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"Uni-corns" and more — Perham area's Otter Berry Farm corn maze opens for the fall

Otter Berry Farm held its fall opening on Friday, Sept. 10. It will be open every weekend until Sunday, Oct. 30.

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Two of the Cariveau kids from Detroit Lakes stand tall and proud on a tractor at the Otter Berry Farm near Perham.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus
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PERHAM — Just because fall is here doesn't mean that the outdoor fun has to end in the Perham area. Otter Berry Farm, located a few miles southeast of Perham, known for its strawberry picking in the spring and its corn maze and pumpkins in the fall, hosted its fall opening on Saturday, Sept. 10.

"It's just awesome to see families come out and enjoy the farm and enjoy the Minnesota weather," said Kris Huebsch, owner of Otter Berry Farm. "People aren't on their cellphones, and they're enjoying company with each other and having a good time. That's been the best part."

What started off as a small idea for Huebsch's family to make a corn maze in 2018 has grown and grown, and now their farm has over 10,000 likes on Facebook.

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An array of farm animals are available to be fed and petted throughout Otter Berry Farm.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus
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The Pederson family (left to right) Laura, Ellie, Joe and Josh took advantage of the photo opportunities when they visited Otter Berry Farm all the way from Moorhead.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

This fall, Otter Berry opened to a clear and sunny afternoon with tons of happy faces and families around. When a visitor drives into the farm, they're offered two options: to enter the pumpkin patch or to enter the activities area. This year, Huebsch said, the farm is offering over 50 varieties of pumpkins and squash.

On the activities side, there's even more for visitors to do. From feeding and petting farm animals — like a horse dressed as a "uni-corn" — to eating at the new food truck to taking photos to playing games, smiles could be seen on the faces of kids all throughout the field.

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"It's pretty fun; (my family) are having a ball here," said Lori Kish, a visitor at the farm on its opening day. "I work for a school … and little kids need to get out and do this kind of stuff and be out in public. I absolutely think they need to do stuff like this."

Mary Schmitt, another visitor, shared that she comes every single year with her two daughters and their kids. The children love the activities, and the parents think it's super cute. On top of all that, they also love the farm's famous corn maze.

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A Katahdin sheep pokes its head out for pets and food at the Otter Berry Farm.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus
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Corn stands tall under the blue skies at Otter Berry Farm. This year, the maze is in the shape of an otter and the words "Find your inner otter."
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

Otter Berry Farm's corn maze changes every year. This year, it's over six acres, and with Otter Tail Lakes Country Association as 2022's presenting maze sponsor, the maze is in the shape of a cartoon otter next to the association's slogan: "Find your inner otter."

When visitors arrive at the farm, they're given maps and game sheets that can be used throughout the maze. Little signs are hidden deep in the corn with fun facts about otters, lady slipper flowers, painted turtles and other animals relevant to the county. Signs even include fun facts about every town in Otter Tail.

"(The maze) took about an hour and forty minutes," laughed another visitor named Dewey with his family, the Pedersons, who came all the way from Moorhead. "It's a fun afternoon … It's a blast." He expressed how important it is for him and his family to make memories and bond together.

This was the Pedersons' first time at the farm and it was a great first time. Yet another family entering the farm for the very first time were the Cariveaus from Detroit Lakes, and at first impression, they were already excited.

"It looks pretty fun," Christina, the mother of the Cariveau family shared. "We're excited to go in the maze. The boys are excited for the bouncy house — that's the first thing they wanted to do, was the bouncy house."

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A horse, dressed up as a "uni-corn," is available for photos and petting at the Otter Berry Farm.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus
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Plenty of photo opportunities, such as this giant bear made out of stacked hay bales, can be found throughout the farm.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

Kids can bounce their hearts out in that house, play in a box of corn kernels or even climb on giant animals made out of hay bales until the end of October.

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The farm is accessible for wheelchairs and people with disabilities. It will be open on weekends from Sept. 10 - Oct. 30. The night mazes will be on Sept. 17 and Oct. 22.

To learn more about Otter Berry Farm, go to otterberryfarm.com . They can also be found on Facebook @otterberryfarm . The farm's "berry line," which gives a 24-hour answering machine with up-to-date information on the farm's events and availability, can be reached at 218-346-5034. The farm can also be reached directly at otterberryfarm@gmail.com.

"We're super grateful to everyone that comes out every year," concluded Kris Huebsch. "It keeps getting a little bigger each year. In 2018 — our first corn maze — we thought this would be a fun little thing. We never dreamed it would get this big, and it's because people keep coming and supporting us. Without them, we couldn't do it. It's been really fun and really cool."

Elizabeth (she/her), 23, graduated with a degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Wisconsin–Stout in 2020. Elizabeth has always had a passion for telling stories about people and specializes in community features, which she uses for her Perham-centered content.
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