Okoboji – A Winter Wonderland

There’s been this idea that people have passed around about Okoboji over the years, and I even believed it a bit myself when I was younger – that there’s nothing to do in Okoboji when the summer ends and it starts getting cold. Everyone goes away and the area shuts down.

Oh, how wrong that is!

It’s true that this area really hits an exciting level between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but this thought that we just put a big “Closed for the Season” sign on the area is so far from the truth. Plus, nobody wants to take the time to make that big of a sign.

The biggest piece of evidence we can show you to prove that Okoboji isn’t in hibernation mode is the University of Okoboji Winter Games, now in its 39th year. Yeah, 39 years and people still think we don’t have anything going on in the winter! For 4 days, the Iowa Great Lakes area is alive with a level of excitement that could rival many of the big summer moments. With activities for every age level, it’s a great example of the inclusiveness that makes Okoboji such a fun and unique area.

But that’s just one weekend out of months of frigid weather, I guess people just stay inside and do nothing the rest of the time, right?


The same people who enjoy fishing on the lake during the summer are loading up their winter gear and heading to their favorite spot on the lake for some ice fishing. Businesses who offer crazy shopping deals for our summer visitors are doing the same thing this time of year and building a strong relationship with the customer along the way. Community organizations who use the warm weather to do outside projects are not only planning those projects now, but are putting on even more indoor-focused events for people looking to give back to the area.

No matter what kind of excitement of entertainment you take in during the summer in Okoboji, that magic doesn’t just disappear when the temperature dips below freezing. The chill of winter offers its own adventure, paving the way for the summer to return.