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15 Merry Holiday Fun Runs in Los Angeles

Updated for 2023

Take a break from holiday shopping and participate in one of the holiday races being held in Los Angeles and all over Southern California. Whether you’re up for a Marathon, a Half-Marathon, or just one of the many 5K Runs or Los Angeles Fun Runs, we’ve got your list here.

Many of these Races and Fun Runs are family-friendly, with short distances for even the youngest kids, plus most of these runs have a charity component, meaning you’re doing a good deed while you stay fit.

At Thanksgiving time you can find plenty of Turkey Trot Races in SoCal, and of course there are also Christmas Runs you can enter. From Pomona to Santa Monica, check out all the Los Angeles Holiday Races.

santa Claus on the run
Santa Claus is ready for a SoCal Holiday Fun Run. Are you?

Christmas Runs and Holiday Fun Runs in Los Angeles and SoCal

Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run 5K and 10K
Starting at Ocean Park

This classic annual event is back in 2023 for their annual, family-friendly run.

Reindeer Run Long Beach
5400 Ocean Blvd., Long Beach 90802

This informal run is back for another year! December 23rd, plus they host a Happy Holidays Run on Christmas Day as well!

Holiday Fun Run Santa Monica
2000 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica

This race takes place along the beach on Christmas Eve morning.

Holiday Half Marathon + 5K/10K/Kids Penguin Run
Pomona Fairplex, Pomona, CA

1101 W McKinley Ave, Pomona, CA 91768

“From snow falling at the start line to huge holiday character inflatables, holiday carolers, and festive participant shirts – this event has everything you need to start the season off right!” December 9-10, 2023. It’s something the whole family can participate in – the Penguin Waddle is a one-mile-long course taking kids (12 and younger) through Bonelli Park. Registration information is available online.

Check out this fun run in New Zealand from 2015 -they know how to dress up right!

Jingle Bell Run/Walk For Arthritis
Angel Stadium

Help raise money for arthritis research by joining this holiday run on December 2nd. Participants are encouraged to get into the holiday spirit by attaching jingle bells to your shoelaces or wearing a holiday-themed costume. Get more info online. To benefit the Arthritis Foundation of Inland Empire and Orange County.

Ontario 5K Reindeer Run and Rudolph’s Dash 
Ontario, CA

The City of Ontario presents its Annual 5K Reindeer Run and Rudolph’s Dash on December 16th. Proceeds from the race will be donated to the “City’s Empowerment Scholarship, which gives Ontario community members from low-income backgrounds the opportunity to participate in recreation activities, classes, and programs that will enrich their lives.” Rudolph’s Dash is a shorter course designed for children and/or families and children to participate with together. There will also be exercise activities and craft booths in Rudolph’s Roundup area. Registration information is available online.

Santa to the Sea
Oxnard, CA

The Annual Santa to the Sea is happening on December 10th, 2023. There are opportunities for the whole family to participate including a half marathon, a two-person half marathon relay, 1K Kids Fun Run, 5K Run/Walk, Costume Contest, Toy Drive, Finish Line Festival and Holiday Marketplace, and more. 

Holly Jolly Half Marathon 5K 10K 
Pleasant Valley Fields Park
150 Westpark Ct, Camarillo, CA

Mark your calendars for the Holly Jolly Half Marathon 5K 10K happening on December 17th, 2023. This is a walker-friendly course happening over mostly flat terrain. And don’t forget – prizes will be awarded for the best holiday costumes so get creative! Participants are also encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots Toy Drive. Details are available online.  

Run for a Claus 5K and 1 Mile

The Annual Run for a Claus is happening on December 16th. “When you run for a Claus, you run for a Cause.” This event will benefit The Salvation Army and Kids Run The OC. There is a one mile Kids Run, and for families who prefer, there is also a virtual option available. Don’t forget to bring a toy to participate in the toy drive. Registration information is available online. 

Enjoy this fun run in Santa Monica with the whole family!

Charlie Brown Christmas 5K/10K Fun Run
Griffith Park

December 16th, 2023 families can participate in the Charlie Brown Christmas Run – and for the kids there’s a Snoopy Kids’ Dash as well. This race benefits Friends of Griffith Park.

Holiday Classic Half Marathon 5K and Elves Trot
Loma Linda Civic Center, Loma Linda, CA 

The City of Loma Linda and The Lopers present the Annual Holiday Classic Half Marathon 5K and Elves Trot on December 3rd, 2023. “The Holiday Classic is the Inland Empire’s largest annual holiday running event and a local tradition for runners and walkers of all ages and abilities.” The Elves Trot is designed for children ages 3-6. There is a pancake breakfast at the completion of the event. A virtual race option is also available. Details can be found online. 

Run in the New Year 5K/10K/Half Marathon
Bolsa Chica State Beach
17851 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Start the New Year off by participating in the Run in the New Year 5K/10K/Half Marathon happening in Huntington Beach on December 31st. “Write a New Year resolution on the back of your bib and run, jog, or walk it into the New Year. It’s a beach party, New Year’s Themed run on paved path watching and listening to the surf.” And if you prefer, there is also a virtual run option. Details can found on the website.

Santa Runs Griffith Park 2023 and the Griffith Park Resolution Run 2024
Griffith Park

Santa Runs Griffith Park 5K/10K is happening December 10th, and you can trek through the beautiful & historic Griffith Park located in the heart of Los Angeles along with hundreds of other Santas. Plus try out the Resolution Run on January 7th, 2024 to start the new year off right. Visit the registration page for more event info!

Cozy Christmas – 5K, 10K, 15K, and Half Race
4730 Crystal Springs Drive Los Angeles, CA 90027

What better way to celebrate Christmas than by gathering with your friends in the running community at the beautiful beaches on December 25th, 2022? Santa will be tired from a long night of work so we doubt he will join us, let him know you appreciate all he does by joining the St. Nick costume contest. The winner gets a free entry to a future event.

Dana Point Harbor Turkey Trot
You can also do a fun run at Thanksgiving! Try a Turkey Trot. photo courtesy of Dana Point Harbor Turkey Trot.

Wendy Kennar is a mother, writer, and former teacher who has lived her entire life in the same Los Angeles zip code. You can read more from Wendy at her website where she writes about books, boys, and bodies (living with an invisible disability).

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Disclaimer: MomsLA has made every effort to confirm the information in this article; however, things can often change. Therefore, MomsLA makes no representations or warranties about the accuracy of the information published here. MomsLA strongly urges you to confirm any event details, like date, time, location, and admission, with the third party hosting the event. You assume the sole risk of relying on any of the information in our list. MomsLA is in no way responsible for any injuries or damages you sustain while attending any third-party event posted on our website. Please read our Terms of Use which you have agreed to based on your continued use of this website. Some events have paid to be listed on MomsLA.

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