‘Tis the season for turkey, pumpkin pie, Santa photos, cozy nights sitting by the fire and — the antidote to all the sitting and treat-eating — fun runs! Each holiday season, you have the chance to get active and give back by signing up your family for a family-friendly race. So grab your jingle bells, elf hats and Santa beards, and get running (or walking).
Note: These races are listed by date.
Magnuson Series Turkey Day Trot, Northeast Seattle, Nov. 27
The Magnuson Series at Magnuson Park hosts running and walking events year round. This Thanksgiving, get some exercise before your feast. The Magnuson Series Thanksgiving Day Run includes a 10K, 5K and a 400-meter Kids Dash. Run in T-Day style and dress in costume for the event!
When: Thursday, Nov. 27 (Thanksgiving). Kids Dash 9:45 a.m.; All race events 10 a.m.
Where: Magnuson Park, Seattle
Cost: 5K, $18; 10K $23; Kids Dash $3
*Also be sure to check out the Magnuson Series Holiday Fun Run on Dec 20 (featuring a 5K, 10K, 15K team run and a Kids Dash).
Norpoint Turkey Trot, Tacoma, Nov. 27
The Norpoint Turkey Trot is the oldest and largest Turkey Trot in Tacoma, featuring a 5K run, 2-mile run/walk and a Kids Trot for ages 3–10 (plus holiday activities).
The big perk for parents: Kiddos who run in the Kids Trot are invited to join the Norpoint staff for crafts and games in the gym, while mom and dad participate in the “big kids' race.” Prizes and a costume contest for the best turkey costumes are traditions, so come donned in your best feathers. Note: Trotters signed up by November 22 receive a Turkey Trot T-shirt.
When: Thursday, Nov. 27 (Thanksgiving). Check-in 8 a.m.; races start at 9 a.m.
Where: Center at Norpoint, Tacoma
Cost: $25 for 5K and 2-mile (through Nov. 22), with price increases closer to the race and the day of. The Kids Trot is $10 (pre-registered) and $20 on day of race. Save money and register online.
Issaquah Turkey Trot, Nov. 27
Join other Eastside families on Thanksgiving morning for a fun (and casual!) 5K, benefiting the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank. There are no bibs, time chips or numbers in this race; the point is for the community to join together and help those in need. (But of course — Turkey Day costume and accessories are very much encouraged.)
When: Thursday, Nov. 27 (Thanksgiving). Run starts at 9 a.m. (staggered times depending on running/jogging/walking)
Where: City of Issaquah N.W. Building Visit the route page for more details.
Cost: Ages 11 and up: $25 (includes T-shirt). Kids 10 and younger: $7 (includes T-shirt, gobble-wobble card and prize at the finish). Register online.
Seattle Turkey Trot, Ballard, Nov. 27
This popular 5K race in Northwest Seattle might be casual (no official timing) but it boasts a stunning race course that starts at the top of Golden Gardens park, south to the Locks and along Shilshole Bay. Dogs and strollers are welcome. Proceeds support the Ballard Food Bank.
When: Thursday, November 27, 9 a.m.
Where: Above Golden Gardens Park, Seattle
Cost: Early registration (deadline Nov. 18) costs $15 for kids ages 10 and under and $25 for adults. Register online.
Santa Runs Tacoma/ Frosty’s 5K and Tiny Tim’s 1K, Tacoma, Dec. 13
Join Santa and his reindeer at Santa Runs Tacoma, with a race distance for everyone, including a 1K Kids Dash, a 5K, a 10K and a 21K and; the race course includes the Murray Morgan Bridge. Part of the proceeds from this year’s race go to the Tacoma Humane Society. FISH Food Bank of Pierce County is also a partner; bring a can or package of protein food (details here) and receive a raffle ticket.
*All registrants receive a hat and gloves.
When: Saturday, Dec. 13. Costume contest judging 8:40 a.m.; 5K start time 9 a.m.; Kids Run start time 10:20 a.m.; Awards ceremony 10:45 a.m.
Where: Race starts at A. Street/10th Street.
Cost: Through Nov. 30: 1K $10, 5K $30, then goes up.
*Strollers and dogs are welcome in Frosty’s 5K!
Jingle Bell Run/Walk, downtown Seattle, Dec. 14
Wear your jingle bells and get ready to run (or walk!) in the name of holiday cheer and charity. Seattle's Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis is the country's largest holiday race series, raising close to a million dollars for the Arthritis Foundation. This huge holiday event includes three race waves plus a 1K Children’s Run with the Elves for little racers 10 and under. Warning: It's a blast, but the crowds can be overwhelming for some kids.
When: Sunday, Dec. 14. Costume contest judging 7:45–8:30 a.m.; 1K Children’s Run with the Elves 8–8:40 a.m.; Other race waves begin at 8:20 a.m.; Holiday Cheer Garden 8:45–11:30 a.m.
Where: Westlake Center, downtown Seattle.
Cost: $20–$40, with prices going up closer to the race. See registration details here.
*Dogs not allowed; strollers are allowed in the Santa Striders Race Wave only (last race wave). No event day registration or packet pick-up.
12 Ks of Christmas, Kirkland, Dec. 21
This popular holiday run, which now starts at Heritage Park, just north of Marina Park, features a 12K, a 5K and a Free Kids Dash (for tots 10 and under). Come for the run/walk and stay for free food, music, a holiday costume contest and refreshments for parents, all in the name of Sleep Country’s Foster Kids program. Kids who participate in the free Kids Dash (1K long) will receive a participant bib number and a finish ribbon.
When: Sunday, Dec. 21, with races starting at 9:30 a.m. Costume contest judging 11:30 a.m.
Where: Heritage Park, Kirkland
Cost: $35–$50, with prices going up after Nov. 24 and for day of race registration. Note: Though there’s no fee for the Kids Dash, a registration form must be completed and signed by a parent. Register online.
*Strollers and dogs on (short) leashes are allowed at 12K and 5K.
Jingle Bell Run, Tacoma, Dec. 24
Though this three-mile race in Tacoma's Wright Park doesn't have an official kids' race, the cheap price tag ($10), late start time and high fun factor make it as family friendly as they come. You can choose to race at either 10:30 a.m. or noon. Don't forget to don your best holiday-themed costume for a costume contest with categories ranging from ugly sweater to family costume. The event is chip timed, but there are no age groups or results ceremony.
When: Wednesday, Dec. 24, at either 10:30 a.m. or noon
Where: Wright Park, Tacoma
Cost: $10 entry fee; $20 day of race. Entry fee includes jingle bells and candy canes. Register online.
For more holiday races, check here. And if you have a favorite we didn’t mention, please comment below.