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Run, Gobble, Repeat: 16 SoCal Turkey Trots for Thanksgiving Fun

Updated for 2023

Ah, Thanksgiving. The traditional feast we Americans celebrate each November comes with more calories than humans should normally consume in a single day, but we do it anyway. And hopefully, we don’t do it every day!

If we are going to eat a giant meal, we might as well make ourselves feel better about it by getting some exercise in on the same day, so somebody thought up this wonderful idea of the Turkey Trot. The Turkey Trot is usually a 5K/10K Fun Run, held on Thanksgiving morning, to get your metabolism working before those carbs take their place in your belly.

Many Turkey Trots welcome families with a mini-run for young kids, often named something like a Gobble Wobble, or something else just as cute. That way it can be a family affair, with strollers and baby carriers – and walking – being welcomed as well.

Even better than getting exercise on Thanksgiving morning is the fact that most Turkey Trots in Los Angeles have a charity component, with portions of the registration fee being donated, or hosting a food collection station on site.

And since we can usually count on terrific weather for Thanksgiving in SoCal, it’s just a great chance to get outdoors and enjoy. These are a few of the super fun, family-friendly Turkey Trots in Los Angeles and we hope you get to try one!

runners in front of Disney Hall  Turkey Trot Los Angeles
photo courtesy of Turkey Trot Los Angeles

15+ Fun Turkey Trots in Los Angeles and SoCal

Turkey Trot Los Angeles
Starts and finishes at City Hall

200 N. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

The annual Turkey Trot Los Angeles has a great motto: “Trot before you gobble and support an important cause.” This event will support The Midnight Mission, an organization dedicated to helping those struggling with homelessness. There is a 5K and 10K option as well as a “Widdle Wobble” for those 12 and under. Races have staggered start times on Thanksgiving morning. Details and registration information are available online. 

Gobble Wobble
5400 East Ocean Blvd., Long Beach 90803

This race takes place the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Rose Bowl Turkey Trot
Rose Bowl Stadium, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena 91103

The Annual Rose Bowl Turkey Trot is your chance to continue the tradition of family fun at the Rose Bowl on Thanksgiving Day! Runners, walkers, skippers, and jumpers alike can participate this year by running around the 5K recreational loop at America’s Stadium. All entry fees for 2023 are 100% tax-deductible and go directly to the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation, a 501©3 organization. Trot before you gobble and help preserve, protect, and enhance the Rose Bowl Stadium!

Upland Turkey Trot
San Antonio Park, 2393 N. Mountain Avenue, Upland 91784

The City of Upland is promoting healthy living with a series of races, one of which is their annual Turkey Trot.

Big Bear Turkey Trot
Meadow Park, Big Bear Lake

This family-friendly annual run benefits the Open Air Big Bear charity.

Pacific Palisades Turkey Trot
Starts and Ends at Palisades Charter High School 
15777 Bowdoin St., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Families are invited to participate in the 9th Annual Palisades Funding Turkey Trot happening Thanksgiving morning at 8:00 am. Families may choose to run either the 5K or 10K race. All finishers receive a medal. This event benefits the Hearts with Hope charity, “an initiative that brings medical, dental, and administrative care to children living with congenital heart disease throughout the world.” Registration information is available online. 

Related: Holiday Races in Los Angeles

Drumstick Dash LA
NoHo Arts District
Race Starts at 11275 Chandler Blvd., North Hollywood, CA

Described as “LA’s largest Thanksgiving 5K/10K run,” Drumstick Dash is happening on Thanksgiving morning. “Move your feet so others can eat!” In addition to the run, the fun also includes freebies, a costume contest, as well as a Lil’ Gobblers Race. All proceeds “will help Hope of the Valley provide over 500,000 hot meals for homeless men, women and children.” You can find all the details as well as registration information online. 

