Trick-or-treating is a fun, childhood tradition for kids on the night of Halloween but getting older means that taking candy from people’s homes has to end. 

As a little kid, there was nothing better than getting festive and bundled up for a chilly night out with friends to run around the neighborhood and overeat candy. Trick-or-treating was the pinnacle of going against parents’ rules as a child: not eating your vegetables and going to bed late on a school night.  

Trick-or-treating is a sacred tradition for children of all ages and neighborhoods. The night brings kids together from all over. That being said, there is a fine line for when the cute costumes and adorable voices screaming, “trick-or-treat” at your door becomes inappropriate.  

For high school and college students, taking candy from neighbors and not allowing children to have as many treats isn’t okay. The excitement of Halloween is getting to have candy with your friends, which is very special and rare when you’re young. Older kids have greater opportunities to be with friends and make independent choices on what they eat. 

 Dressing up is very acceptable and necessary though, regardless of age. There are other options as to how to spend the holiday night when you’re older but costumes are always a must. 

High schoolers have never-ending school orientated Halloween events, dances or functions they can attend with friends. Getting dressed up is often a contest at school on the day of Halloween and the spooky spirit if often lively in high school. 

College students who aren’t busy studying in the library on the night of Halloween have social events on every corner of campus. For Gonzaga students living in residence halls, groups of kids living near campus come with their parents to get treats from dorm rooms. This tradition allows for first-year students to feel more at home and get them in the spirit. 

Many Spokane kids don’t get to trick-or-treat on GU’s campus though.  Some neighborhoods that have great trick-or-treating success in the Spokane area include Manito Blvd. on the South Hill, the Corbin Park neighborhood and the Midelome development. 

GU students that live off-campus have children living in the Logan neighborhood knocking on their doors the entire night of Halloween. Students living in Spokane neighborhoods need to be prepared with candy and ready to open the front door. 

For those of legal drinking age, there are numerous costume parties, festive bars and opportunities to pass out candy while having a good time with friends. 

I don’t believe there is an exact age as to when children should stop trick-or-treating but once it becomes a question, that’s when it needs to end. Halloween spirit and other activities should still go on but once it becomes somewhat of a thought that you may be too old, you probably are. 

Parents would be the best decision-maker in the circumstance of when to prevent your child from trick-or-treating. They know their children best and most likely enforce the rules in their lives. To make the transition from trick-or-treating to another Halloween festivity less traumatic, I think promoting a new tradition for the child with enthusiasm and excitement is the best way to get them on board.   

Halloween is fun for all ages, as long as people participate in activities that are appropriate for their own age. 

Emma Ulring is a contributor. 

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