If you’re looking for a new and exciting way to celebrate the New Year coming up, plan to stay with us at Birchwood Lodge in Sister Bay for a celebration of fun and adventure in Door County Choose from any of our delightful suites, equipped with double person Jacuzzi tubs and gas fireplaces to warm you up after some outdoor fun. Speaking of outdoor fun, have you ever taken “The Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day in Jacksonport?  What? You don’t know what that is? Where have you been? This event has become a tradition for many people as a way to start the new year in an unusual way. The Polar Bear Plunge in Jacksonport is held on January 1st every year,when hundreds of swimmers assemble along the beach shore and ring in the new year with a brisk swim in the frozen waters. Some people call these swimmers hardy, adventurous, daring and a little bit nuts, too!  Are you up for the challenge? Here are some things to know, (provided by the Door county Visitor Center) before you jump in the lake:

  • There are around a dozen first responders on site, ensuring a safe and fun event. No one has ever needed emergency care in the event’s decades long history
  • The Diving Reflex is an involuntary response to your face and body being submerged in cold water. It causes your heart to slow rapidly in order to protect you, so don’t worry if you feel like you lose your breath as soon as you go under.
  • While all levels of submersion are applauded, a true polar bear gets his or her head wet. Go ahead, it’s just for a second.
  • If you see a guy in a tuxedo, that’s J.R.. He’s worn the tux every year since the 20th anniversary.
  • Shoes are recommended, if not for your dip in the lake, then for walking around on the snowy grounds before and after.
  • Bring blankets.

Registration begins at Jacksonport’s Lakeside Park on New Year’s Day 10:30am with the plunge at noon. Show up a little early to mentally prepare for a truly mind-numbing experience.

We won’t “double-dog dare you” to take the plunge, because there are other (sensible) ways to ring in the New Year in any of the parks, shops, galleries, wineries and theaters open throughout the winter in Door County. Give us a call at 866-854-7195 to make a reservation, or make your reservation on-line at www.birchwoodlodge.com.

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