school you are to old. My daughter is in 3rd grade and is saying this will be her last year.

  • Killian Oct 26, 2010

    kittiboo -- I'm with you! I have no problem with kids or the kid-at-heart, but you need a costume to get candy from me!

  • scottandjanet2 Oct 25, 2010

    I guess I'm a scrooge...I think after 5th grade it's time to stop...now if there is an organized party, that is different, but just to go door to door, I think Halloween is just for the little kids!

  • anclontz Oct 25, 2010

    Wow, back home (western NC), usually the teens out number children on halloween. It is the thing to do on halloween night for teenagers to go out trick or treating in all the newest costumes. It wasn't about the candy for most, just getting out with friends and being entertained by all the decorations. I am glad to know, though, there are plenty of activities in the triangle for teens to attend!

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