Winter in Animal Crossing series starts in late November and lasts until the 18th of February. Like the other seasons, winter has many unique events and characters, as explained below. Winter follows Autumn, and precedes Spring. Winter is characterized by snow on the ground, which melts on the 25th of February.
There are many events that occur in the winter, such as Naughty or Nice Day, Toy Day and the New Year's Countdown. Here is a list of the events, what happens in each, in what game and when.
- Igloos in Animal Crossing (GCN) - If there is snow on the ground one of the villagers may decide to live in an igloo for the day. Visit them to chat or play special winter games. If the player spends enough time in the igloo, they may receive one of several special snowy gifts.
- Lighthouse Watching in Animal Crossing (GCN) - The mayor may ask the player to light the lighthouse for him for a week during one of the first two months of the year while he is on holiday. If they do it every night between 6pm and 10pm for a full week they will receive chocolates or a lighthouse model when he returns.
- Naughty or Nice Day (First Saturday of December, City Folk and New Leaf)- Tortimer appears in the Plaza to award the player with a 'stuffed stocking' after being asked if they have been naughty or nice. The Player will receive the stocking regardless of what they say.
- Fishing Tourney (Second Saturday of December, Second Saturday of January, Second Saturday of February, City Folk, New Leaf)- Chip, the fishing ace, will set up a stall in the Plaza, and challenge the villagers in the town to catch the biggest fish. The competition ends at 6:00 PM, where the winner will receive a trophy. A notice will also be put up on the bulletin board announcing the winner.
- Fishing Tourney (Third Sunday of December, Wild World)- The Wild World version of the Fishing Tourney is much the same as the event previously mentioned, but there are a few notable differences. This event takes place from 12:00 AM till 6:00 PM, and Tortimer is the head of the competition in place of Chip.
- Midwinter Day (21 December, City Folk)- Tortimer waits in the Plaza and gives the Player a snowglobe. This event comes with no warning on the bulletin board until the day itself. The 21st is a celebration because it is the day with the shortest sunlight hours in the year.
- Toy Day (24 December, Animal Crossing, City Folk, New Leaf, New Horizons)- After 8:00 PM, Jingle the reindeer will distribute presents to Players, but only if he fails to recognize them after the initial prize-giving. To do this, the Player must change into different outfits. In New Horizons, Jingle will ask the player to craft 3 pieces of festive wrapping paper out of ornaments. After Jingle receives the wrapping paper, Jingle will ask the player to give presents to all the residents using a large white bag. After the Player has finished giving presents to the residents, the Player will receive a Toy Day wreath.
- New Years Eve (31 December- 1 January, Wild World, City Folk and New Leaf)- From 6:00 AM, Tortimer will stand outside in the plaza with a large Countdown Clock, handing out party poppers when talked to. The clock counts down the seconds till midnight and is adorned with the town's flag and flashing lights. In the final hour before the new year, villagers will talk about their past year, and the music will change several times, building in tension and cumulating in the last minute with a beep for every second. After midnight, fireworks will go off in the sky and residents will wish the Player a happy New Year.
- La-Di-Day (Second Saturday of January, Wild World)- On this day, a Player can hear villagers' suggestions for a new town tune. After the tune is sung to the Player, they can decide whether or not they want it saved as the town's new melody.
- Flea Market- (Fourth Sunday of January, Wild World, City Folk)- Players can visit villager's homes and buy selected items of furniture. Likewise, villagers can visit the Player's house and buy items from them, at a price set by the Player.
- Yay Day- (Fourth Sunday of January, Wild World)- Villagers swap compliments with the Player, and may refer to them infrequently after the event.
- Valentine's Day- (14 February, Animal Crossing, City Folk and New Leaf)- In the original game, the Player will receive letters from various villagers. The more the villager likes the Player, the better the gift they are given will be. In City Folk, the Player will receive a letter from the villager that they are friendliest with. This villager is always of the opposite gender. The letter contains a box of chocolates, which can be eaten. Brewster will prepare hot chocolate for the player instead of coffee.
- Snowmen- Snowmen can be made out of snowballs in the winter. If a snowman is made to the correct proportions, he will reward the Player with a piece of Snowman furniture. Snowmen can be spoken to, and stay around the town for three days, melting a bit more every day. New Leaf adds three new types of snowmen: the Snowman, Snowboy and Snowtyke. Snowboys return in New Horizons.
- Jingle- A reindeer who appears on the 24th of December to distribute presents.
- Chip- A beaver who holds the Fishing Tourney.
- CJ- A beaver who holds the Fishing Tourney in New Horizons, replacing Chip. He is implied to be the son of Chip.
- Tortimer- The Mayor of the Player's town. He hosts some events.
- Isabelle- She is the mayoral Player's secretary. She hosts some events in New Leaf.
The weather of winter consists mainly of snowy, cloudy days. In New Leaf, some snowflakes may be more defined. The player can catch these snowflakes with their net. Snow may fall as soon as late November, but won't settle until early December. With the settling of the snow, snowballs can be found dotted around the town. These can be rolled up and joined together to make snowmen, as described above. After December, there is less snowy weather.
In New Horizons, the blizzard is replaced with snow falling on December 9th, and then the island will be fully covered in snow on December 10th. This is shown by the Museum, Nook's Cranny, Able Sisters, Resident Services, and the villagers homes with their roofs covered in snow. It is also noticeable that the days go dark at an earlier time.
Starting December 15th in New Horizons and continuing during December, all existing cedar trees will be decorated with flashing lights, which alternate between blue, green and red. The player must shake any cedar tree several times to make an ornament (which will be either red, yellow, or blue) fall from the tree, which can be used to create an ornament wreath with these ornaments. Any new cedars planted will lack the lights, and after the first week of the year, all lights will disappear.