What is Winter Games?
University of Okoboji Winter Games began in 1981 as a small broomball tournament on the frozen waters at the Fish Hatchery. This event became a way for locals and visitors to escape the cabin fever of winter time and celebrate all of the fun and unique activities you can experience in the Iowa Great Lakes Area. Each year the event has grown and changed. For a full breakdown on the history of the event CLICK HERE.
The Iowa Great Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to work with their area members to put together this event filled with traditions and experiences for attendees of all ages. Each year we welcome in 40,000+ visitors from over 22 states and even international visitors from all across the globe.
When is Winter Games?
University of Okoboji Winter Games is ALWAYS the last full weekend in January. Mark your calendars and join us each year to create lasting memories with your friends and family.
Where to Stay
There are so many wonderful lodging options for you to consider over Winter Games weekend. We encourage you to book early as many places fill up before January. CLICK HERE to view our full list of lodging options in the Iowa Great Lakes.
How to Get Around Town
There are a few options when it comes to taxis and transportation in the Iowa Great Lakes Area. Please do NOT drink and drive! Save these numbers and be safe all weekend long!
Lakes Taxi of Okoboji 712-339-0329
Okoboji Cab Services 712-209-5060
PJ's Cab Okoboji 712-330-5826
Lyft & Uber
Golden Mullet Cabs 712-240-0941
Parks Marina Shuttle Bus
You can also purchase a wristband to ride on the Parks Marina busses all weekend long! These busses follow a route between the Parks Marina properties and a few hotels.
Visit parksmarina.com for more information!
What if there's no snow or ice?
Have you ever cancelled the games due to lack of snow and/or ice? NO! The games have never been cancelled as we can play on or off the ice! PLEASE DO REMEMBER THAT NO ICE IS SAFE ICE. Contact the DNR (712-336-1840) with any relevant questions. For ice and snow updates make sure to follow us on Facebook or Instagram.
Polar Plunge Details
The Polar Plunge takes place on the ice by the Queen II at Arnolds Park Amusement Park on the Saturday of Winter Games. Registration begins at 1:30 pm and ends at 3 pm. Please have a friend or family member hold your dry clothing and belongings. Bring a towel and a sense of courage as people begin jumping into the frozen waters of West Lake Okoboji at 3 pm. Cost is $25 with proceeds going to benefit the Arnolds Park Okoboji Fire & Rescue Department, those volunteers who are always on-hand to pull you out of a bad situation!
Do I need to register in advance?
If you're hoping to compete in one of the tournaments and activities we highly encourage you to register in advance. While there are some events that allow you to register the day of, many events require pre-registration or fill up weeks before Winter Games weekend. CLICK HERE to learn more about each of the individual events and their registration details.
You do not need to compete in an activity to attend or enjoy Winter Games weekend. There are many activities to watch, participate in and enjoy without competing. CLICK HERE to view the full schedule of events.
Snowmobile and ATV Information
Do I need a State of Iowa User permit for my snowmobile and/or ATV? The simple answer is Yes! - IOWA RESIDENTS: all snowmobiles must have a user permit, yet OHV's are not required to and proof of insurance required on all vehicles.
NON RESIDENTS: all snowmobiles and OHV's must have user permits & proof of insurance required. User permits can be purchased at the Dickinson County Recorder's Office in the Courthouse on the corner of Hill Avenue & Hwys 9/71 and anywhere hunting & fishing licenses are sold. (Oak Hill Outdoor, Stan's Bait & Tackle, Kabele's Trading Post, Okoboji Boat Works, Fisherman's Factory Outlet, Walmart, and more!)
Are there snowmobile trails available? CLICK HERE to view the Dickinson County snowmobile trail map.
Where can I drive my Snowmobile/UTV/ATV? Each city within the Iowa Great Lakes has different rules and regulations on where you can and cannot drive. We encourage you to call the cities that you plan to stay in or could be driving in. Snowmobile/UTV/ATV traffic is NOT allowed on any state highways. There are crossing points within the Iowa Great Lakes to get from one side of the lake to another.
- intersection of Lakeshore Drive and US Highway 71
- intersection of Brooks Lane North (175th Street) and US Highway 71
- intersection of Broadway and US Highway 71
Okoboji City Ordinances Arnolds Park City Ordinances Spirit Lake City Ordinances
When and where is everything happening?
There are events and activities happening all across the Iowa Great Lakes Region! CLICK HERE to view the full schedule of events and see when and where each event is taking place!
How do I get involved?
If you'd like to get involved or volunteer during the weekend, call 712-332-2107 or email email@example.com!