Winter Fun in Okoboji

Get out and Enjoy the Snow!

Okoboji is the perfect destination in the winter!  We have hundreds of miles of groomed trails for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoe hiking and observing winter birds!  You’ll also find indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks, or bundle up and head to the beach to build snowcastles! And don’t forget about the fun of the catch while ice fishing!

Five kids playing in the snow at Orleans Beach on Big Spirit Lake.

The Dickinson County Snowhawks snowmobile club grooms hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails throughout the county connecting to area counties and Minnesota to ensure a fun-filled day of riding for all skill levels.  Load up your sled and get to Okoboji for a great ride!  You can find the trail map by clicking here.

Borrow a pair a snow shoes from the Dickinson County Nature Center and explore all 70 acres of Kenue Park in the heart of the Iowa Great Lakes!

The Horseshoe Bend Tubing Hill is open weekends in the winter when sledding conditions allow.  Admission includes a tube and hours of downhill fun for all ages with a tow rope to help you back to the top of the hill!

Rent a pair of cross-country skis from the Okoboji Expedition Company and get out on the groomed trails at Brooks Golf Course in Okoboji or Ketteleson Hogsback Wildlife Management Area.  The Okoboji Expedition Company also rents Fat Bikes, perfect for winter navigation of the miles and miles of dedicated trails that run through the Iowa Great Lakes Area!

Stop by an area bait shop before you head out on the ice for an afternoon of fishing.  They’ll offer great tips, sell you any bait and supplies you need, and give helpful advice of locations to avoid to stay safe.  If you’d like more guidance, it’s well worth the money to hire a fishing guide to take you out for a few hours.  Your guide will have all the supplies you need and make sure you have a day to remember!

If you’d like to try ice skating, we’ve got you covered!  The Fish House at Okoboji Boat Works in Okoboji rents ice skates and clears an outdoor rink on West Lake Okoboji!  When you need to warm up, step inside and enjoy a beverage at their bar, or drop a line – it is the largest winter fish house in Okoboji!  The Boji Bay Ice Arena is a great destination for indoor ice skating.  The indoor arena is filled with local hockey teams most weekdays, but everyone can get on the ice during open skate on Friday & Saturday nights!  Skate rentals are available.

You’re also welcome to visit any of Okoboji’s beaches to build a snow castle!

 

Museums

When you’re ready to warm up, head inside to one of Okoboji’s many museums. The personality of Okoboji has been shaped by its significant history, and 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 .  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 spend a weekend day in the winter!.  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. Sunday admission is ONLY $5 for everyone!  Click here for hours or operation .

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 new, fun activity in town 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!

 

Art in Spirit Lake

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.

Bowling

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

 Shopping

From unique boutiques, Okoboji clothes, house wares, antique shops and everything in between Okoboji shopping can fill a whole day or more! Start the day at Homeology in Arnolds Park! Filled to the brim with home décor and accents, women’s clothing, shoes and accessories you may spend the whole morning here.  While you are in this area grab lunch at The Hutt and then stop into Elements on your way up HWY 71 to Spirit Lake where you can shop all along the way. Make sure to stop at  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.

 

Public Libraries

Reading on a snowy 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 at Spirit Lake, Arnolds Park, or Milford libraries.

We hope your family will join us for a fun-filled winter vacation to Okoboji!  If you’re coming with kids, make sure you get a hotel with an indoor pool!  The possibilities of what you can do are almost endless, and we think Okoboji is the perfect destination for your family this winter. #YouMeOkoboji