Rainy Day in Okoboji: WHAT TO DO

The weather may not always be bright and sunny, but no worries! We have the perfect plan for an unexpected rainy day to keep you busy while having fun exploring Okoboji!


The personality of Okoboji has been shaped by its significant history. Our local museums can help take you on a trip through time in learning about how this place came to be! Take the time out of your day to plan a route to all of our museums. The newest addition to the museum scene is the Historic Arnolds Park Museum where you can view the sugar bowl, barrel and ride down the wooden slide for a small fee or Arnolds Park day pass!  Don’t visit just 1 museum in the area!  Click here to learn more information about where to find all of the great museums Okoboji has to offer!

Historic Arnolds Park Museum, Arnolds Park
Iowa Great Lake Maritime Museum, Arnolds Park
Okoboji Classic Cars, West Okoboji

Bridges Bay Indoor Waterpark

The only indoor waterpark in the area, Bridges Bay, is a great way to burn rainy day energy.  You can float along the lazy river, jet down the tube or body slide, hop across the lily pads or sail the high seas on a pirate ship.  There is a full service snack bar, The Pickled Parrot Canteen, or head to Water’s Edge for some amazing flat bread pizza.  Open 9 am – 10 pm.



Dickinson County Nature Center

You will be amazed at the renovations and new additions to the Dickinson County Nature Center!  The kids will be able to spend hours exploring the glacial trail and other habitats in addition to the many other hands-on exhibits.  You will all be wowed by the new addition Pollinator Paradise with the human sized honey comb the kids can climb and crawl through!

Riddle Me That

This fun activity is the perfect opportunity for a group of friends to come together and solve a mystery! There are no pictures of the rooms, as we do not want to give away any hints to help solve the riddle, but each of their rooms are different and difficult to solve. You must work together to get out in time!

Pearson Lakes Art Center/ Art Smart Gallery

The Pearson Lakes Art Center is home to a beautiful performing arts center, exquisite artist’s works, outdoor gallery, art smart gallery, and so much more. It hosts many events: weddings, graduations, meetings, etc. It is the perfect place for exploring the creative minds of local artists and artists outside the lakes area. Bring the kids while you walk through the galleries as they play in the art smart gallery!

The artists in your family will love Kurio Kastle in downtown Spirit Lake where the kids can pick out and paint their own pottery piece for an affordable fee.  While you’re in downtown Spirit Lake, check out Creative Spirits!  They will guide you step-by-step through creating a beautiful painting!

Kurio Kastle, Spirit Lake
Kurio Kastle, Spirit Lake

Bedell Family YMCA

The Bedell Family YMCA has a variety of activities to burn some energy and keep the kids busy.  From swimming, to the rock climbing wall, shooting some  hoops or playing a game there is something for everyone at the YMCA.  Childcare is also available for a small fee if you wanting to get a workout in while the kids play.  Call ahead or click here for building, pool, childcare and climbing wall hours.


Corner Lanes bowling Alley in Spirit Lake has been recently renovated, has delicious food, drinks, music and of course bowling.  Grab your pizza and a bowling ball and get your lane!  Call ahead and ask about their cosmic bowling schedule. The kids will love it!


Movie theaters

Great Lakes Cinema 7 has multiple screening areas and a popular selection of the newest movies! The Milford Pioneer Theater has added a second theater which boasts all leather recliner seating, highlights the newest movies and has online booking where you can even pick the seat you want.  Both have comfortable seating, buttery popcorn, and a wide variety of delicious treats!

Milford Pioneer Theater, Milford
Great Lakes Cinema 7, Okoboji


From unique boutiques, Okoboji clothes, house wares, antique shops and everything in between Okoboji shopping can fill a whole day or more! The Shops at Queens Court have an excellent variety and then you can wander up the sidewalk to The Central Emporium or right across HWY 71 to Homeology. While you are in this area grab lunch on the spacious deck at The Hutt and then swing by Bungalow 29 and Elements on your way up HWY 71 to Spirit Lake where you can shop all along the way. Make sure to stop at Lace, Okoboji’s premier lingerie boutique,  West Boutique at Okoboji Boat Works, and Mary’s which offers kitchen gadgets, clothes, jewelry, home décor and so much more. Then be sure to wander the growing and eclectic shops on Hill Avenue in Spirit Lake. You will also want to be sure to make time for The Great Lakes Mall where you can clothes shop for all ages at Fashion FormulaThe Look, or Wild Child. You can also find the perfect accessories at Spirit Lake Silver and Gold. If your looking to redecorate a room or your whole house you will want to spend time in Interiors. Finally, no trip to Okoboji is complete without shopping at The Three Sons in Milford and just outside Arnold’s Park Amusement park.


The Three Sons, Milford & Arnolds Park
West Boutique, Okoboji

Coffee shops

Area coffee shops: Arnolds Perk,  Nektar, The Coffee Shop, and Rabab’s

Each one of these coffee shops has its own unique personality tied into the coffees and delicious treats! Make your morning coffee runs at any one of these coffee shops to start your day off right!

Arnolds Perk, Arnolds Park
Arnolds Perk, Arnolds Park
The Coffee Shop, Milford
Rebab’s, Spirit Lake

Public Libraries

Reading on a rainy day may be a cliché, but visiting one of the three awesome area public libraries provides a large variety of books and quiet places to read or study. With many activities and classes for kids, they will be entertained and learning as they go! Swing by to pick our your favorite book or look up the summer reading program for Spirit Lake, Arnolds Park, or Milford libraries.

Indoor dining 

There seem to be endless amount of options to dine on the water in Okoboji, but all of our food availabilities have indoor seating as well! If you get hungry, hop in the car and enjoy the delicious food selections across the lakes area!

Los Pueblos, Arnolds Park
Tweeters, Okoboji