Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

The Jingle Bell Run, Turkey Trots and more holiday family fun runs (plus a polar bear swim)

Holiday 5ks, walks, kid dashes and polar plunges! Santa hats optional

Holiday family fun runs can be a great way to get everybody outside and moving, especially when cold weather tends to keep us inside.

Here are some family-friendly 5K (about 3 miles)  run/walks before and on Thanksgiving (including a kids marathon on the Saturday after Thanksgiving) and a slew of holiday runs in December (+ one polar bear swim)! The theme of the 5K fun runs is FUN – many people walk, and the goal is to enjoy the camaraderie while getting some exercise.

Run registration entry fees vary – sometimes kids can run for free.  Most events do allow day-of-event registration but register early for the best entry price and to be most likely to get the swag (usually a t-shirt).

[See also: Holiday events around the Seattle area || 5 walks that are great on wet winter days ]

Saturday, November 18th

Tacky Turkey Sweater 5k

What: The best of both worlds – a pre-turkey run and an ugly sweater run! Grab your friends & family and join a fun 5k run or walk to start the holiday season!

Where: Greenlake Community Center

When: Nov 18, 10 am

Carnation Turkey Trot

What: Join the first Annual Carnation Turkey Trot at the beautiful Remlinger Farms in Carnation, Washington. You will  join fellow runners, joggers and walkers in some lighthearted fun while supporting the Carnation Chamber’s mission of supporting the businesses of Carnation and strengthening the community. The 5k course will take you all along the country roads and paths on the farm. No cars will be on the course. The kids dash is about 100 yards and will be held right before the 5k so everyone can be there to cheer on the little Gobblers!

Where: Remlinger Farm

When: November 18th, Kids Gobble Dash (Ages 7 and Under), 9 am, 5K Turkey Trot 9:30 am

Thanksgiving Day Runs

Magnuson Park Turkey Day Trot

What: All runners, waddlers, and trotters are invited to this year’s Magnuson Park Turkey Trot. Get the kids out for the 400 Meter Kids Dash and/or come feast on some miles in the  5k, 10k, and 15k run/walks.  After you finish enjoy a treat at the hot chocolate bar. FareStart is the featured charity. If you have any food products you want to donate, bring them to the race, and they will be given to the University Food Bank. Strollers and leashed dogs allowed.

Where: Magnuson Park

When: Thanksgiving Day, 400 Meter Kids Dash 9 a.m.,  5K, 10K, 15K – start at 9:30 a.m.

Woodinville Turkey Trot

What: The fun begins with the Woodinville High School Marching Band Parade. Costumes encouraged! There will be a Kids Dash for kids 6 and under and a chip-timed 5K, and age group awards! Strollers allowed by no dogs.

Where: Wilmot Gateway Park, Woodinville

When: Thanksgiving Day,  Kids Dash 8:45 a.m., 5K run/walk 9 a.m.

Issaquah Turkey Trot

What: The Issaquah Turkey Trot is a fun & casual 5K run/walk/trot Thanksgiving morning through downtown Issaquah. This beloved local tradition brings the community together during the holiday to help provide free food and basic necessities for those in need.
There are seven Gobble Wobble stations along the route. Kids get their Gobble Wobble pass validated at each station and get a fun prize at the end! Costumes encouraged! Strollers and leashed dogs allowed.

Where: Downtown Issaquah

When: Thanksgiving morning, 9 a.m.

Mukilteo Turkey Trot

What: Join Snohomish Running Company for the 8th annual Mukilteo Turkey Trot. Complete a 5k or 10k around the Harbour Pointe neighborhood in Mukilteo, WA, before the big feast. Both distances take place on closed roads and are accessible for strollers and participants of all paces.  PJ pants are included with registration (as long as the supply lasts), and you might even take home a pumpkin pie!

Where: Kamiak High School, Mukilteo

When: Thanksgiving day, 8 a.m.

Saturday, November 25 

Seattle Kids Marathon

What: The Darigold FIT Seattle Kids Marathon fall program is structured to allow children—kindergarten and up—to complete a full 26.2 mile marathon at a rate that is fun and safe for their growing bodies “one mile at a time.” It also encourages them to eat 26 good meals, read 13 books, and perform 13 do-rights (good deeds) with provided trackers.
With the support of Darigold FIT and UW Medicine Seattle Marathon participants, this year’s Kids Marathon will be free to the first 500 students.
Start your marathon journey at a pace that works for you, then join together either virtually at the time/place best for you or in person on November 25th to run and celebrate the final mile together.

Where: Seattle Center

When: November 25, 9 a.m.

Saturday, December 2 

Electric Cookie Run around Green Lake

What: Justify your holiday cookie consumption in style at the Electric Cookie Run! It couldn’t be any simpler.

  • Run one loop (2.8 miles) or 2 loops around Green Lake in all of your finest holiday attire!
  • Collect your medal.
  • Celebrate your achievement by dining on the finest cookies from Seattle’s bakeries.

Where: Green Lake

When: December 2, 5 p.m.

Saturday, December 10 

Jingle Bell Run

What: Be part of the original holiday race for charity and signature Arthritis Foundation holiday event. The Jingle Bell Run is especially well-suited for kids (and their parents) with lots of short-distance options.   Dogs and strollers welcome!

Where: Green Lake

When: December 10th, 8 a.m. -11 a.m. 8 a.m. Register for Costume Contest, 8:30 a.m. Kids Fun Run, 9 a.m. 5K Run Timed,  9:20 5K Run/Walk Untimed, 9:40 a.m.  1 Mile walk.

12 Ks of Christmas

What: There will be a 5K and 12K run.

Where: Marina Park, Kirkland

When: December 10. The 5K run will begin at 9:25 am and the 12K run will begin at 9:00 am.

Saturday, December 23

Magnuson Park Holiday Run

What: Come down to to Magnuson Park and spread some holiday cheer by running ina  classic 5k, 10k, 15k run or the kids dash (400 meters). After you cross the finish line, treat yourself to the hot chocolate bar. Costumes, holiday sweaters, and hats are encouraged. Prizes for the winners and best dressed.

Where: Magnuson Park, 65th and Sand Point Way N.E., Seattle

When:  December 23, 10 a.m.

Sunday, December 24

Christmas Eve Ugly Sweater 5K Run/Walk and the Elf Kid’s Dash

What: Kick off Christmas Eve with this fun festive run. Family run/walk and Kid’s Dash.   Holiday inflatables, Santa House

Where: 14201 86th Ave E, Puyallup

When: Sunday, December 24, 8:30 a.m.

New Year’s Day

Resolution Run and Polar Bear Dive

What: Celebrating the beginning of the new year, the event consists of a 5K run/walk with an optional Polar Bear Dive into Lake Washington just before the event finish line area. The post-race celebration includes a free kids dash for children 10 & under and a beer garden for those over 21. Free chili, coffee, hot chocolate, and more will be provided. Whether you want to run into Lake Washington or cheer as others do, this is a raucous way to start 2022.

Where: Magnuson Park

Time: 5K starts at 10:30 a.m.


Polar Plunge First Day Hikes Lake Sammamish State Park

What: Polar Plunge returns on New Year’s Day 2024 hosted by First Day Hikes encouraging everyone to get outside and enjoy the state park. Festivities will begin with registration, music, and merriment on the shores of Sunset Beach. There will be a costume contest and then the crowd will “plunge” into the chilly waters of Lake Sammamish. Complimentary calm chowder from Ivars will be served onsite.

Where: Lake Sammamish State Park

Time: Festivities start at 10:30 a.m. Costume judging at 11:30 a.m. The “plunge” at noon.


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