John Ball Zoo Grand Rapids

Welcome to John Ball Zoo located in the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan’s most beloved and iconic animal park. This family-friendly attraction has been delighting visitors of all ages since 1891, when it first opened its doors. From humble beginnings, the zoo has grown to become one of the top destinations for animal lovers and outdoor recreation enthusiasts alike.

Overview of the Zoo

John Ball Zoo Grand Rapids is home to over 1,100 animals representing 250 species. Visitors can explore the grounds and interact with various mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, as well as a range of other exotic creatures. The zoo also offers educational experiences, such as interactive exhibits and guided tours.

History of the Zoo

John Ball Zoo Grand Rapids has a rich and storied history. It was founded in 1891 by John Ball, a former mayor of Grand Rapids. Ball was an avid naturalist and was passionate about conservation and educating the public about wildlife and nature. After his death in 1893, the park was renamed in his honor.

Hours of Operation

John Ball Zoo Grand Rapids is open year-round and is open from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM daily. The last admission is at 4:00 PM. Admission fees vary depending on age and group size, as well as special discounts for members.

Animals at John Ball Zoo Grand Rapids

John Ball Zoo Grand Rapids is home to a wide variety of animals, including big cats like lions and tigers, birds like the bald eagle, reptiles like the alligator, and amphibians like the poison dart frog. Visitors can explore the habitats of these animals and learn more about their natural behavior and environment. There are also interactive exhibits and exhibits where visitors can feed the animals.

Interesting Facts About Each Species

John Ball Zoo Grand Rapids has a wealth of knowledge about the animals in its care. Visitors can learn more about these animals through informational signs and exhibits, as well as by asking the knowledgeable staff. For example, the park offers fun facts about the bald eagle, such as the fact that they have the strongest wingspan of any North American bird and can live up to 40 years.

Activities for Visitors

John Ball Zoo Grand Rapids has a number of attractions and exhibits for visitors to enjoy. These include a petting zoo, carousel, and playground. Additionally, the park hosts a variety of special events and experiences throughout the year, such as the Summer Concert Series, Zoo Snooze Overnights, and Zoo Brews.

Other Information

John Ball Zoo Grand Rapids is located at 1300 Fulton Street West in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Directions and parking information can be found on the park’s website. Admission prices vary depending on age and group size. Additionally, there are food and beverage options available onsite.


John Ball Zoo Grand Rapids is a beloved family-friendly attraction that has been delighting visitors since 1891. With its wide variety of animals, interactive exhibits, and special events, it is easy to see why John Ball Zoo Grand Rapids is worth visiting. For more information, please visit the park’s website or call (616) 336-4100.

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