Related: Places to Do Good at Thanksgiving

Harry Sutter Memorial Turkey Trot Fun Run
Sam’s Club Parking Lot
2601 Skypark Dr., Torrance, CA

The City of Torrance Community Services Department is hosting the 43rd Annual Harry Sutter Memorial Turkey Trot Fun Run Thanksgiving morning at 8:00 am. This three-mile run promises to be lots of fun. All participants receive a commemorative shirt, and after the fun run, there will be a drawing for lots of great prizes. And don’t forget to donate canned foods which will be distributed to people in need throughout the South Bay.

runners at starting line of Turkey Trot Los Angeles
photo courtesy of Turkey Trot Los Angeles

Thanksgiving Day Run and Food Drive
Memorial Park
1301 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011

The Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge’s (CCLCF) Annual Thanksgiving Day Run and Food Drive is a popular tradition for many families. There is a 5K option as well as a Kid’s Mile (for children 12 and younger). Additionally families are encouraged to donate canned and non-perishable foods. Registration information is available online. 

Related: Thanksgiving Dinner To-Go

Dana Point Turkey Trot
Dana Point Harbor, Dana Point, CA 92629

“You ran the race, before you stuff your face,” says the Annual Dana Point Turkey Trot! Participants can walk, jog, or run a 5K, 10K, or 15K Combo. There is also a one-mile Gobble Wobble for kids (ages 2-12). All participants will receive a shirt prior to the race and be awarded a medal after crossing the finish line. And if you can’t make it in person, there is the opportunity to be a Virtual Participant.  

Related: Restaurants Serving Thanksgiving Dinner in Los Angeles

Ventura Turkey Trot
6300 King Dr., Ventura, CA 

The Ventura Turkey Trot happens on Thanksgiving Day and is something the whole family can participate in. There is a 5K Run/Walk option as well as a Kids 1K (for kids 14 and under). “This loop course is fast and flat, so come out and sweat with us before you sit down for your Thanksgiving feast.” Participants are also asked to bring non-perishable food items which will be donated to the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging Food Drive. 

Anaheim Turkey Trot 5K/10K and Fun Run
2610 E. Patella Ave., Anaheim CA 92806

There are multiple courses available in the Anaheim Turkey Trot — including a 5K, 1-mile Fun Run, a 10K, and a combo — which means the whole family can get involved. The event is happening on Saturday, November 19th, and all finishers receive a medal. This is a “flat, fast course” and is described as the “best way to Run Up an appetite.” Registration information is available online. 

Thanksgiving Day 5K – Simi Valley
Rancho Simi Community Park
1765 Royal Ave., Simi Valley, CA 93065

The Thanksgiving Day 5K – Simi Valley is happening on Thanksgiving morning at 8:00 am. The “mostly flat course takes you along Arroyo Creek bike path.” Participants also will earn a medal and finisher’s shirt. Registration information is available online. 

Turkey Trot 5K, 10K, 15 K, Half Marathon
A Better World Running
2000 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA
They also have a run in Long Beach

Head to Santa Monica on Thanksgiving morning to participate in the Turkey Trot. The course is described as “super easy,” comprised of a series of loops around the beach path. All finishers will receive a medal. This Turkey Trot describes itself as a “small informal event,” with an emphasis on personal satisfaction over racing. Registration information is available online. 

OC Turkey Trot
Irvine Valley College
5500 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine, CA 92618

Families can choose from the I mile, 5K, or you can do both in a combo race. A Kids Gobble Wobble has shorter distances and is broken up into age groups (3 and under participate in the Diaper Dash, 4-5 year olds have fun in the Tot Trot, 6-10 year old and 11-12 year olds compete in their own Youth Races). “Run fast, jog, trot, walk, or enjoy a nice stroll on this flat scenic course.” Finishers receive medals and a slice of fresh pumpkin pie!

O’side’s 18th Annual Turkey Trot 5-mile or 5K run/walk
33 North Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054

Here’s a chance to “move your feet before you eat” this Thanksgiving at Oceanside’s 18th Annual Turkey Trot 5-mile or 5K run/walk. Register & join one of the fastest-growing holiday traditions. Be sure to bring the entire family, as there will be races for everyone. The event offers a costume contest, a teams competition, live entertainment on the course, and finisher medals for all participants.

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).

MomsLA is your source for Things to do with Kids in Los Angeles

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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Monday 13th of November 2023

Don't forget about the Rose Bowl Turkey Trot. :)

Sarah Auerswald

Monday 13th of November 2023

Great tip! Thanks for letting us know.

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