How to Dress for the Zoo

A day at the zoo is guaranteed to be a day of discovery. You get the opportunity to see, hear, smell, and learn about hundreds of fascinating creatures. However, a day at the zoo can also be a day of patience with the great outdoors! If you are having trouble dressing for the zoo, here are some tips that will help.


  1. Image titled Dress for the Zoo Step 1
    Dress comfortably. Likely, you will spend most of the day walking around to view the exhibits, so avoid wearing anything too tight or uncomfortable.
    • If the day is going to be warm, consider wearing loose capri pants or shorts. This way, you will not be sweating all day, and you are free to walk and run around as needed.
    • If the day is going to be cool, consider wearing sweatpants or loose jeans. Avoid restrictive pants, as these do not allow you to comfortably walk around, lean, and crouch to view the exhibits.
  2. Image titled Dress for the Zoo Step 2
    Be prepared for any and all weather conditions. A summer day in Texas promises triple digits, but many zoos have air-conditioned inside portions (aquariums, reptile exhibits, etc.) for which you may want to bring a sweater or jacket, just in case. Likewise, if you visit the Franklin Park Zoo over winter break, you'll want to walk in with a coat, but after walking around in the sun for a few hours, you may want something cooler to wear. This is not to suggest that you should be changing clothes every few hours; only that since visiting the zoo is an active experience that primarily takes place outdoors, you should take caution and dress in layers.
  3. Image titled Dress for the Zoo Step 3
    Avoid valuable clothes. Don't wear anything you would mind getting splashed, dirty, or sweaty.
  4. Image titled Dress for the Zoo Step 4
    Wear clothes that breathe. Be prepared to perspire, whether or not it's going to be warm outside. You will be walking around enough to sweat a fair amount, so dress accordingly.
    • Aim for light, breathable fabrics, such as linen, rayon, and cotton.
    • Avoid heavy fabrics that will trap heat and sweat against your skin, such as wool, cashmere, and fleece.
  5. Image titled Dress for the Zoo Step 5
    Wear comfortable shoes and socks. Most zoo visits include miles of walking, and you don't want to be caught with blisters and achy feet at the end of the day.


  • To minimize the amount of walking and perspiration, try to aim for visiting as early in the day as possible. Animals are more active in the morning, and crowds tend to accumulate in the early afternoon.
  • Keep in mind that many items you could forget, such as hats, sunscreen, bags, t-shirts, etc, could be purchased from the zoo's gift shop, if it has one.
  • Bring a pair of sunglasses to shield your eyes from the sun.
  • Bring a hat to shield your eyes and face from the sun.
  • If you are bringing children to the zoo, make sure they are all dressed appropriately for the occasion and that they also have the necessary materials to protect themselves from the sun.

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