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Around the lake

Posted December 06, 2013 in Community Blogs, Clear Lake

We hope you will enjoy a day trip or weekend visit to Clear Lake for our great traditional Christmas by the Lake activities. Great shopping & dining.  Here is a peek at some of what you can do. For more information of events & activities, visit

image001Festival of Trees – December 6, 2013 – December 8, 2013. More than 100 trees, wreaths, & swags are decorated, on display, and for sale. Events include opening night Gala, Breakfast with Santa, free children’s craft activities & more! All proceeds support services for people with disabilities. Friday 5-8pm; Saturday 8am-3pm; & Sunday 11am-2pm. Opportunity Village. Friday 5-8pm; Saturday 8am-3pm; & Sunday 11am-2pm.  Opening Night gala tickets TBA.

Christmas by the Lake – December 7, 2013 – December 8, 2013. Saturday’s events include horse drawn carriage and Main Street Trolley rides, craft show, crowning of prince & princess, petting zoo and pony rides, chili cook-off, s’mores for kids, Christmas Karaoke, special entertainment at the Arts Center, visit with Santa, matinee at the Lake Theatre, strolling Dickens characters, lighted parade, fireworks over the frozen lake.

Sunday events include Polar Bear Dip (12:30pm at City Beach), Kids Treasure Hunt (1pm at the Lakeview Room for ages 12 and under), and a Free Family Matinee at the Lake Theatre at 1:30pm (donations to the food bank will be accepted),
The weekend of holiday fun also includes:
Holiday Concert at the Surf Ballroom (Artist TBA)
Festival of Trees (Friday evening – Sunday)
Holiday Tour of Homes (Saturday)
Polar Bear Club dip for charity (Sunday morning)
Kid’s Treasure Hunt (Sunday)

Clear Lake’s Christmas by the Lake has won several tourism awards for best holiday festival.

Downtown Clear Lake

Free admission to all downtown activities

Ribbons and Bows Roller Derby Bout – December 7, 2013, 6:00 PM – 9:30 PM. North Iowa Event Center. Dec. 7th 2013 Doors open at 6pm. Whistle blows at 7pm. Tickets available at Harley Davidson Mason City, KickUSA Clear Lake, Willow Run Lounge Mason City, North Iowa Event Center Box Office. Advance $8 Door $10 Kids under 12 free

Tuesday Painters Open StudioDecember 10, 2013, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Open Studios are free to Clear Lake Arts Center members. No registration necessary, just show up and bring your stuff! Clear Lake Arts Center. Tuesdays, 10am-2pm. 641-357-1998. Free for CLAC Members

Sit & Knit Open Studio – December 10, 2013, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM. Open Studios are free to Clear Lake Arts Center members. No registration necessary, just show up and bring your stuff!. Knitting instruction available from 1-2pm, $10. Learn to knit or get help with problems. Come as needed, all ages welcome. Sign up! Clear Lake Arts Center. Tuesdays, 2:00pm-3:30pm. 641-357-1998. Free for CLAC Members

Surf Ballroom 2014 Winter Dance Party Entertainment Announcement – January 30-February 1, 2014.  Here’s the entertainment lineup – Thursday evening, January 30 – Tommy Roe, The Four Preps, The Fireballs featuring Jimmy Gilmer, Marvelous Marvin Short; Friday, January 31 – “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” 35th anniversary celebration, The Whitewalls, Jimmy Clanton, the original Drifters; Saturday, February  – Chubby Checker, Los Lobos, Chris Montez, Albert Lee, Tommy Allsup, Buddy & the Boys. Tickets went on sale for $110 per person on November 12, at 8 a.m. To get more information, call the Surf Ballroom at 641-357-6151 or go to their website,

Other Points of Interest

Downtown Clear Lake – Visit our unique shops, offering a surprising array of items for you to choose from.  We have been told that our retail shops in Clear Lake are not only unique but outstanding.  Come to Clear Lake & see for yourself!!

Lakeside Restaurants – Clear Lake offers an abundance of great dining venues.  Here are several that are on the Lake: Ge-Jo’s by the Lake, The Landing, PM Park, The Muskie Lounge, The Other Place, District 619, The Anchor Inn, Half-Moon and many more for your dining pleasure

Surf Ballroom & Museum – One of the most sought out places for visitors to Clear Lake. You can visit the historic Surf Ballroom during the week to see the location of where Buddy Holly & the Crickets, J. P. “the Big Bopper” Richardson, and Richie Valens performed their final concert, “the day the music died,” before their tragic plane crash five miles from Clear Lake on that fateful night in February, 1959.  The Surf still has numerous live musical performances and has been ranked one of the top 12 music venues in the United States for 2012 by Rolling Stone Magazine. Plus it has a terrific gift shop and a Wall of Fame you can view. Guided tours for groups are available.  Visit the Surf for music history and great memories!

City Beach– rated as one of the top 50 beaches in the United States by USA Today. A little slice of heaven where beaches are concerned!!

McIntosh Woods State Park – a 60 acre mecca for campers, where you can also rent “yurts,” go fishing, swimming or boating or picnicking. Reservations are required, tool-free 1-800-427-2757.

Clear Lake State Park – another gem for camping (176 campsites), a beautiful 900-foot beach, great for picnicking, fishing or boating.  You can also use the day lodge for meeting or gatherings.  Reservations are required, 1-800-427-2527.

City Park – This is the location in downtown Clear Lake, right off of the Lake where most of the community activities and events are held.  It has playground equipment and a beautiful band shell as well as picnic tables and benches.  Come relax and enjoy our beautiful City Park, and then stroll through downtown Clear Lake for shopping and dining.

Central Gardens of North Iowa. Explore one of the most unique gardening experiences in the state of Iowa with a walking tour of our beautiful Central Gardens, open to the public and at no cost, located at 800 2nd Ave. in Clear Lake. For general information, call 641-357-0700, or email us at  Our website is  

Come to Clear Lake, to do your Christmas shopping. Don’t forget to visit us for our upcoming Christmas by the Lake festivities in Clear Lake, December 6-8 in downtown Clear Lake. For more information on all Clear Lake happenings, visit our website,, and check out our events calendar.

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