Little Lake County parents are active, mobile and always seeking adventure! Sometimes we even traverse outside of our fair county to find family entertainment beyond our borders. Due to popular reader demand, we introduce “Little McHenry County,” a monthly column dedicated to finding fun with our neighbors to the west, written by McHenry County Moms in the know. Explore and enjoy!
Feeling a little tight in the waistline? Has your family comfortably snuggled into their winter clothes and holiday eating? Us too. The best solution to combat the holiday eating extravaganza is to stay active. And I have the perfect way for you to do just that.
Sign your family up to participate in the Kiwanis Santa Run for Kids in Crystal Lake on December 6th! It is seriously, by far, the cutest race I’ve ever seen and a wonderful family event. When our entire family of six completed the race last December, we promised each other we would do it every year from that point forward.
It was THAT awesome.
Where else do you see close to 1,000 Santa Claus-outfitted residents running through the streets of Crystal Lake? And if cold weather exercise makes you run straight for the gym, just keep in mind that those Santa suits are pretty warm and cozy. The holiday spirit is infectious, the smiles are endless and the running is relatively flat …
The Kiwanis Club of Crystal Lake is in charge of the event, yet the race also benefits Turning Point, CASA, Girls on the Run of NW Illinois, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Main Stay Therapeutic Riding. What a perfect way to get into the spirit of giving this holiday season.
Registration is open until the day of the race, but online registration for the event closes on Wednesday, December 2nd at 12:00 p.m. This pre-registration is what guarantees you the Santa suit with your race number, so I would definitely recommended planning ahead. The race will go on, no matter what the weather holds, and there are no refunds available. Therefore, when you sign up, just remember that it’s all about the FUN, not your race time. If you have to jog in snow boots, well, you live in McHenry County, Illinois; this shouldn’t be an issue. Strollers and dogs (that are up to date with shots, on a leash and licensed) are welcome to participate.
There is a 5K Santa Run for Kids ($38.00) and also the 1-Mile Reindeer Dash-Saunter ($15.00) available, either of which is totally family-friendly. Although I was initially apprehensive, my husband convinced me that our kids could handle the 5K, so we grabbed the double stroller, strapped in our two younger elves and ran (and sometimes walked) with our two older kids (6 and 9 years old at the time).
We had no idea that they had the endurance or mental capacity to complete a 5K, but they did it. Without complaint; in fact, they LOVED it. It gave our kiddos such a boost of confidence and pride that they wanted to run the race again as soon as we finished. We told them they would have to wait 364 days. Our disappointed children’s reactions were near-disastrous but luckily, Santa Claus himself came by to distract them soon after, so their dismay was short-lived.
Sunday, December 6th at 9:00 a.m., just look for the Santas gathered outside the Raue Center for the Arts on Williams Street. Make sure you arrive early enough to find parking, as it can get a bit crowded and also to ensure that you have time to snap those amazing family photos. Christmas card, anyone?
I guarantee you, this is one of the most fun, rewarding and uplifting races in which you will ever participate. If you are a seasoned runner, you will probably win, and if you are somebody who is looking to do something positive and healthy and different with your family, you will not be disappointed.
Mele Kalikimaka! (If we think in Hawaiian terms, maybe the weather will cooperate?)
Kiwanis Santa Run For Kids
9:00 a.m., Sunday, December 6th
Starting line on Brink Street in downtown Crystal Lake.