Halloween Traditions – How old is too old to Trick or Treat?

I love Halloween; it’s one of my favorite times of the year. Halloween is the culmination of fall: the weather is crisp and cool, the vibrant leaves are falling and there is a palpable excitement in the air.  It’s that one time of the year that we all get to enjoy the world of make believe and pretend to be someone else, even if only for a night. However, I’m a little saddened this year because things are changing. My son mentioned he wasn’t sure if he should go out trick or treating. He thought maybe he was too old. Did I mention he’s 12? I’m not sure how this happened so quickly.

It makes me sad because the “Halloween season” has slowly evolved into a special family tradition for us. iStock_000018010512XSmallWe always start with pumpkin picking. Most years we get to the local farms. However, on occasion, the grocery store has worked in a pinch. We share laughs and ideas as we draw and carve crazy designs. And I always bake the seeds. It’s surprisingly quite easy.  Ahh…Nothing like warm roasted pumpkin seeds as a snack.

Next on the agenda is trying to figure out “what to be”. My kids have very specific costumes ideas. One treasured memory was helping my daughter transform into a zombie. Everything was homemade and she even came home from school with the best costume award! From that day on, it has been homemade all the way. Last year I helped my son turn old bed sheets into a mummy (let’s not ask him how he went to the washroom that day.)

Halloween night is a mad dash for my husband and I to get home from work. Based on traffic I’m assuming many other parents are in on this same dash. We prepare a quick dinner that typically involves the microwave, and then the kids frantically run around getting their costumes on. We always race against the clock to be ready to join the neighbourhood friends when they reach our door.

3-2-1…and off they go running with excitement. The kids’ mission: to procure enough candy to last the whole year through, or so they think… The parents’ mission: to enjoy a night talking, laughing and reconnecting with neighbours and to maybe enjoy some of that candy too!

Halloween Kids - Brothers PortraitAs for my son thinking about skipping out this year, I say “Halloween is for the young at heart. Of course you can still go out.” I never have issues with older kids or teens coming to my door. They are dressed in quazi costumes, but are always polite and very thankful for the handful of candy. In a society when we worry so much about influences and kids growing up too fast, why not let them enjoy being young? Because in a blink of an eye… POOF it’s over.

But alas, it is ultimately his decision. But if he decides not to go out, there are still many different ways he can enjoy Halloween. He can hand out the candy or keep his dad company as they bring my daughter around… and I hear Halloween parties are on the horizon.

Do you have any Halloween traditions? What are your thoughts on older kids trick or treating?

  • Leave us a comment below
  • Talk to us on Twitter: @haltonparents
  • Email us at haltonparents@halton.ca
  • Call  HaltonParents by dialing 311 or 905-825-6000 for parenting information or to speak directly to a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from
  •  8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

About Cynthia Lindsay RN

Hi everyone. My name is Cynthia Lindsay and I work as a public health nurse with the school years program. I've been a nurse for over 20 years (wow time flies!) with the last 13 years focused on what I've discovered to be my passion... Parenting. I now have many parenting accreditations and enjoy connecting with parents in the community through Triple P, parenting groups & social media. "Je parle aussi le français" and I love working, making connections, and raising my 2 teens with my hubby in Halton.
This entry was posted in Children & Tweens, Parenting, Parenting Your Child/Tween, Parenting Your Teen, Teens and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Halloween Traditions – How old is too old to Trick or Treat?

  1. Pingback: How to tackle Mount Candy this Halloween | HaltonParents

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s