Plan for the Okoboji Winter Games 2024

The Oakwood Inn is a Select Registry Bed and Breakfast Inn located in Okoboji near Spirit Lake.

Okoboji winter games 2024, join us at one of the best hotels in Okoboji, IA

There’s one annual tradition in the Iowa Great Lakes Region that we look forward to the most each year: the Okoboji Winter Games! This unique and exciting festival is filled with sporting events, kites flying high, live music, fun runs, snowmen, and so much more. The tagline for the Okoboji Winter Games 2024 is “Be Brave. Be Bold. Embrace the Cold.” And that’s precisely what thousands of locals and visitors do each year on the frozen waters of West Lake Okoboji. 

The University of Okoboji, which sponsors the Winter Games, is a fictional school created by a trio of brothers in the 1970s—over the years, this fictitious University has become engrained in the culture of Okoboji with apparel and bumper stickers of the school emblem as a symbol of pride and camaraderie. The Okoboji Winter Games began in 1981 as a modest broomball tournament and continues to this day as a celebration of this legacy, welcoming more than 40,000 visitors from over 22 states and even international guests worldwide. 

The 43rd annual Okoboji Winter Games 2024 will be held on Thursday, January 26th through Sunday, January 29th. This is a popular time to visit, so it’s a good idea to get your lodging on the books. There’s no better place to stay than our boutique hotel—one of the best hotels in Okoboji, IA—The Oakwood Inn. Our charming bed and breakfast style lodging property is adults-only with spacious and elegant guest rooms. We’ll provide a delicious and homemade from-scratch breakfast each morning of your stay, paired with piping hot coffee and the warmest hospitality in the Iowa Great Lakes Region. We can’t wait to host you this winter; book your room today! 

Okoboji Winter Games 2024, a photo of the kite festival

Don't Miss The Okoboji Winter Games 2024

The Okoboji Winter Games 2024 traditionally falls on the last weekend of January when West Lake Okoboji is frozen solid, and the chilly, cold weather fun can begin! The event is filled with activities—from ice skating and kite flying to chili cook-offs and live music—there’s something for everyone. 

Here are our top things to do at the Okoboji Winter Games 2024: 

  1. Ice Skating: Grab a pair of $5 skates and test your skills on the ice. This classic winter activity is ongoing throughout the weekend at Okoboji Boat Works.
  2. Okoboji Winter Games Kite Festival: Locally known as the Boji Kite Festival, this event has quickly grown into one of the largest kite festivals in the country. It’s hard to miss the beautiful collection of hundreds of 20-100-foot-long kites soaring over the snow-covered landscape.
  3. Sporting Events: There’s a long list of winter sporting events to participate in or watch, some indoor and outdoor. The broomball tournament is always a favorite, but there’s also pickleball, ax throwing, a 5k fun run, flag football, ping pong, and more. 
  4. Chili Cook-Off: Whether you’re a home cook or a professional chef, all are encouraged to enter in this annual competition. For those traveling, you’ll likely want to leave the cooking to the others and enjoy the taste testing and cast your vote for the winner! 
  5. Live Music: Throughout the entire weekend during the Okoboji Winter Games, there’s an impressive line-up of musicians and performers. 
  6. Snowmen Display: Each year, locals create beautiful snowmen, sculptures, and creations during the weeks leading up to the main event. Be sure to take your time and view these impressive snowworks of art. 
  7. Polar Plunge: Only for the bravest! The Polar Plunge is one way to experience the icy waters firsthand. A large square is cut out of the ice, and thrill seekers take turns jumping in.
  8. Partake in a West O Cozy: If you’re visiting the University of Okoboji Winter Games, make sure to sample the official beer, West O Cozy. This exquisite blackberry lager can be enjoyed on tap or in six-pack cans at the West O tasting room.
  9. Sledding at Arnolds Park: Get in touch with your inner child and hit the sledding hill at this local and historic amusement park
  10. Fireworks & Burning of the Greens: The last night of the Okoboji Winter Games is a party! Including an impressive fireworks show and the tradition of “Burning of the Greens,” where residents bring their dried Christmas trees for a grand bonfire. 
Okoboji winter games 2024, join us at one of the best hotels in Okoboji, IA

One of the Best Hotels in Okoboji, IA, for a Winter Getaway

Now that you know all about what’s in store at the Okoboji Winter Games 2024, you’ll want to elevate your time and stay at one of the best boutique hotels in Okoboji, IA. After spending an exciting and chilly day out on the ice, you’ll love retreating to your cozy guest room—all with gas fireplaces, perfect for curling up with a blanket, a glass of wine, and your partner. En suite baths are pristine and spacious, and choice rooms have whirlpool tubs for romantic bubble baths, ideal for warming up! 

Our kitchen comes to life each morning with a quiet murmur of our Innkeepers preparing a fantastic breakfast. Always served with our house blend coffee, teas, and juice, our three-course gourmet sweet and savory dishes are known to wow our overnight visitors. Where you enjoy your meal is up to you; we can always box it to go or bring it to the comfort of your private suite. For those who feel like joining us in the dining room, our elegant space is bright and airy and the best place to kick off your day. 

As one of the only adults-only hotels in Okoboji, IA, we often host couples celebrating milestones, anniversaries, and romantic getaways. Let us know how we can make your stay the most memorable! We have a great selection of add-on packages to enhance your stay—flowers, wine, and planned outings are just a few things to expect. Start planning your winter vacation today and book your room

Scroll to Top

Book your stay for March, April or May by March 31 and receive a 20% discount off the room rate

Use Promo Code: SPRING20

The Best Email Newsletter in Iowa!

Get our newsletter to find out what is happening in Okoboji each month & at The Oakwood Inn.