Your family is used to racing from Point A to Point B zipping from the grocery store to soccer practice to after school care. Give your clan a reason to really lace up those sneakers (or cheer from the sidelines) at one of these community fun/walk races. With kids dashes, a stroller-friendly atmosphere and even a $5 5K, these 8 races will put a spring in your step. Pst – register early for lower entry fees and T-shirts that fit!

kids fun run at Fernhill

photo: Clayton Smith, North Clackamas Photo, courtesy of Portland Parks & Rec $5 5k

1. Discover Spring 5k/10k and Kids’ Fun Run

Why go: Your whole family can warm up with yogi-led stretching and a fun game of Simon Says before the races. Free face-painting, balloons and a wellness fair (including a fire truck, a dentist with a giant model tooth, and a physical therapist with a skeleton) will entertain your kids while you race the 5k/10k – or they can hop in the stroller and ride along with you. The kids’ race involves the little ones chasing an adult in rabbit ears around a baseball field. All the kids get participation medallions and the proceeds from the race benefit McMinnville Montessori School.

When: Sat., April 11
Where: Discovery Meadows Park, McMinnville, Or
Distance: 5k/10k, kids’ fun run (less than a half mile)
Cost: For 5k/10k: $15/youth under 18, $32/adult age 18 and up; $10/kid’s run (all include cotton T-shirts until March 29)


photo: Discover Spring

2. Bridge to Brews

Why go: As the only run/walk course that goes over the Fremont Bridge, this race offers great views of the city. Celebrate your family’s accomplishment post-race with live music, great food, and a few tastes from the variety of breweries with beers on tap. A percentage of race proceeds will benefit Molly’s Fund Fighting Lupus. Jogging strollers are permitted, but should start toward the back of the pack for everyone’s safety.

When: Sun., April 12
Where: Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park
Distance: 10k and 8k run/walk and a kids’ half-mile
Cost: $54 for the 8k/10k run/walk including a technical T-shirt, stainless steel cup (for beer), beer tickets for tastings (ages 21 and up), post-race food and live music. Add $49 for the VIP Experience, which includes a “Lupus Sucks” T-shirt, a participant tech T-shirt, catered breakfast, heated/covered area, beer, mimosas and private bag check. (All t-shirts are available while supplies last, but they are not guaranteed.) The kids’ half-mile is $8 and does not include a shirt. Race weekend: $64 for the 8k/10k (shirts not guaranteed) and $12 for the kids’ half mile (shirt not included).

3. Cinco de Mayo

Why go: Do something healthy as a family, and you’ll feel like you earned your tortilla chips and tacos post-race. This flat and fast urban course is peppered with live music both during and after the race. Celebrate at the finish with tasty food and two ice-cold beers from Lagunitas Brewing (for adult participants), which are included with your race fee. Proceeds benefit Molly’s Fund Fighting Lupus. Strollers are permitted but should start toward the back.

When: Sun., May 3
Where: Pioneer Courthouse Square
Distance: 5k/10k run/walk, kids’ half mile
Cost: Until April 14: Kids’ run: $8 (no T-shirt); 5k run/walk: $42; 10k run/walk: $46; VIP Experience: Add $39 to your race fee for a catered breakfast, a warm, covered area to hang out in, private clothing check, private toilets and more. Beginning April 15: Prices increase to $49 for the 5k and $54 for the 10k, and T-shirts are not guaranteed. Race weekend: Kids’ run: $12 (no T-shirt); 5k: $56; 10k: $64; VIP Experience: additional $49.

lake run running

photo: Lake Oswego Women’s Club

4. 39th Annual Lake Oswego Women’s Club Lake Run

Why go: This hilly route is tough, but it pays off with beautiful views of the main lake and waterfront homes. If you’re strong enough to push your kids up multiple meters of elevation gain, then your stroller is welcome but encouraged to begin at the back. Otherwise, your little sportos can sprint their own two-block dash and then whoop it up at the Family Fun Festival with a giant slide, face painting, crafts, food and beverages. All net proceeds go to local charities, community events and scholarships.

When: Sat. May 9
Where: Millennium Plaza Park, Lake Oswego
Distance: 5k/10k walk/run and kids’ dash
Cost: $15/kid’s dash; $30-$35/5K race; $40-$45/10K race. Cost includes a T-shirt but shirts are not guaranteed with registration after May 1.


photo: Run Like a Mother

5. Run Like a Mother

Why go: This Mother’s Day race celebrates moms and their whole families, because what’s a mother without her loving brood? The 5k runs through a closed course in beautiful Cook Park in Tigard. Post-race, enjoy snacks, free face-painting and live music. Strollers are permitted on the course as long as they start toward the back. Gear up for the 5k by taking advantage of Run Like a Mother’s 6-week training programs, either in-person or self-paced. Details are available online.

When: Sun. May 10
Where: Cook Park, Tigard
Distance: 5k (age 11 and up) and kids’ mile (ages 5-11)
Cost: $25/kids’ mile; $40/5k run/walk

kids fun run

photo by Clayton Smith, North Clackamas Photo, courtesy of Portland Parks & Rec $5 5k

6. Portland Parks & Recreation $5 5k Series

Why go: Yes, you read that right: only $5! As if the low entry fee weren’t incentive enough to register, there will also be snacks, face-painting, a raffle and a 40-foot rock wall to climb. Lots of locals love this excuse to race through Portland’s pretty public parks with their families, so slots fill up fast. New to the Foot Traffic-sponsored race series this year is a partnership with Spinlister, a bike-share program. Strollers are welcome, but please start toward the back for everyone’s safety.

When: One Sunday race a month from May-Oct. The first race is Sun. May 17
Where: Various parks across Portland, starting with Fernhill Park
Distance: 5k run/walk (all ages) and 1k kids’ fun run (8 and under)
Cost: $5/adult 18 and up; free for youth 17 and under

7. The Slime Run

Why go: It’s neon green and messy, but slime makes running lots of fun. The ¾ mile kids’ race takes your little ones through two slime zones and two obstacles. Registered adults are welcome on the kids’ course but strollers are not. The 5k winds through four slime zones and at least as many obstacles. After you wipe off the green goo at the finish line, enjoy food, beverages, a slime toss and a beer garden for the adults. Your race fee includes a headband and race bib.

When: Sat. May 30
Where: Portland International Raceway
Distance: 5k and ¾ mile kids’ run
Cost: $27/child 10 and under; 5K run is $44 until April 14; $50 from April 15-May 28; $65 May 30


photo: Katie Wilkes/2014 Northwest Melanoma Walk

8. NW Melanoma AIM for the Cure 5k Walk & Fun Run

Why go: Melanoma is the second most common cancer among 15- to 29-year-olds, so it’s important to teach our kids about sun safety and how to spot a suspicious mole. OHSU is providing free skin cancer screenings at their Center for Health & Healing during the event, and don’t miss the raffle prize drawing at 3:15 p.m. Strollers are welcome on the course.

When: Sat. May 30
Where: Elizabeth Caruthers Park
Distance: 5k Walk/Fun Run
Cost: No registration fee, but each participant is encouraged to raise at least $50. Register by April 30 to receive a free T-shirt.

Do you have a favorite family-friendly race? Let us know in the comments section below.

—Halle Smith