25 Ideas for Your Animal Crossing: New Horizons Island

I’m not the most creative person in the world. That obviously poses a problem when it comes to creative games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons. What you make of your island is entirely up to you. Even after Tom Nook gives you the ability to terraform things, you’re still left to your own devices. That’s why we’ve put together 25 ideas for your Animal Crossing island. Fill in all of those empty spots with any one of these popular ideas!

Looking for house ideas? We’ve also put together 20 ideas for your Animal Crossing house.

Animal Crossing New Horizons May Day Maze

Maze

There are a few different approaches you can take with a maze. Do you create a purely decorative one focused on art, flowers, and sculpture? Or maybe you make a more modern one that’s a legitimate puzzle for visitors? If you truly want to make people suffer, place one right at the entrance to your island.

While most will likely use hedge bushes, you can also opt instead for cliffs made from the terraforming tool. This makes it harder for players to see the entirety of the maze, making it harder to escape.

Arcade

Plenty of players have created arcades inside their houses, but why not do something different and make one under the stars? You can still use all of the same aesthetics minus the flooring and walls. You’ll want to look for arcade cabinets, pinball machines, and a table tennis set up to truly get that game room feel. Consider slapping on some floor lights to help illuminate this outdoor attraction. Now I really want to do this on an outside deck, playing video games with my villagers until the green glow of morning arrives.

Temple

We probably could have bundled the zen garden with the temple, but some folks have really taken it to the next level. One user has created a temple to the moon, complete with a floating, rotating moon statue. Lots of players use the zen garden walls, terraform to make waterfalls, and use hanging lanterns.

Trading Port

If you’re one for a more industrial island, some players have taken to making their piers into proper shipping ports. These come complete with storage zones full of boxes, trading materials, construction supplies, and more! You can also do some pretty cool force perspective with the cliffs, lighthouses, and other large objects. Check out this awesome version by Snarferman.

Zen Garden

Want somewhere peaceful to relax? Build a zen garden for your villagers to meditate and do yoga in. If you want to include rocks, you’ll need to go through a rather tedious process of forcing them to spawn in your garden. But the effort is definitely worth it, as it makes gathering resources much easier. For custom sand/gravel patterns use the creator code MA-5114-7560-0924. Then populate the rest of the area with whatever type of garden you want. Use some of the DIY rocks

Mushroom Forest

This one is limited to southern hemisphere islands where it is currently fall and mushrooms are available. But if you have them on hand, try putting together a rustic patch of forest. Give it lots of water, mushrooms do love moisture, and populate the area around with some fallen leaves, rocks patterns, and dirt paths. Keep in mind, this method may take some time since you’ll have to do a lot of terraforming. So if you don’t want to fight with cliff placements and waterfalls than this might not be for you.

Secret Trade Beach

Everyone already has a secret beach on the back of their island. Why not keep it a secret for when Redd is around? There are lots of videos out there of people getting creative when it comes to hiding ways to get to hidden areas. The beach area already exists, so why not just spruce it up, make it truly hidden and have it be a feature of your island.

Fancy Entryway

If you have lots of visitors to your island you might want to spruce up the area near your airport. Depending on where your town center is, you can build a path straight up from your airport to there, leaving visitors with no choice of where to go. This is your chance to design things that everyone will see. DanboKuma built a moon walk full of glowing celestial object and waterfalls.

Hidden Paths

While you’re at it with the secret trade beach, why stop there? Make some other hard to get to, secluded areas. Maybe a private outdoor lounge nook or a completely hidden turnip storage area. This can also be a fun surprise for those who are exploring your island or if you want to isolate an ignoring villager. Looking at you Pietro.

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Campsite

Why just place your campsite and then leave it completely undecorated? Place trees, dirt paths, and more around the area. Break out the bonfire, some seating, and some additional tents. Make it feel like a true campground! Search creator code MA-7376-5758-0005 for some really awesome, customizable, dirt paths we can recommend.

Various Shops

Why not use those stalls to make a bunch of different shops down your main pathway? You can have one sell fruit, another beach themed objects, and a third that deals with flowers. Your limits for this only comes down to what you have available in your catalog which is why it’s a good idea to always purchase things you don’t own. You never know when you’ll want them!

Bus Stop

Keeping with the modern theme, why not add some bus stops around town? Grab those bucket seats you see in the airport, flip around the shop stands as an overhang lookalike, and get sitting. Add some vending machines and other atmospheric decorations.

