Advertiser Spotlight: John Ball Zoo

Experiences and Adventures Await!

John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids is great for a family outing with over 1,000 animals including lions, tigers, grizzly bears, and chimpanzees. There are also Mountain lions, flamingos, Ring-tailed lemurs, howler monkeys, parrots, and many other animals from different continents of the world. New this year is the pygmy hippo habitat, an amazing space built as the centerpiece of the Zoo’s Time to Soar Campaign.

There’s lots to see and do at John Ball Zoo, enough to fill an afternoon or an entire day. Stop by Van Andel Living Shores Aquarium for a peak at Magellanic Penguins as they playfully dive and zoom underwater. Observe eels, anemones, and exotic fish in a 40,000-gallon
Kelp Forest tank or visit the Tide Pool that ebbs and flows with the tide. Discover little critters like exotic frogs, toads, and salamanders, a vast representation of reptiles, amphibians, and insects, as well as small primates in the Natural Treasures building.

Plan your course upon arrival as there are many ways to travel along the winding hilly paths. You can start at the entrance and walk up, or begin your experience riding to the top in the Funicular (like a cable car) to a tree-lined observation deck with a nice view of downtown Grand Rapids. Whichever way you choose to go, you’ll be able to see fascinating tiger habitats (Crawford Tigers of the Realm) and observe lions and more at Bissell’s Lions of Lake Mayara. See the chimpanzees at play at Mokomboso Valley. Both the chimpanzee and the lion habitats rank among the largest of their kind!

Check out the Bird Aviary to feed these colorful birds like budgies, cockatiels, and white winged parakeets. Fly along (securely harnessed) on a four story, 600-foot, Zipline—the real deal! Try out the Sky Trail Ropes Course, four stories tall with two climbing levels and over 15 obstacles ranging in difficulty. Take a souvenir photo on top of the friendly Camels where Mom and Dad can ride too. Kids of all ages will love the play options at TreeTops Outpost.

Small children will want to visit the Red’s Hobby Farm, with a petting area featuring goats, sheep and other domestic animals. On the weekends there are also live shows where skilled staff at John Ball Zoo demonstrate how they train the animals and maybe even get a chance to feed one.

Getting married or celebrating a big event? The Bissell Tree House at John Ball Zoo is the perfect place to gather for a reception with family and friends. Or schedule a birthday party at our pavilion in the Forest Realm. The Zoo is also the perfect location for corporate after-hours rentals, group outings, and family reunions to name a few. There are also plenty of great picnic areas at John Ball Park next to the Zoo. Contact the John Ball Zoo Rentals department for more information.

With multiple food service areas throughout the Zoo, you’ll never go hungry. Enjoy everything from hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken tenders & pizza, to delicious Ice Cream Sundaes, ICEE, and Dole Whip desserts.

Finally, don’t forget to remember your special day with a souvenir from the Gifts of the Wild store conveniently located at the Zoo gate featuring plush toys, tee-shirts, and a variety of merchandise supporting conservation efforts around the world.

For more information see, Facebook, or call 616-336-4300.