The Best 5K Races in Texas for families

We made a “family” New Year’s Resolution for 2017, and agreed to do a 5K each month.  My kids already loved races, so it wasn’t a hard thing to dedicate one weekend a month to getting out and participating.  It did required doing a fair bit of research on finding fun races, that were kid-friendly!  Imagine my disappointment when I had to scratch the Wicked Wine Run off the list, but in the end we had a fun list of races that got us dirty, sometimes wet, colorful and laughing all the way to the finish line!  It did help to curb our eating habits for a few days, reminding us to stay hydrated, and we each got a little exercise, too, which is what New Year’s Resolutions are suppose to do!  Of course, it also brought us a little closer as a family, and gave us plenty of memories to talk and laugh about, as well as a wardrobe of matching race shirts!


Here are the 12 races we did, along with a few others for honorable mention that we’ve either done in the past, or are looking forward to this year!


The Jiggle Butt Run in Arlington is January 26th supporting Safehaven Freedom from Domestic Violence.  Click HERE for more information.


The Hot Chocolate Run is one of the most fun runs, if for no other reason than the chocolate! The have chocolate fondue stations at the run! It will be held in 2019 in Houston on February 2nd and Dallas on February 9th. The shirts for 2019 are awesome, and your kids will also love the FREE 2-day Expo before each race, with bounce houses and activities for the entire family! Click HERE for more information.

The Galveston Jolly Jester Jaunt is a terrific way to celebrate the start of Mardi Gras!  This year’s race takes place on February 23rd, and is followed by some of our favorite Family-friendly Mardi-Gras parades on the island, including the Zaniest Golf Cart parade!  Don’t miss the fun parades on Friday either, including the Umbrella Brigade!  Click HERE for more information!

I love Bridge Runs, and the Jail Break Run in Baytown is terrific as it takes you to the TOP of the Fred Hartman Bridge over the Houston Ship Channel!  2019 marks the 9th year for this fun race, which takes place on February 23rd!  Proceeds go to benefit local police who face non-service related injuries and illness.  Click HERE for more information.


My highlighted race for March is the 31st Annual Whooping Crane Strut in Rockport, the town which was devastated by Hurricane Harvey!  Click HERE for more information on this race!


April 6th is the annual Fort Worth Zoo Run, and it’s a BLAST for kids and adults!  Click HERE for more information!

The Dallas Foam Fest is April 27th and while it’s only open to kids 8 and older, the fun Kid Pit for younger kids makes it a family fun event!  Click HERE to read more!


Grab your Neon for the Blacklight Run in Fort Worth on May 11th!  We love these fun races, which move locations each year!  Click HERE for more information!

Another family favorite run is the Buffalo Boogie at the Fort Worth Nature Center on May 12th.  Participants don’t dress up, but you’ll enjoy the scenery at this huge, city owned park!  Click HERE for more information.

Ready for a fun obstacle race?  Check out Tough Mudder Race this month in College Station on May 4th and 5th!  Do the 10 mile with 20 obstacles or 5 miles with 13 obstacles!  Participants must be 14 years or older on race day!  Click HERE for more information.


Conquer the Gauntlet is another obstacle race that travels around, with different dates and locations.  My son did the Kids Race in October at the Y O Ranch outside of Kerrville.  It will be in DFW on June 1st.  Click HERE for more information.


The X-terra Jurassic Trail Run in Glen Rose is a night run on the trail along the river.  Bring your sense of adventure and plan to spend a weekend searching for dinosaur tracks at Dinosaur Valley State Park!  Click HERE for more information.

One to watch for is the Inaugural Howl at the Moon 5K in Waco on July 20th!  Proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Central Texas, and you’ll see lots of fun pups as you run along the Brazos Riverwalk to McLane Stadium from Indian Springs Park!  Click HERE to read more!


August in Texas isn’t really a time for running, but there are some really neat night runs, especially trail runs like the Cap’n Karl 10Ks at Colorado Bend State Park and Reveille Ranch in Austin.  Click HERE for more information.

The Hawaiian Falls 5K has plenty of water activities to keep you cool along the way!  Click HERE for more information!


The Texas Rangers Labor Day Race includes a ticket to a ball game, and lots of fun swag!  Click HERE for more information.

In El Paso, one of the best runs is the McKelligon Canyon Challenge 5K!  Click HERE for more information!

The Foam Glow is one of our favorites, and they benefit childhood cancer!  Again, these races change locations each year, but in 2019 there will be a race in San Antonio on September 29th, as well as Austin in April and Houston in October.  Click HERE for more information.

The Austin Zombie Charge is on September 29th!  Click HERE for more information!

Again, I love Zoo Runs, and the 34th Annual San Antonio Zoo Run Relay is on September 14th!  It’s a 4-person relay race, with each runner completing 2 miles!  Click HERE for more information.


We love a fun zombie run, and there are plenty in October.  I can’t recommend the one we did this year, because unlike zombies I don’t think it’s coming back.

October is one of the most fun months for runs, where you can run in costume or just enjoy the cooler weather (it does happen).

Because we do races for fun, I also love the Bubble Runs!  This races changes destinations each year, but it’s always fun!  Click HERE for more information!


The Prairie Lights Sneak A Peek 5K was a 2-night event in 2018. Kids and adults love running or walking among the thousands of Christmas lights! Click HERE for more information.


A favorite with my teens was the Rock N Roll Marathon 5K.  Again, these races change dates and locations each year, but in 2018 you can run in San Antonio in December or the half marathon in Dallas in March!  Click HERE for more information.

We love the Dallas Jingle Bell Run, where everyone dresses up in their favorite Christmas wear and enjoys the lights and sights of the run!  Click HERE for more information!

Know Before You Go
One of the most important tips is to purchase early, when fees are less expensive. If you can save money on a group, then join one or enlist friends to go with you!

Check Groupon! I found a few terrific deals on races. Check the prices before you purchase, and make sure you really are getting a great deal!

Check ages on races.  Like the Wicked Wine Run, there seems to be more and more races that offer alcohol and are 21 and over.  The Santo de Mayo 5K, organized by Saint Arnold Brewery in Houston, is another.  Obstacle races usually have a minimum age as well.

Take your phone, and ask someone to take a picture of all of you!  I’m always the photographer, and even rounding up pictures for this post, I had a hard time finding any of me!