Top Wintertime Activities at Lake of the Ozarks
Although the temperatures might find you humming a few bars of “Baby it’s Cold Outside,” you’ll always find plenty of activities to warm your body – and your heart – at Lake of the Ozarks.
1. Bridal Cave. Enjoy nature this winter without getting cold
It might be freezing outside but inside Bridal Cave, located on Highway 5 just north of Camdenton, it’s always a balmy 60 degrees. Guided tours, which begin at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. every day, leave every few minutes and last about an hour. For a special Valentine’s treat, show your spouse that you’d choose him or her all over again by renewing your wedding vows in a special ceremony planned for February 12. The event is free and Janine’s Flowers will provide flowers for brides, Lindsey Webster Photography will take a wedding portrait available for download online, and all couples will be presented with a “goodie bag” filled with lake area discounts and a lifetime pass to Bridal Cave. Visit the website at www.bridalcave.com for more information.
2. Mardi Gras Pub Crawl. Join the Biggest Party at the Lake
Enjoy some "Fat Tuesday" fun on Saturday, February 18 at what is billed as the “World’s Largest Mardi Gras Pub Crawl.” This year’s event will feature close to a couple dozen restaurants and nightspots throughout the Lake area providing live entertainment as well as food and drink specials – and shuttle bus transportation on more than 30 busses from participating hotels, motels and resorts to all of the venues. A $10 wrist band provides admission and transportation to all Pub Crawl locations. Bus service begins at 4 p.m. and ends at 2:30 a.m. Participation is limited to those 21 or older. For a map and list of participants visit www.lakepubcrawl.com
3. Celebration Cruises Sets Course for Wintertime Romance
Those who want to add a little romance to their life – or who are simply experiencing winter boating withdrawal – take heart! Celebration Cruises will be offering a Valentine’s cruise from their Grand Glaize location. With soft lights, romantic music, dancing and dinner on board, just like the infamous Love Boat, this cruise and its friendly and professional staff promise “something for everyone.” Visit the website at http://cruiselakeoftheozarks.com for more information and to make reservations, which are required. The Celebration is docked just west of the Grand Glaize Bridge in Osage Beach.
4. Seven Springs Winery. Competition Never Tasted so Good
Fine wine and fine food. What could be better? That’s the combination to be found this winter at Seven Springs Winery and Vineyards, sitting between Osage Beach and Camdenton upon a 160 breathtaking acres. In addition to their regular wine tastings, Seven Springs will once again be hosting the Silver Cup Chef’s Challenge, where local chefs demonstrate their talent while competing against each other in a variety of categories. Tasting tickets will be for sale with all proceeds benefitting the local YMCA. For times and dates, check the website, www.sevenspringswinery.com.
5. Old Kinderhook. Put an Icy Spin on Old Fashion Fun
Enjoy a classic winter pastime when you put down the iPad, turn off the TV, and slide into a winter wonderland at the Ice at Old Kinderhook, the Lake’s only ice skating rink. In addition to open skate time, from 8 to 10 p.m. Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays you can join informal games of pond hockey. And there’s no need to head to the sporting goods store first - all equipment, including skates, is available at the rink. If the nip in the air gets to be a little too much, you can warm up with a cup of hot cocoa or a bowl of chili at the rink-side cabana or you can snuggle up next to the rink’s fire pits. Special family and children’s activities also will be offered on weekends throughout the winter. Check the website at www.oldkinderhook.com or visit the Facebook page for more information.
6. Ha Ha Tonka Park. Find Bliss in the Beauty of the Season
If you dream of enjoying nature without poison ivy, chiggers and snakes, you might want to consider winter walking at any one of several trails cut through Lake of the Ozarks and Ha Ha Tonka state parks. Self-guiding trails feature a variety of Ozark terrain, interesting geological formations and stunning views. Some trails even pass by old cemeteries and crumbing foundations, providing peeks into days gone by. A sure cure for cabin fever, a brisk walk will boost your endorphin level and pick up your mood, giving those winter blues the boot! Visit www.mostateparks.com, scroll to “Things to Know” at the bottom of the page, then click on “Quick List of Parks/Sites.” Select the park you’d like to visit and then click on the hiking activity link for a full description of each trail.
7. Old Family Trail Rides. Whoa! Slow Down and Enjoy a Higher Point of View
If you want to see the Ozark hills as our forefathers did – atop a horse – visit Old Family Farm Trail Rides. The scenic trails wind through 120 acres of wooded land, over a year-round, spring-fed creek and up hills and down. All the horses are adopted, or offspring of adopted, Mustangs rounded up through the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program and are trained and gentled for two years before carrying passengers. Thirty minute and one hour rides are offered; longer rides can be scheduled in advance. For children 6 and younger, pony rides are available. And although nothing beats a peaceful saunter in gently falling snow, horses will not go out in ice. Call 573-693-7734 to make reservations, which are required, or visit the Facebook page for more information. Old Family Farm is located at 256 Doc Ridgeway in Macks Creek.
8. Spa Shiki. Relax, Rewarm and Rejuvenate
Muscles a little sore from all the exercise you’ve been getting? Consider a visit to Spa Shiki, a world class resort spa located in the beautiful Lodge of Four Seasons. With eucalyptus-infused steam rooms, Himalayan salt stone saunas, indoor-outdoor swimming pool, salt-purified whirlpool, and meditation room, guests will enjoy the ultimate in relaxation. Spa Shiki provides a wide range of treatments including classic Swedish massage and Himalayan salt stone massage, facials, body wraps and special treatments to care for the hands, feet and legs. Or experience Spa Shiki’s signature treatment, the Japanese Mineral Wellness Detox, a full-body scrub designed to regenerate, activate circulation to and re-mineralize the skin. Total tranquility! Visit www.spashiki.com for a full list of services.