Family Fun Runs and Walks
May 14, 2012

Anyone who lives in the Boston area has seen them: people walking or running for charities almost every weekend in the spring and summer. The seasonal kickoff seems to start with the Boston Marathon and doesn’t let up until the fall.

While many of these events are meant for adults, plenty offer shorter walks or fun runs for families. These are a great activity for families on several levels: for one, you get yourself and your kids outdoors; you have a chance to explore a neighborhood in a way that you perhaps haven’t before; everyone is exercising; and of course, many of these events are for a good cause. You also may get to enjoy and investigate the natural world along the way.

If there is a charity dear to your heart that holds a run or walk, this is a concrete way to share something you care about with your kids. As they say, talk is cheap. Actions, such as participating in something meaningful to you, speak volumes. Even if your children don’t say much about the cause, it will stick with them. Below are just a few recommended walks/runs. Look for others in your local paper or online and don’t forget to register in advance. When you go, bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunblock, and wear clothes that match the activity and the weather. Bring extra layers for after the active running or walking, when you are likely to cool down, especially near the water.

Sometime a fun run is just about the fun and that’s what the second annual Spectacle Island 5k Road Race and Kids Fun Run on June 2 is all about. Take a ferry over to the Boston Harbor Island and participate in a 5K race, a half-mile Kids Fun Run, or a 3K perimeter walk, plus enjoy a post-race lunch for participants, music, kids' activities, yoga, and more. Depending which race you choose, fees are between $12 and $20 and include a ferry ticket and T-shirt. Learn more about visiting the Harbor Islands here.

June 17 is Father’s Day, but instead of serving him breakfast in bed, why not take part in the 18th annual 5-mile Father's Day Road Race or 2-mile Family Fun Walk at the Children’s Museum in Easton? While the road race is more serious—there are cash prizes for the winners---the family fun walk is an easy activity and is followed by a post-race party, raffles, and awards. Proceeds benefit the educational programs and exhibits of the museum. Make sure you visit the museum and don’t miss the outdoor “Wild Place” exhibit, which features a two-story treehouse.

The Run for Bob Family Fun 5k Walk/Run, now in its 8th year, takes place on June 23 in Franklin, and is a benefit for the Hockomock Area YMCA’s Integration Initiative, an innovative program for children with special needs, and the YMCA’s financial assistance program, Reach Out for Youth and Families. Along with the event, there are children’s activities, refreshments, and a raffle.

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Buy a simple net for catching butterflies and head for a meadow. Bring crayons and paper to draw your own butterflies (and if you do catch any real ones, free them after a quick look).



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