On Mother’s Day 2019 we took a trip and visited Dublin Zoo. This is our 3rd visit with our daughter Ava, who is 3 years old.
In this blog post, I want to share my views of Dublin Zoo. If you’ve visited my blog before, you’ll know, I like to form my reviews from the point of view of a mom. A mom with a toddler. If you are interested, I have more reviews of this type for you to read here.
Where is it?
Dublin Zoo is located in Phoenix Park at the edge of Dublin City Centre.
How much does it cost?
Entry for 2 adults and a child aged 3 was €53 on the day.
Children under 3 are free of charge.
An adult single ticket is €19.50, a child ticket (age 3-16) is €14 and there is various family ticket also available.
What is there to do?
Obviously, the main attraction of the Zoo is to view animals you don’t see walking down the street every day. For instance, they have Lions, Tigers, Penguins, Elephants, Giraffes, Snakes and lots more to see.
What are the best bits?
Ava loved the Zoorassic World habitat. It’s Dublin Zoo home for reptiles. When you enter this building you are greeted by a life-size replica of a male Tyrannosaurus rex. Whilst this is very cool and a sight to see, Ava was more interested in finding the snakes. She absolutely loves snakes and even held one recently. I felt sick just looking at the Pythons, the less time around them the better.
I really enjoy seeing the Gorillas, they’ve built a dedicated Gorilla Forest that is lovely to explore and immerses you in the area. In addition to this, my favourite animal is the Red Panda, they’re just so cute. A trip to the zoo isn’t complete without viewing the Red Pandas.
Robert enjoys viewing the African Savanna, home to Rhinos, Giraffes, Oryx and Ostriches but to name a few. Again this area has a brilliant viewing deck above so everyone can observe the animals at a safe distance.
The Sea Lion Cove encloser is also a favourite of ours. You can now observe the sea lions swimming underwater through the glass. Very fun, although it sometimes gets crowded.
Any bad bits?
Some habitats are hard to view, especially with a large volume of people around. Be patient and try not to shove your way through.
I sometimes feel the Amur Tigers get a raw deal, I’d love to see their enclosure get more space.
Parking around the zoo can be a bit of a nightmare.
The price is a little on the high side, although there are lots to things see and do. €53 is a little expensive and not something we can fork out every month.
In conclusion, the good bits definitely outweigh the bad bits in my opinion.
Is the food any good?
On this visit, we purchased food from the cove kiosk. The line to order was really slow, as was the arrival of our food. It’s a quick service kiosk. I think they are a little understaffed in this area. On this visit, we ordered a quarter pounder meal, a child’s chicken nugget meal and extra chips. We were pretty underwhelmed with the whole thing and it’s not a place I’d recommend for food.
On a previous occasion, we ate at the Meerkat Restaurant and if I remember correctly, we enjoyed that meal a whole lot better.
What are the toilets/baby change like?
Dotted around the park are plenty of toilets and from what I could tell, they all had a baby change facility. I would love if the toilets were kept a little cleaner. They’re not awful by any standard but could be better.
Special insider tips
Buy your tickets online in advance of your visit. Our entry would have been €48, saving us €5 on the gate price we paid.
Dublin Zoo has lots of playgrounds for kids. Ava loved this and provides a little rest for the parents too. In the past couple of years, they’ve opened the Play Forest which is a covered playground.
There are zookeeper talks and animal feeding going on throughout the day. If you think your child would be interested in this, be sure to look at the guide for times.
There are lots of picnic benches around the zoo. Bring a packed lunch and dine al fresco with your family. It’ll save lots of money.
On this same point, Dublin Zoo has water fountains available (look up the guide), be sure to bring your refillable bottle.
The bottom line
A lovely day out with your family or on your own. It’s a fun-filled family friendly attraction, that’ll have your kids zapped of energy.
Until next time,