Chicago area runs and races for families

Grab the kids and lace up your running shoes! These Chicago area runs for families are a ton of fun and support good causes, too. See which run matches up best with your family’s interests.

If your family feels hippity hoppity:

Bunny Rock 5K

When: April 15 at 9 a.m. (10:15 a.m. egg hunt)

Where: Montrose Harbor, Chicago

Strollers permitted? Yes

Participants receive bunny ears, ‘80s music is played on the course and kids ages 2 to 10 have an egg hunt and a petting zoo at the end. Sounds like a great time to us! The top three male and female finishers in each age group win a special medal and age groups include 10 and under and 11-14. Proceeds benefit the Red Door Animal Shelter.

If your family loves a post-race picnic:

American Cancer Society Walk and Roll

When: April 22 at 10 a.m.

Where: Soldier Field, Chicago

Strollers permitted? Yes

You have lots of ways to join this family-friendly event: 5K walk, 5K run, 10K skate or 15K bike. Registration is required for participants ages 17 and younger, but there is no fee. Participants are welcome to picnic after the event. Entertainment is permitted and games and grills are encouraged.

If pancakes are your breakfast favorite:

Ravesnwood Run

When: April 23 at 8 a.m. (Kids races start at 9 a.m.)

Where: 4550 N Hermitage Ave, Chicago

Strollers permitted? No

This course through the historic Ravenswood neighborhood has no age minimum for the 5K. Kids are welcome, but organizers ask that participants be able to maintain a 15 minute per mile minimum, which is essentially a brisk walk. Kids races include a 20 yard dash for kids 3 years old and under, a 50 yard dash for 4-7 year olds and a 100 yard dash for 8-10 year olds. Enjoy a post-race pancake breakfast for $10 with proceeds benefitting the Ravenswood Community Services Food Pantry.

If your family loves superheros:

Superhero Glow Run 5K

When: April 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Six Flags Great America, Gurnee

Strollers permitted? Yes

Tweens and teens will love this Friday night race through Six Flags Great America. After they get covered in UV glow powder during the race, they can cool down post-race by riding roller coasters. The post-race party goes until 11 p.m. Every participant gets a cape; you can select team Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman or Joker when you sign up. (Save 50 percent on tickets when you purchase before April 9.) Spectators need a ticket and kids 2 and under are free.

If your kids think underwear is hilarious:

Undy Run/Walk

When: May 13 at 9 a.m.

Where: Lincoln Park South Fields in Chicago

Strollers permitted? Yes

Kids will be amused by this underwear-themed 5K that raises awareness for colon cancer. Instead of the usual t-shirt, participants get boxer shorts from the Colon Cancer Alliance to put on. The 5K adult run is for those 14 and older. The 5K Youth run is for kids between ages 6 and 13. There is also a 1-mile fun run for all ages that is free for kids 5 and younger. Don’t miss the giant inflatable colon!

If there are night owls in your family:

G.L.O.W. 5K

When: June 3 at 8:15 p.m.

Where: 5th Avenue Station, Naperville

Strollers permitted? Yes

This fun night run is a family affair benefitting the Jeanine Nicarico Literacy Fund. Don’t worry about the darkness, runners get all kinds of fun glow-in-the-dark accessories. The starting line is just steps from the Naperville Metra stop.

If you’re a family of animal lovers:

United Run for the Zoo

When: June 5 at 7:45 a.m. (Safari Stampede begins at 10 a.m.)

Where: Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

Strollers permitted? Yes (at back of heat)

This race that travels through the grounds of the Lincoln Park Zoo is one time you don’t have to tell your kids not to run at the zoo. Runners can pick from either a 5K or a 10K. Kids will love the Safari Stampede, a mini obstacle course for kids ages 8 and under. It’s capped at 250 kids, so register early.

If you’re all about healthier futures for kids:

Move for the Kids

When: June 10 at 9 a.m.

Where: Soldier Field, Chicago

Strollers permitted? Yes

This benefit run for Lurie Children’s Hospital takes place along the lakeshore path. Kids are welcome and those between ages 4and 12 can register for just $5. Lots of little ones, including former patients, turn out for this inspirational event.

If your family feels patriotic:

Uncle Sam 5K and Kids’ Dash

When: July 2 at 8:10 a.m.

Where: Tap House Grill, 56 W. Wilson St., Palatine

Strollers permitted? Yes

Break out your red, white and blue for this run just before Independence Day. All participants in the 5K will get an Uncle Sam hat. The Kids’ Dash is half a mile and top finishers in each age group will be honored. A post-race party at the Tap House Grill follows.

If you’re looking for some fun obstacles:

Badass Dash

When: July 8

Where: Sears Centre Arena, Hoffman Estates

Strollers permitted? No

If you and your kids like some fun obstacle races, check out this event. There are two courses for the Kids Dash, one for each age group. Kids between ages 4 and 6 complete a 400 yard dash with various obstacles. They must have a parent on the course. Kids between ages 7 and 13 have a course that’s around a mile long with different obstacles.

Note: Start times indicate when the runs begin, sites open before then.

- Advertisement -


5 Ways Kids Can Avoid Summer Brain Drain

Your kids can keep learning this summer with these ideas.

What Does Phase 5 Mean for Chicago Families?

Illinois and Chicago are fully reopened!

40 Summer Festivals for Families in Chicagoland

Explore our iconic festival scene.

- Advertisement -