Nintendo is expanding its horizons to the Emerald City this fall, partnering with the Seattle Aquarium to bring an immersive Animal Crossing experience to visitors.
The Aquarium calls it “the crossover you didn’t know you needed.” Characters from Animal Crossing: New Horizons, an island-themed Nintendo Switch game, will be popping up throughout the museum. The exhibit will feature photo ops, a smartphone-based scavenger hunt and more.
Aquarium members can get an early look at 9 a.m. on Oct. 7 and 8, before the aquarium opens to all guests at 9:30 a.m. The partnership runs through Dec. 31. Additional Animal Crossing-themed activities and events will be announced throughout this limited-time run.
Fans of the Animal Crossing franchise are happy as clams in high water with this collaboration, responding to the Aquarium’s post on social platform X with requests to extend the term of the exhibit and for commemorative merchandise.
The Aquarium says its partnership with Nintendo of America is the first of its kind in North America, with virtual characters serving as brand ambassadors for the organization’s mission: “Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment.”
True Northwest Nintendo nerds might recall The Legendary Starfy character’s appearance at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport in 2009, as part of an East-to-West-Coast tour. The Legendary Starfy game for Nintendo DS featured a puffy yellow star character on an underwater treasure hunt.
But the New Horizons exhibit at Seattle Aquarium aims to be a more engaging experience. Themed creature descriptions will be presented by Animal Crossing’s Blathers the owl, as visitors get to meet and mingle with real-life aquarium favorites such as sea otters, harbor seals, octopus, scores of fish and more.
The new exhibit will be on display during regular hours. The aquarium is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are available at SeattleAquarium.org.