It may take a little explaining when your child
sees thousands of Santas running along the lakefront this holiday
Even if you're not into running, the sight of all those
Kris Kringles is worth the trip Dec. 1 to the museum campus, where
the 4th Annual Santa Hustle begins.
"I think it's going to be pretty fun to watch 7,000 Santas
run on the lakefront," says Amy Key, president of Variety
Children's Charity, this year's race beneficiary. "We'll have music
going, so it will be a fun atmosphere."
Runners get a red shirt, white beard and Santa hat when
they register, but many take it even further and deck themselves
out in full Santa costumes. Holiday music is piped throughout the
course, which starts on Museum Campus Drive, heads south on the
trails past McCormick Place, and then loops back to finish on
A 100-yard dash for kids 12 and under begins at 8:30 a.m.,
followed by the main 5K race at 9 a.m. In keeping with the holiday
spirit, water stations also feature candy and cookies, with candy
canes passed out at the finish line. This year, a new wheelchair
division and kids' wheelchair dash have been added to the
A party with activities for families will take place after
If you're not a runner, but are looking to do some good
this holiday season, race organizers are looking for more than 200
volunteers, and families are encouraged to help out. "We want
people of all ages. We've seen kids be very successful at handing
out water," Key says. "Parents can definitely come out with
kids and consider this one of their giving
Money raised from the event will go to Variety's program
to provide mobility equipment for children whose insurance won't
cover a specific item. That includes things such as wheelchairs,
sports equipment and adapted bikes, Key says.
Liz DeCarlo is the senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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