FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Polar Bear Plunge: Freezin’ for a Reason

by Contributor

Dec 7, 2017

© Tamara Hughbanks Harding | Dreamstime


Polar Bear Plunges are among some of the most absurd and unusual holiday traditions across the world. In most countries, polar bear plunges are planned as charity fundraisers for Special Olympics. On the other hand, in some locations, the plunges take place to solely celebrate the New Year. Wherever you are, you are probably within driving distance to a plunge, so, if you’re brave enough, try it out for a good cause!


Polar plunge for special olympics

© Kim Reinick | Dreamstime


The Special Olympics is the largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities. The competitive and fun games bring more than 4.9 million athletes together from more than 172 countries. Aside from the athletes, more than 1 million volunteers come together from all over the world. Cycling, basketball, speed skating and sailing are only a few of the sports the athletes compete in. The games serve as an inspiring reminder of unknown abilities and skills.


Every January, more than 10,000 people head to Sandy Point State Park to take part in one of Maryland’s “coolest” traditions. The plunge is hosted by the Maryland State Police to raise money for more than 7,000 Special Olympics Maryland athletes. Register today for the cool school, police corporate or regular polar bear plunge. If you aren’t ready to take the plunge into the water, sign up to be a vendor. Come out for the 22nd Annual Maryland Polar Bear Plunge Jan. 25–27.

Plunge in Italy

© Zilli Roberto | Dreamstime


In southern California, participants of the Polar Bear Plunge are “Freezin’ for a Reason” when they brave the cold waters and hop in the Paul Nelson Aquatic Center in North Santa Barbara, take a plunge in Big Bear Lake, jump in the ocean at Leadbetter Beach in Santa Barbara, or even swim in the Aquatica SeaWorld pool. There are plenty of options for children of all ages to take part in the chilly event. Be sure to bring warm clothes!


Minnesota takes the Polar Bear Plunge seriously. With more than 20 events January–March, more than 15,000 participants take part in the festivities. If you don’t want to risk hypothermia, you can donate online to support the cause. Not only do Special Olympic athletes compete each year, plungers compete for the highest donation amount. Take part in a group challenge with your friends or colleagues.


Wherever you are, take the plunge to benefit Special Olympics!


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