Ooh, There’s a Cold-Plunge Pool in a Downtown Park

Boston's Moki Winter Village is a new wellness escape nestled in Rose Kennedy Greenway, open through late March.

Photo by Anna Arriaga

Tucked away on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, between the iconic Rowes Wharf arch and the Financial District’s skyscrapers, is a winter wellness oasis dotted with trees and covered in snow. Moki, a self-described “winter sauna village,” is a pop-up experience making Boston its home until late March. Made of a big white dome, heated changing stations, showers, three wooden structures, and a cold plunge pool, Moki is a cozy escape from the bustling energy of Downtown Boston. Prepare to inhale scented oil while experiencing the sauna’s calming steam, followed by an icy submersion in the plunge pool.

In recent years, cold plunging has become trendy, with TikTokers and wellness gurus partaking in the ritual (#coldplunge) and touting potential health benefits like decreased inflammation, temperature regulation, general relaxation. But it’s a centuries-old practice. “You can look at almost every culture,” says Moki Winter Village owner and founder Mark Peloquin, “and they have some version of bathing or sauna, all the way back to Romans and Greeks.” As for the rewards, Peloquin saw the difference sauna-going and cold plunging was making in his life, so creating something like Moki was a no-brainer. “I got into it right before cold plunging started to get very popular and mainstream,” says Peloquin, “then I started researching it and learned there’s actually amazing benefits.”

Peloquin is a Rhode Island native who, before making saunas and cold plunging his full-time gig, worked for brand agencies and start-ups in New York City. Moki is a “one-man show,” and aside from the few employees that help around the space, Peloquin does everything from maintaining the website’s booking services to cleaning the sandals provided to guests upon entering. He started planning the pop-up idea in summer 2023 and brought Moki to life in a matter of months with the help of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, his family, friends, and his sauna construction partners.

“This was a pilot for me and the park to see if the public would respond positively to this—and so far, everyone that comes through is very excited about it,” says Peloquin. “I want the local community to see this as a place where they can find refuge once a week or once a month.”

The name Moki is a play on the Finnish word, mökki, Peloquin explains, “traditionally meaning a rustic cabin found outside of urban centers that are stripped of distractions and technology.” It’s a fitting moniker. “While you’re here, you can remove or disassociate yourself from the city and your daily life, reset, and recharge.”

Photo by Anna Arriaga

Once you shove your laptop, phone, and street clothes in a locker inside of the white dome, there are two wood-fired cabins that offer a complete escape from the outside world—with nearly sound-proofed walls, the saunas are an opportunity to replace honking horns and the usual city noises with a friendly chat. “When I went to things like this with my friends, we always had the best conversations because we were all super present,” says Peloquin. “There’re not a lot of times in our lives that we can sit down, not have distractions, and really connect.”

Peloquin clearly takes his saunas and Nordic-inspired theme seriously. Both saunas were custom-made by Timber Sauna Company, a family-owned Finnish construction business located in Minnesota that specializes in Nordic saunas. One structure has a traditional two-tiered bench that faces a glass window and overlooks the winter village setup. The other offers more of a moody vibe, with black-painted wood, higher heat, and a “conversation pit”-style setup that’s window peeks out at the edge of Rowes Wharf. The wood-fire that warms up the saunas is lit every morning, the temperature going all the way up to a steady 180 degrees.

And there’s more for Boston’s wellness and sauna lovers on the horizon: Moki is adding a third, wheelchair-accessible sauna before the pop-up ends. More capacity means more reservations for Moki, with Peloquin considering a membership option to encourage locals to come more regularly and a private sauna for group or couples’ rentals. Eventually, Moki hopes to have a year-round presence in the city, which would make cold plunges a tremendous, and almost positively popular, relief during the humid summer months.

For now, visitors can opt to walk-in or make online reservations in advance through the Moki website for the standard $55 two-hour slots where all winter sauna amenities are included.

“It’s unique to have a place where you can come with a friend or be by yourself, feel like you’re social while you’re doing something better for your body. When you leave, you feel better mentally and physically.”

Moki Winter Sauna Village, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston,

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