The Gardens Live Cam

This is a live image from our web cam that is mounted on our roof


Hosted by:
  • Parks Marina
  • 24457 178th Street - Okoboji
  • Iowa 51355 - United States
  • 712.332.7303

The county seat is Spirit Lake

Summer isn't the only season for fans of the theater to enjoy great perfor-mances. The Lakes Area Community Theatre, composed of talented com-munity members, entertains audiences throughout the year. Treasure Village, on the west side of West Lake Okoboji, has live theater productions, especially for children, gospel concerts and mini-golf.

Visitors to the area can also enjoy popular movie releases at the Milford Pioneer Theatre in downtown Milford, and the Royal Theatre in downtown Spirit Lake.

The nightlife in the Okoboji area offers something for everyone. Live entertainment, DJs and local personalities in the area pubs also add to the festive lakes area night scene. Throughout the year, entertaining bands, comedians, dances, concerts and shows add to the lakes area's exciting nightlife. Make plans to attend concerts at an area icon, the Roof Garden at Arnolds Park Amusement Park. Name bands play throughout the summer, featuring the music you love, from rock & roll to big bands. The Roof Garden is also available for private rental.

Make your Okoboji visit full of laughter by planning an evening at the Funny Barn Comedy Club, on Hill Avenue in Spirit Lake. They book a constant stream of the nation's top comics for their Friday and Saturday performances.

For a thrilling evening, come to the Jackson County Fairgrounds for auto racing every Saturday night from the first of May until the end of August. The four classes of cars run are WISSOTA Championship Sprints, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Stock Cars and IMCA Hobby Stocks. Help celebrate the 45th anniversary of racing at the Jackson Speedway.

The Abbie Gardner Sharp Cabin and Spirit Lake Massacre Monument are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. You will find this 19th century cabin one block west of Arnolds Park Amusement Park. Visitors can learn more about the tragic circumstances surrounding the 1857 massacre on the very site at which many early Iowa Great Lakes settlers lost their lives, and young Abbie Gardner Sharp was taken prisoner.

The Dickinson County Museum is open 1 pm­5 pm daily, June through mid-September. The building is one of the original depots found along the Chicago-Milwaukee-St. Paul Railroad, and it now houses an extensive collection that depicts the area's historic railroad, agricultural, resort and industrial eras. The museum is just west of downtown Spirit Lake, along Hwys. 71 and 9.

Visitors to the Lakes Art Center can enjoy viewing works in the gallery's permanent and traveling collections and exhibits by guest artists. The Lakes Art Center also contains a gift store, offers art classes for all ages and skill levels, and hosts a summer film series and Art in the Park, a summer celebration featuring the work of several regional artists.

The Iowa Great Lakes is synon-ymous with great fishing. This is partly due to the efforts of the State Fish Hatchery in Orleans, just north of Spirit Lake. The hatchery offers free, informational tours where you'll see the annual Spring stripping of the fish and learn more about the area lakes. Open throughout the year.

No trip to Okoboji would be complete without a campus tour, but visitors will search in vain for the ever-elusive University of Okoboji. This beloved university exists only in the hearts and minds of its 'alumni.' Although not a true institution, the University of Okoboji is an active fundraiser and sponsor of local events. In fact, annual activities like the University of Okoboji Hoops Classic, Soccer Tournament sponsored by Coca-Cola, USTA McDonald's Junior Tennis Classic Tournament, Rugby Tournament, Cycling Classic Campus Ride, World Tennis Classic, Homecoming (including an Environmental Clean-up Drive), Softball Tournament and Oktoberfest Bike Ride make up the entire curriculum.

The annual University of Okoboji Winter Games take place the last full weekend in January and attract more participants every year. The Games promise fun for all ages with events like the Ice Man Run, a broomball tournament, kids' ice fishing contest, mini-golf on the lake, a snowmobile run, cross-country skiing, talent show, longest drive contest, snowball softball and a chili cook-off. Entertainment is provided throughout the weekend at local establishments.

The weekend is highlighted by fire-works and a bonfire of Christmas trees on the lake Saturday night and concludes with the Super Bowl on Sunday. If you miss the Winter Games, or are searching for your fill of winter fun, attend the Estherville Winter Sports Festival the first full weekend in February. The entire family will enjoy a variety of winter activities and entertainment. Highlights include band and choir concerts, an art show, the AAU Jr. Basketball Tournament, the annual Snow Ball, Iowa Championship Downhill Skiing, and the grand finale, the Snow Sculptures and Giant Greeting Card Contest.

The University of Okoboji 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament is scheduled May 22nd­24th, sponsored by Coca-Cola and McDonalds. Boys and girls from 6th grade on up to adults will want to be sure to participate.

What is always after 10 pm, always on the 4th of July at the Arnolds Park Amusement Park and always the holiday highlight? It's the 4th of July Fireworks. The lights on the spectator boats rival the fireworks and help make the night one to remember all year.