Those lucky enough to have Animal Crossings: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch may have noticed that exploring the island has many similarities to exploring Manitoba! While it might not compare to actual real life adventures, it's a nice and relaxing alternative while we all stay home. Plus, the Northern Hemisphere island is quite temperate and doesn't seem to have snow storms...yet. Excessive amounts of Bunny Day eggs aside, here are the top 10 things you can do in Animal Crossing that are just like exploring Manitoba!
1 - You can go fishing
While Manitoba is known as being one of the top hotspots for fishing, Animal Crossing might have it beat...at least when you have to stay inside to fish. In Manitoba lakes and rivers, you can reel in northern pike, smallmouth bass and walleye....In Animal Crossing, you can expand your fishing horizons even further and catch tropical butterfly fish, koi fish and more! The thrill of the catch is REAL!
2 - You can tend to and visit gardens
So you miss getting your floral fix at places like the Leo Mol Garden and the International Peace Garden? Fear not. Animal Crossing has plenty of opportunities to tend to the local flora. You can even crossbreed different flower combinations for new colours!
3 - You can take walks in nature and catch insects
Got any entomologists in the family? Insect enthusiasts will love walking through forested areas of cherry and apple trees, only to have the opportunity to catch butterflies, tiger beetles, stinkbugs and more. Choose to donate them to the local museum or sell them for sweet, sweet bells (the in-game currency).
4 - You can shop from local retailers
We have plenty of ideas and suggestions for continuing to support local businesses and retailers online - but sometimes you just miss that brick and mortar experience. Shop to your heart's content at Nook's Cranny and the Able Sister's clothing shop.
5 - You can mingle with friendly neighbours
We can't get together physically with our neighbours and friends right now, so why not get to know some friendly faces in Animal Crossing? There are plenty of interactions to be had; from returning lost items, running errands and exchanging gifts.
6 - You can go star gazing
Missing the astronomy nights at Oak Hammock Marsh? Watch the beautiful night sky without ever leaving your (real life) house. Keep your eyes peeled for shooting stars (which you CAN wish upon) and get special items. If the game has any similarities to previous versions, there may also be the occasional aurora borealis in the future!
7 - You can visit the museum and see fossils
While our beloved museums like the Manitoba Museum, the Manitoba Agricultural Museum and many more are closed due to COVID-19, you can visit a beautiful museum in the comfort of your home in Animal Crossing. Your donations and fossil discoveries help to build the museum's collection - which mean you'll be digging for fossils daily (practice for when the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre can reopen with their amazing Fossil Dig Adventure).
8 - You can visit campgrounds
Setting up campgrounds on your Animal Crossing island is a great way to meet new characters who visit and pretend your under the stars in beautiful parks like Nopiming Provincial Park, Whiteshell Provincial Park, Clearwater Lake Provincial Park and more.
9 - You can practice photography
For many Manitoban adventurers, taking photographs along the way is all part of the fun. Good news - you can do that in Animal Crossing, too. As part of your in-game photography explorations, find scenes that resemble photos you've already taken in Manitoba and try to recreate them!
10 - You can go on dates with friends
With options to go multiplayer with couch co-op or online play, you can visit your friend's islands and do everything we've listed above in the company of your loved ones. How fun is that?