Photo courtesy Otter Tail Lakes Country Association
Otter Tail County is made up of 24 small (but charming) communities across nearly 2,225 square miles of central Minnesota. Though it’s a three-hour trek from the Twin Cities, the lake country has plenty to offer to make it worth your while—even if it’s just a short day trip. To make your stay in Otter Tail County even more accommodating in the upcoming month, we’ve pulled together a little something to keep your family busy, your belly full, and your heart happy.
Something to Do: Otter Tail County – On Ice
Otter Tail County – On Ice is an outdoor music festival with a mission to celebrate our frigid Minnesota winters. The two-day, family-friendly event includes a breakfast buffet, snowmobile trail ride, curling tournament, dog sledding demos, and an impressive line-up of homegrown entertainment. This year’s festival features five talented acts, including North Dakota country duo Tigirlily and Minneapolis’ own Pert Near Sandstone—a five-member, bluegrass band taking the American roots music scene by storm. And of course, they do it the only way we know how: On a frozen lake. Feb. 8-9, 3:30-11:30 p.m. @ Otter Tail Lake, 300 Thumper Lodge Rd., Ottertail, ottertaillakecountry.com/otc-on-ice/
Something to Eat: Betty’s Pantry
For more than 25 years, Betty’s Pantry has been a go-to breakfast and lunch spot for locals in the Ottertail area. The family-owned food joint is known for specific menu standouts—including the lunch-time favorite Farmer Lyle Burger (a toasted bun stacked tall with a quarter pound burger, cheese, bacon, onion rings, fried egg, and hash browns) and the Minnesota Omelet (we can smell the wild rice, ground sausage, mushroom, and Swiss cheese from here). Most importantly, Betty’s Pantry in-house bakery keeps things exciting with trays of gooey, melt-in-your-mouth caramel rolls, pie-by-the-slice, and German chocolate cake. Open 7 days/week, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. @ 102 Main St. W., Ottertail, bettyspantry.business.site
Something to See: A Center For The Arts
Though smaller in size, the city of Fergus Falls has a larger-than-life arts and theater presence. A Center For The Arts (the 421-seat theater in town) hosts local and touring performers in music, theater, dance, and more genres year round. Catch the Children’s Theater performance (young, emerging talent create, cast, build sets, make costumes, and perform their own work) and the St. Paul-based Transit Authority, a premier tribute band honoring the music of Chicago. Children’s Theater Performances (Feb. 8-10, times TBA) and Transit Authority (Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m.) @ 124 W. Lincoln Ave., Fergus Falls, fergusarts.org