Local “A-Maze-ing” Family Friendly Races

We’ve partnered with All-Community Events this season to highlight some of the best family-friendly races in Lake and McHenry Counties.

Family-friendly races can be fun! Before having children, participating in several races a year with my family – and actually loving it – was never anything I saw in the crystal ball of my future. With the help of a never-able-to-sit-still husband, and a strong desire to lose the blasted baby weight (four times), I can confidently say that some of the best experiences I’ve had with my family is taking the time on a Saturday or Sunday morning to stray from our crazy soccer/basketball/dance/cheerleading/church/whatever-else schedule and participate in exciting races together.

family friendly races

I know that the idea of a “RACE” can be intimidating, but believe me, racing doesn’t have to be fast, crazy-competitive, or make you feel sick to be totally satisfying and raise those endorphins. I strongly encourage you to make it your end-of-the-year resolution to try something new and show your kids that fitness can be fun! A plethora of family-friendly races are available with no pressure, lots of laughs, and fantastic entertainment. Check out the amazing options right here in our very own Lake and McHenry Counties.

Family Friendly Races

Photo credit: Lake Bluff Pumpkin Chase Facebook Page

16 October
Richardson Farm in Spring Grove, IL is hosting a 5K run/walk through the world’s largest corn maze, the Annual 5K World’s Largest Corn Maze Run/Walk. You might not obtain your personal best on this one as you twist and turn over 200 times, through corridor after corridor of corny fun. But try to tell me that it’s not going to be memorable! It’s all about the experience for this one, and the trail will be marked throughout the 33 acres of (this year’s Star Trek themed) trails that make up the world’s largest corn maze.  Have fun racing with your family “Boldly Going Where No Runner Has Gone Before!”

Photo credit: Allcommunityevents.com

After the race, for a discounted admission fee, stay and enjoy the different activities that Richardson Adventure Farm has to offer. Explore the observation tower, train, carousel, pedal bikes and trikes, jumping pillows, barrel swings, slides, visiting with animals, and more. Pumpkins, a zip line, wagon rides and ORBiting are all also available for an additional fee. Sign up and get ready for an “a-maze-ing” day! If you come stop by the Little Lake County Booth and say hi!

Here are some other fun runs to look into for your family:

15 October
Hawthorn Hustle 5K

Vernon Hills
This inaugural race is set for 9am on Saturday, October 15th at Century Park North; participants will walk/run/stroll around Big Bear and Little Bear Lakes in Century Park. Food vendors and a DJ fill this family-friendly race with energy. Proceeds from the race will go to Hawthorn Elementary District 73. Strollers are welcome!

Photo credit: LEAD Facebook page

22 October
LEAD (Linking Efforts Against Drugs) Red Ribbon Race

Lake Forest
Take your family and channel your fitness towards a great cause. This 5K Run and 2K Fun Run and Walk will take place in conjunction with the 5th annual “Taste of Wellness” fair, which features more than 15 wellness exhibits, games and activities for the whole family. Proceeds from the event go toward shaping, changing and saving young lives through parent and youth education, emotional wellness programming and substance abuse prevention.

Photo credit: Lake Bluff Pumpkin Chase Facebook page

29 October
Lake Bluff Pumpkin Chase

Lake Bluff
This seasonally-inspired race supporting the Lake Bluff PTO will take you through Lake Bluff to the shores of Lake Michigan, chasing a hilarious pumpkin head. And if you are really lucky, you might even get a chance to take a picture with the celebrity Pumpkin. A 1-mile fun run for kids aged K-8th grade begins shortly after the 5K. The post-race Pumpkinfest at Lake Bluff Middle School will provide lots of fun for the whole family.

5 November
Super Saturday-1 Mile Superhero Sprint and Free Hero Fun
This Superhero Themed Run sponsored by Gurnee Park District, Go Gurnee, and Fitnation Gurnee will sure to be a fun one for your entire family. Costumes are strongly encouraged. There will be separate heats for runners, walkers and strollers. You do not need to be a runner to race. In addition to the run there will be a superhero meet and greet, super hero training, super hero foods, gym membership deals, and super hero activities such as  scaling Spiderman’s wall (rock climbing)!

6 November
10th Annual Panting for Paws 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run

Crystal Lake
Another family friendly race with an additional benefit. What an awesome opportunity to teach your children about helping animals in need! This race benefits Helping Paws animal shelter of Woodstock. The proceeds help keep the shelter’s doors open, providing food, shelter, clean blankest, vaccines, and love for these animals that are deserving of a new life. Cuddle some adorable four-legged friends after the race, and you might even end up falling in love with a new family member.

© S. Younge | Little Lake County.com | 2016

4 December
Kiwanis Santa Run

Crystal Lake
My favorite of any family-friendly races in which I have participated, this 5K Santa-suit filled race course (or the 1-mile fun run) will make you laugh and start the Christmas season off in spirit! Your entry fee includes a Santa suit, so the streets are literally filled with hundreds and Santas as well as a Grinch thrown in here and there for good measure.

There are also many Turkey Trot Events throughout Lake and McHenry Counties, which can be the perfect way to start your Thanksgiving Day and earn your pie. Most of these races include a donation to a local food pantry; talk about truly teaching your children the spirit of giving. Stayed tuned for Little Lake County’s upcoming feature on local Turkey Trot Events.

So what are you waiting for? Lace up those old sneaks, grab your kids, and sign up for some laughter and healthy family fun before winter truly sets in!

all community eventsAll Community Events organizes local athletic competitions to promote community and physical fitness.

All Community Events
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Disclosure: All Community Events is an event partner with Little Lake County. Writers received complimentary race entries in order to help promote their fall series. No other compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are the writers own.



Dance academy of Libertyville
About Shelby Younge 40 Articles
Shelby has lived in counties across the U.S. from New York to California. She has worked in catering, public relations, and as a sales executive for a marketing and travel company before giving up her mundane life of exotic food, party planning and international binge travel for the glamour of poopy diapers and being known by name at Costco. She calls Lakewood home with her three sons and a daughter ranging in age from nine to one, and is married to her college sweetheart. Shelby enjoys cooking, exercising, coaching, church-going, wining and dining with friends and spying on her kids under the guise of “volunteering” at school. You can find Shelby dancing through the aisles of the dollar store, sporting heels and nursing her baby in the Ergo, while looking for inspiration for the next family theme day. Or, she might be chauffeuring her kiddos to one of their 1,204 activities while belting out Kids Bop (but using the original lyrics) in her gluten-free cracker-filled family truckster.

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