One of the oldest zoos in the world (it was founded in 1830), Dublin's animal house is now home to 700 species, including endangered snow leopards and golden lion tamarinds. In terms of layout it is the epitome of a modern, eco-conscious facility, with tigers, elephants, chimps and hundreds more given all the time and space they need to feel (climate notwithstanding) right at home. The place is also run with children very much in mind, as evidenced by the Pets' Corner, the Zoo Train, and the ample picnic facilities and play areas. That said, though, it's far from miniature in scale: the impressive Asian Plains, for example, is a 32-acre (13-hectare) expanse of pasture and woodland, home to (among many others) some splendid white rhinos and the ever-expanding family of elephants (mother Yasmin gave birth to another son in early 2008). All in all, then, this is an excellent day out - just one word of warning: try to turn up as near to opening time as possible, as queues can be long and (especially for the junior contingent) joyless affairs.