Snowga, or yoga in the snow, is a fun activity to do by the ice in Okoboji. Photo: Tom Gustafson, courtesy of the Okoboji Tourism Committee.
News flash: The annual University of Okoboji Winter Games outdoor event is happening Jan. 28-31. While in previous years heading to northwest Iowa in the middle of winter seemed a little crazy, this year the event might be the perfect antidote to our 10-month COVID-19 cabin fevers. Events are held outside with social distancing and masks highly recommended. Here are a few activities that piqued our curiosity:
1. During the kite festival, colorful flying vessels in all shapes and sizes brighten the sky over the lake. Paper kites are available for kids to color and then let loose in the breeze.
2. $5 ice skate rentals and open skating near Okoboji Boat Works allow you to keep warm doing spins and turns.
3. Snowga: Just say namaste to yoga in the snow. Bring or borrow a mat for one chilled-out practice.
4. The Polar Plunge features a parade of bare-skinned souls diving into the lake. Though it’s not for the weak of heart, the cool dip is supposed to boost circulation.
5. A fireworks display over the lake and a giant bonfire culminate Saturday night. Bring your best winter threads and enjoy the show.
6. Grab an IPA or a cider at a tap truck or the Lakeside Ice Bar. On Saturday there’s free craft beer tasting at Arnolds Park.
7. Warm up after a day outside at the Inn Hotel at Arnolds Park. The new boutique hotel also has a cozy Cuban-inspired restaurant with requisite Caribbean-inspired cocktails. As of publish time for this piece, rooms are still available.