6 Turkey Trots Happening in Houston This Thanksgiving

How about a quick marathon before you sit down for your holiday meal?

By Claire Anderson

The Pearland Turkey Trot will take runners around Independence Park and down Pearland Parkway.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS THANKSGIVING? Aside from sitting down with your loved ones to a great meal—whether it’s homemade or takeout—after watching our favorite holiday parade on TV (or live downtown), you, your kids, and even your in-laws should consider partaking in one of Houston's many Thanksgiving day activities. One great way to get the whole family moving bright and early? The turkey trot.

Turkey trots are annual holiday races taking place the morning of Thanksgiving, where you can run or walk a few miles with friends, neighbors, and other community members in a friendly competition where everybody who participates gets a prize, and all proceeds from registration fees go to local charities and nonprofits. With trots taking place all over the city, the odds are that you can participate in one wherever you are, regardless if you’re staying home for the holidays, or visiting family out of town

Keep reading for a list of Houston-area turkey trots happening this Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 24), then run, walk, or trot over to the nearest one.

Bay Area Turkey Trot 


This turkey trot will be taking place in Clear Lake beginning at 7:15 a.m., and offers a 5K and 10K run, as well as a 5K walk, and a 1K race for kids. The course is flat, so it’s safe for the whole family, and passes the scenic Bay Oaks Country Club golf course. Registration fees are $35 for the adult races, and $20 for the kids 1K, and you’ll also have the opportunity to give a nonperishable food donation to Crossroads at Park Place, a local organization which assists the homeless and those in poverty. 

For more information, a course map, and to register, visit Bay Area Turkey Trot’s website.

Meadows of Imperial Oaks Turkey Trot


This free, dog-friendly neighborhood 5K takes place in Spring starting at 9:30 a.m. Race-goers can choose to run, walk, bike, or stroll the whole 5K—or just a few blocks—and are asked to donate a non-perishable food item for Kroger Food Bank as their entrance “fee”. There will also be painted rocks hidden throughout the course as a mini scavenger hunt on the way to the finish line.

For the course map and to register, visit Meadows of Imperial Oaks Turkey Trot’s website.

BakerRipley Houston Turkey Trot


Proceeds from this Galleria-area turkey trot will benefit BakerRipley, a Houston nonprofit which provides resources and support to low-income communities. For the dedicated runners, the 10K will kick off at 7:30 a.m., and the 5K run/walk starts at 8 a.m. for those looking for a little less intense Thanksgiving morning exercise. The kids 1K—for those under the age of 12—starts at 9 a.m., and there’s even a stay-at-home option that consists of little to no physical activity: the sleep-in, which only requires a $40 registration fee, and allows you to support a good cause from the comfort of your bed. Registration costs $40 for the 5K, $45 for the 10K, and just $15 for the kids 1K.

For more information and to register, visit Houston Turkey Trot’s registration page.

Pearland Turkey Trot


Offering the longest race options on this list—a 6K and 4K, in addition to a 1K run/walk and kids run—the Pearland Turkey Trot will take runners around Independence Park and down Pearland Parkway. The 6K run costs $55 to register, followed by $45 for the 4K, $25 for the 1K, and $20 for the kids run.

For a course map, more information, and to register, visit Pearland Turkey Trot’s website.

Lake Jackson Turkey Trot


This neighborhood turkey trot in Lake Jackson will hold both 5K and 10K races beginning at 7:45 a.m.—a $25 registration fee is required for either—as well as a free kids “fun run” at 7:30 a.m., for some no-pressure holiday exercising. Proceeds will benefit local school bands from Lake Jackson Intermediate and Rasco Middle School.

To register, visit Lake Jackson Turkey Trot’s website.

YMCA Run Thru the Woods


The Woodlands-area Run Thru the Woods historically boasts some of the largest numbers of participants, a variety of races, and the best turkey day running outfits. You can choose between a 5K run beginning at 8:15 a.m., a 3K run at 8:25 a.m.—or 3K walk at 8:30 a.m.—and a 1K kids run (which a parent can participate in, too, along with a $20 sign-up fee) starting at 7:30 a.m. Registration fees for the races vary between $40—$47, but all proceeds will go to the YMCA of Greater Houston and other local youth charities, so you’ll be supporting your community and your health at the same time. Although these races are family-friendly, heads up: dogs are not allowed.

For more information and to register, visit Run Thru the Woods’ official website.

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