How old is too old to trick or treat? Maximum ages pop up in area Halloween guidelines, events

Uptown Columbus' annual "Spooktacular," set for 5-7 p.m. Saturday on Broadway, will offer games, treats and a costume contest for the kids.

And "kids" means children: Those younger than 4 get in free. Those age 4-12 each pay $1.

Those 13 or older aren't kids anymore.

Out at Fort Benning, authorities ask that residents limit trick-or-treating to the housing areas in which they live; limit their trick-or-treating times to 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; and limit the age of children trick-or-treating to 12.

Columbus police aren't likely to be checking IDs to make sure no teenagers try to collect candy downtown, and military police probably won't be stopping costumed characters on post to demand some proof of date of birth. But taking steps to keep teenagers from intruding into children's activities just to collect free candy seems to be catching on.

The question of how old is too old to trick-or-treat is being widely discussed, on blogs and on sites such as Yahoo Answers (answers.yahoo.com), www.cafemom.com and www.teenagerstoday.com.

In Columbus, residents often complain not only that trick-or-treaters are too old to be playing ghosts and vampires, but that many of them aren't playing: They aren't wearing costumes. They're just collecting loot.