The 38th Annual Winter Games- Okoboji

This coming January marks the 38th year of one of the most coveted winter festivals of West Lake Okoboji, attracting tens of thousands of people from our state and from across the nation, to the Iowa Great Lakes Area for a weekend of family fun and community spirit! Hosted by the University of Okoboji, participants of the event join in on exciting winter activities, while some are warmer and colder than others. Get your bucket list ready and join our community for a spectacular time! Whether you want to jump into freezing water, tour the Great Lakes in a helicopter, or play cards with your friends, there's something for all of us to enjoy!

Snow or no snow, the show must go on!

Event Information:

      • When: January 25-28th, 2018
      • Location: 243 W Broadway St, Arnolds Park, IA 51331, USA
      • Note: You must have a State of Iowa User permit for any snowmobile and ATV activity
      • Polar Plunge tickets are $20 benefiting the Arnolds Park Okoboji Fire & Rescue

Winter Sports

The Winter Games began in 1981 with a couple of locals that came together for a broomball tournament.  This year, attendees and participants can look forward to awesome activities including:

      • Broom Ball
      • Polar Plunge
      • Hockey
      • 5k/10k Road Race
      • Freeze Your Fanny Bike Ride
      • Flag Football
      • Indoor Golf Tournaments
      • Snowball Softball
      • Spirit lake Youth Wrestling Tournament
      • Co-ed Volley Ball Tournament
      • Mega Snow Pong
      • 2- person Bean Bag Toss Tournament
      • Boats, Bikes, Snowmobiles, & Rangers on Ice Show, Parks Marina, East Lake Okoboji
      • Adult Bowling Tournament
      • ATV/Motorcycle Studded Ice Oval Races, Parks Marina, East Lake Okoboji
      • Bowling Tournament
      • Tug-a-War Contest, Okoboji Boat Works, West Lake Okoboji
      • Snow Volleyball

Arts and Culture

If winter sports aren’t your thing, there are creative activities to be enjoyed by all including art shows, craft-making and more:

      • The 2nd Annual Winter Games Bazaar Craft Show
      • Pottery Painting at Kurito Kastle
      • Creative Spirits Painting, Parks Marina, East Lake Okoboji
      • Alley Cats, Pearson Lakes Art Center, Okoboji

Foodie Affair

Pancakes, hot chocolate, pub crawls, and Bloody Mary’s! What more could one enjoy over a 3-day winter festival? Local bars and pubs are open for the 3-day event, while our favorite eateries put on delicious menus for us. Here are some yummy food and drink attractions to look forward to:

      • Chili Cook-Off
      • Lakeside Brunch, The Okoboji Store, Okoboji 8 AM Breakfast and Hot Chocolate Bar, The Ritz, Arnolds Park
      • Various Pancake Breakfasts
      • Sled Head Breakfast & Turkey Bowling, Lake Okoboji UM Camp, Spirit Lake
      • Omelet Brunch, Pavilion, Okoboji Summer Theatre Association, Arnolds Park
      • “Brats and Brews” with Oak Hill Marina, Arnolds Park Amusement Park
      • FREE Bloody Mary’s to first 100 at “Brats and Brews” Tent, Arnolds Park
      • Soup & Sandwich Buffet, Boji Bay Fun House & Pavilion, Milford
      • Spiked Hot Chocolate and Coffee Bar, Spirit Lake Silver & Gold, Spirit Lake
      • Hot Chocolate and Warm Cookies, Mau Marine, Okoboji
      • Winter Family Fun and Lunch, Camp Okoboji

Endless Entertainment

There will be live music and DJ’s playing the entire event. Expect to see some of our local talent rocking-out too! Be sure to check back closer to the event for a list of bands coming to our festival!

      • Keg Toss on Ice, The Gardens, Arnolds Park
      • Helicopter Rides, Parks Marina, East Lake Okoboji
      • $5 Swim at Bridges Bay Indoor Water Park
      • Winter Bird Hike with “Boji Bird Man,” Lakeside Lab Dining Hall, Milford
      • Karaoke all 3 days of the event
      • Fireworks Extravaganza & Burning of the Greens
      • Fernson’s Pub Crawl
      • Bingo to Benefit the Humane Society of NW Iowa
      • Hot Springs Spas Hot Tubbing, Queens Court, Arnolds Park
      • The Polka Police, Parks Marina
      • Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides, Parks Marina, East Lake Okoboji
      • Cribbage Tournament, Pebble Beach Room, Arrowwood Resort, Okoboji
      • Chess Tournament, City Hall/Library, Arnolds Park
      • Swim Suits & Snow boots Competition, The Okoboji Store, Okoboji
      • Barn Doors open, Rolling Oaks Barn, Spirit Lake
      • Bridge Tournament, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Milford
      • Smack Shack open with firepits and life-size Jenga, Okoboji
      • The Barefoot Bar is Open, East Lake Okoboji
      • The Fish House at Okoboji Boat Works Opens
      • Locals “Pre-Games” Party, Parks Marina, East Lake Okoboji
      • Battle of the Bartenders, Parks Marina, East Lake Okoboji
      • UDMO Food Pantry Benefit: live auction & music
      • DJ Sieff Style, The Garden’s, Arnolds Park
      • Water Bottle Flip Competition for Kids, The Okoboji Store, Okoboji

The 2018 Winter Games is going to be a BLAST! Come out and join our community for an action-packed time. This is where some of our fondest memories are made. Some of us might even get to check off a few items from our bucket lists.

If you have any questions about this event, be sure to get in touch with us today! We've lived here for over 65 years. 

Posted by Eric Hoien on
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