Island Park

Why not build an island on your island? Surround a decent sized patch of land with water and turn it into a nice scenic park. Add a bunch of cobblestone flooring, a water fountain, some seating, and then populate it with trees and flowers. You could even take this one step forward and make your entire island just a bunch of interconnected islands. Though you may have some trouble getting your island up to 5 stars if the majority of it is just water.

City Streets

From street markets to full blown cities, Animal Crossing players have been making some wild industrial areas. A lot of this comes down to just making everything look super busy, but it’s helped along with servers which glow in the dark and can look like tall buildings at night. Probably one of the most common islands that players make, you can find a ton of roads, unique signs, and cool stall designs for a nice market place.

Create Building Interiors

You can only build so much inside of your own house. What if you want to build something large like a hotel? McKarmey has a great example of how to do so: use cliffs as interior walls. This way you can fake interior rooms and have multistory buildings! As long as you don’t mind not having a roof or doors, this is a great way to add multiple structures to your island such as a diner or store.

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Excavation Site

Though you can always dig up fossils out of the ground, why not make an official excavation site? Plop down some fossils, various rock pieces, and decorate it with rustic equipment. Bonus points for multi-layered tiers and for placing fake holes. (Use code: MO-XBMQ-DHCD-R0KW). A good way to do this is by building your Museum on cliff so you can create a large hole next to it. Plus, it’s great for putting all those spare fossils you come across.

See an example here.

Create a Duck Pond

Every Animal Crossing island already comes with its own pond, why not spruce it up? Make it more authentic with fallen leaves, weeds, stone paths, and benches to sit on. Obviously, you’ll need the duck statue so keep an eye out for it or ask around. This build really doesn’t work at all without it.

Parking Spots

Want to make your city feel more lived in? Build a few bike parking spots around the island! Rebork234 has even provided the custom designs for them! This typically ties in with the city theme mentioned above, however, we’ve also seen this used for bicycles. We don’t expect you to turn your island into a Wal-Mart parking lot, but one or two can really add that touch of emersion a good island needs.

Coffee House / Cafe

Another super popular idea. Since Nintendo hasn’t implemented The Roost, at least not yet, you’re going to have to build your own. Grab your espresso machines, some wooden furniture, and other cafe themed items and throw something together! We’ve also seen smaller versions of this with stalls, which

Seaside Restaurant

Most islands have a rock outcrop which goes largely unused. AmphritriteL turned theirs into a proper seaside cafe! Why not turn yours into an entire restaurant? After all, that’s sure enough the case in the real world. Alternatively, you can always set up a restaurant on the beach next to a dock so your villagers have a nice place to enjoy a drink or two.

Create An Outdoor Deck for Your House

Ever wanted some extra outdoor space? You’ll need to invest some money in a ramp, but it’s possible to build a deck that wraps around your house! Put some woof flooring and fences down and then add all the outdoor furniture you want!

Farm

You likely have an orchard already, so go ahead an entire farm while you’re at it. Gather up those hay bales, lay down some dirt, and put down your turnips every week. You can even drop saplings down which help spruce up the place. Unfortunately, there aren’t any real farm animals in the game unless you feel cruel and decide to trap your villagers in it.

Cabin in the Woods

If you’re super dedicated to everything spooky, move your house into a heavily forested area. You’ll obviously want lots of trees, plants, and overgrowth. However, horror is pretty tricky to do without a bunch of custom designs since the Halloween event is months away. this idea does work nicely if you have a Villager like Lucky, Coco, or Stitches to scare anyone brave enough to venture out alone.

Villager Yards

Depending on what kind of player you are, this one can be a job that never really ends. Your villagers have their own homes and some did require random outdoor items, but some have taken to really giving them a place to live. Take into account their style and add things like a sitting area with an outdoor activity, a radio for the singer, and more.

Baking Store

Customize your cafe further and add deserts! Just take a hat and add a custom pattern to it, turning them into cakes with the brims at the plates underneath. Check out this Reddit user’s example complete with design codes. Another cute baking theme we’ve seen is setting up an area like a food competition with multiple cooking stations. Then you can go full Gordon Ramsey and let all those Villagers have it for being terrible chefs.

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Dillon Skiffington

Dillon is the Guides Editor at Fanbyte. He can't seem to quit games as a service or looter shooters — unfortunate news for his backlog, really. Can't get enough game art, soundtracks, or space games.

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