Zoo Date Night Ideas

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In need of Zoo Date Night Ideas?

So you’re going on a date to the zoo! Great choice! There are so many reasons that the zoo makes for a great date idea.

image reads "zoo date ideas" and shows couple feeding an animal at the zoo.

Whether you’re on your first date or have been married for many years, we can all enjoy the wonder that animals provide us.

Not only that, but the zoo is also super affordable and you can get an entire day trip out of it.

Want to try another fun animal themed date? Try an aquarium date!

Here’s how to make the most out of your date at the zoo:

Is The Zoo A Good First Date?

Let’s start out with a word of caution before you head out on your zoo date. If this is a first, second, or even third date, it’s important to make sure that the zoo is something that your date will enjoy before you plan your date. 

While we love the zoo, not everyone does. Some people think the zoo is a wonderful, safe place for animals to thrive.

Others have stronger negative opinions towards it. So just be sure that your date is on the positive side of opinions before you plan your date there.

When To Have A Zoo Date

Any day makes a great day for the zoo but there are some that are better than others. Here’s how to choose the right day:

Plan Around the Weather

This is the number one thing we suggest for going to the zoo. At the zoo, most of your time will be spent outdoors so you want it to be a nice day. Check the weather before you go to avoid days that are cold, rainy, or dreary.

Avoid Hot Days

Just like we don’t like being out during the cold days, the animals don’t like being out in the heat.

Remember, most animals at the zoo have thick, heavy fur, so in hot heat you’ll find them hiding indoors or under rocks.

Choose a day that is moderate in temperature for your best chance to see the animals being active.

Avoid Busy Days

If you can, go on a weekday when the lineups aren’t so long. But more importantly, avoid things like family discount days.

These days are cheaper, but they also get very busy very quickly. You don’t want to be waiting in long groups to see the animals. 

What To Wear on A Zoo Date?

For a date to the zoo, we suggest going pretty casual. You’ll want to look nice, of course, but we wouldn’t advise wearing anything too fancy.

You’re going to be doing a lot of walking, so comfortable clothes and shoes are recommended.

At the very least, we’d stray away from any type of heel – you’re going to end up miserable by 10 minutes into the date. 

Depending on the day, we’d recommend a pair of jeans and a tee or a sweater, or even your favorite set of comfy clothes. 

What to Bring To The Zoo For A Date

We don’t want you to pack too heavy for your zoo date because you don’t want to be lugging around 10 pounds on your back all day.

But we do recommend packing the basics.

Most importantly, pack some water. The zoo will charge 5 times what water really costs, and your going to want to stay hydrated throughout the day. 

You’ll also want to bring your wallet and some extra cash.

You may want to stop for ice cream or some sweet treats along the route, so you’ll want to make sure you have some money on hand.

And of course, bring a camera. You’ll want to capture your memories for a lifetime!

  • Sunscreen
  • Water
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Money
  • Camera/Phone
  • Comfortable Shoes

Other Ideas:

  • Lightweight jacket depending on weather
  • Hat
  • Snacks
  • Picnic Lunch
  • Umbrella

Fun Ideas to Amp Up Your Date

The zoo alone is a great date – there’s not much you need to do to improve it. But if you want to add a little extra zest to your date, you could try some of these things:

Find a Drive Thru Zoo

Have you ever heard of a drive thru zoo? It’s like a mini safari. You can hop in the jeep, train, bus…whatever the vehicle and take a tour around the fields with some really awesome animals. You’ll typically get to see the animals roaming around much larger areas than if they were staying in a cage.

It’s definitely a new idea to try if you’re wanting to find some cool new zoo places, and aren’t quite ready to book a safari.

Play a Game

There’s lots of games that you can play at the zoo. I Spy, 20 Questions, and scavenger hunts can all make for wonderful fun at the zoo.

For your scavenger hunt, create a list before you go.

Can you find an animal from Africa?

Who can find a carnivore first?

Where is an animal that is nocturnal?

Cross them off your list as you go and treat yourselves once you find everything on your list. 

People Watch

Most people go to the zoo to watch the animals but it can be a great place for people to watch too.

There are thousands of people who pass through the zoo each and every day – so if you’re a people watcher, this is a great spot.

How do people react to animals?

What animals seem to be the most popular?

Are there any people imitating or acting like animals?

You may quickly find that we aren’t so different after all!

Pack a Picnic

A Picnic is a fun and easy way to spice up any date. Bring a little basket full of food (and a cooler to keep it fresh), a pillow, and a blanket, and when you get hungry, set up a picnic wherever your heart desires.

Maybe even find your favorite animal and set up shop in front of their habitat. It doesn’t matter where you set up a picnic – they’re always romantic.

Plus, bringing your own food can save you a a ton of money on overpriced food at the zoo. 

Other Zoo Date Ideas To Add

Or try any of these that may be available at your local zoo:

  1. Take a guided tour or explore the zoo on your own and learn about the animals and their habitats.
  2. Have a picnic in a serene and beautiful location within the zoo.
  3. Participate in a zoo scavenger hunt and see who can find all the animals first.
  4. Take a romantic walk through the gardens or the bird exhibit.
  5. Enjoy a special animal encounter, such as a giraffe feeding or a behind-the-scenes tour.
  6. Have a wildlife photography session and capture some unique shots of the animals.
  7. Take a ride on the zoo train or a boat tour.
  8. Visit the zoo’s restaurant or café for a fun and romantic dining experience.
  9. Attend a zoo-themed event, such as a night tour or a concert.
  10. Take part in a conservation or animal welfare volunteer project together.

As a final word, always remember to plan your date around the events and feeding times at the zoo (if that’s important to you).

Feeding times are a great time to see the animals when they are the most active, but they are only done during specific hours during the day.

If there is a specific animal you want to see in action be sure to look up feeding times on the website before you go.

Most zoos also host different animal shows, so be sure to check out the times for those if they are something you’re interested in too. 

Sara, a seasoned expert in wedding planning and date ideas, brings a wealth of experience to our couples blog. With a background in the television industry and hands-on involvement in a dozen weddings, including working as a wedding assistant on "My Fair Wedding with David Tutera," Sara has an innate understanding of the magic that makes weddings truly special. Growing up with four sisters has given her unique insights into the dating world, making her a go-to source for practical and heartfelt dating advice. Her knowledge and enthusiasm make her the perfect guide for couples seeking to infuse their relationships with creativity and love.

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