The Best Way to Dress for a Water Amusement Park
Getting pruned fingers never felt so satisfying. A day at a water park, whether it's a small-town spot with three slides and two pools or a top-of-the-line Disney park, is a chance to abandon all cares and focus on fun. Shivering, sweating or getting turned away for inappropriate clothing will all ruin that fun. Dress the part and dive in.
Unless you want to spend the entire day on a lounge chair, a bathing suit is a must-have for any water park visitor. Even a self-conscious swimmer who likes to wear a T-shirt into the water will have to get comfortable walking around in a suit, because park rules generally dictate that guests wear nothing but bathing suits to enter the water. Every member of your group needs a suit that's appropriate to wear in public. Thongs and skimpy string bikinis are off-limits at many parks, as are suits with metal pieces like buckles and rings. And since you'll be jumping in waves and riding down slides, verify that each person's suit fits securely. A too-loose waistband or a flimsy halter top could result in an embarrassing show of skin. Water shoes may or may not be allowed; check your park's dress code.
For a visit to the snack bar or a rest in the shade, every member of your party should have a comfortable outfit to wear over her bathing suit. For a woman, a loose sundress or caftan is the perfect coverup, as it's easy to pull on over a wet suit. If your park includes non-water rides, bring shorts too. The males in your group might need only a T-shirt to wear over trunks. Opt for lightweight, loose-fitting pieces in light colors. When you're relaxing by the pool, a white coverup will reflect the sun's rays, while dark colors will absorb them and make you feel hot. Flip-flops are easiest to pull on, but when your feet are wet and the deck is soaked, flimsy pairs can lead to slips and falls. Wear sandals that can't slip off and that have a grip or tread on the soles.
Leaving the Park
When the group is yawning from a busy day and ready to go on to the next adventure, pulling your wet coverup on over a soaking bathing suit is unpleasant. Every member of the group needs to bring underwear and a dry outfit with her to the water park. Shorts and T-shirts are generally appropriate, and the clothes you wore into the park that morning might suffice. However, if you don't pack up to leave until evening, warmer clothes might be necessary. Bring capris or long pants if you plan to stay at the park until near sunset. Don't forget combs to deal with snarled hair, lip balm for chapped lips and sunscreen to reapply.
Other Clothing Considerations
Splashing in the kiddie pool will be the highlight of your little one's vacation -- provided he's actually allowed into the water. A child who's still in diapers must wear a swim diaper under his bathing suit, according to the rules of most water parks. Bring at least three or four swim diapers for a day at the park. And while it's optimistic to dress for sunny, 85-degree weather, it's not always realistic. Cool weather feels downright cold when you're climbing out of a heated pool. Bring a long-sleeved shirt or sweatshirt for every member of your party. If possible, pack a few big, cozy beach towels too. Towels might be provided in the park, but they might be too small or thin to adequately warm up with on a cool day.