John Ball Zoo, Grand Rapids

4.1
#1 of 6 in Outdoors in Kent County
Touch the stingrays in the lagoon, stop by the Pelican Pier to see duck breeds from around the world, and visit the penguins in the aquarium at John Ball Zoo. The zoo showcases animals representing Africa, Asia, South America, Australia, and the United States like gorillas, tigers, lions, and emus. You'll discover a designated, interactive children's zoo that features camel rides, a ropes course, and a zipline for kids. Adults can try the Sky Trail--another ropes course. Board the funicular tram to the top of the zoo on your way in or out. Parking is free; check the website for seasonal closures before you visit. Add John Ball Zoo and other attractions to your Grand Rapids trip itinerary using our Grand Rapids online sightseeing planner .
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John Ball Zoo Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
615 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • We love to go many different times when Zoo is open. We see many different animals each time. Some are more visible in the morning so always a good time to go.  more »
  • This is the perfect zoo for families looking for a fun outing that isn’t an all day affair. It takes a couple hours (about 2-3) to explore. Lots of great animals like bears, tigers, otters, and the pe...  more »
  • We loved seeing all of the animals, fyi summer is the best time because in the winter the put most of them away.  more »
Google
  • One of my favorite zoos. The animals enclosures seem very representative of their natural habitat. The zoo worker made a special effort to give the bears their strawberry treat right near the observation windows. What a joy for our grandchildren to see the bears so close and eating healthy berries. Role models, maybe? I highly recommend this zoo for not only animal lovers but nature lovers too. Some up/down walking but lots of shade. A train is available to bring you up & down the hill. Enjoy🌲
  • Great zoo, very fun to do with the kids. We live close by and have a membership so that makes it easy. Good selection of animals, cool layout to make it interesting and some fun rotating exhibits. Highly recommend you go for an annual membership if you’re close by, great outing for the family.
  • Great value. I've been going here since I was a kid and zoo continues to grow but the ticket price has remained reasonable. Thankful they call Grand Rapids home.
  • Awesome Zoo! Treat their animals with dignity and respect. Always (typically) clean park, spacious amount of parking so don't worry about not getting their early! Good place to take the family :)
  • Great zoo! We went while some animals were somewhere warmer for winter but our son still had a blast! There was still a variety of animals to see. There was an employee who talked to us about the chimpanzees and we could tell she cared for them! It is a good sign when an employee loves their job!

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Where to stay in Grand Rapids

Only five hotels provide lodging downtown, but each charms its guests with a distinctive character. A small collection of bed and breakfasts and inns populate Old Town. These hotels are a five-minute walk from the city's main attractions, top restaurants, and conference centers, so they tend to fill up fast. Book a room early to ensure you get the lodging of your choice. There are also hotel chains near the airport and in residential areas; public transport and taxi service link these to the city's downtown.
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