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
602 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • October 3, 2017
    We had a great time. Its always fun to bring the family here. Most of the anumals were out. Really great exhibit was the red panda. Also visit the bird cage. A lot of fun for only $1.  more »
  • October 2, 2017
    very poor attraction - few animals on display - the grounds/water where most of the animals were was dirty - especially in the aquarium and penguin exhibit - there was not even a sign at the entrance ...  more »
  • September 28, 2017
    I've visited each of the four largest zoos in Michigan (Detroit - Potter Park - Binder Park - John Ball) and this is without a doubt in my mind the best zoo of them all. While it is definitely the sma...  more »
Google
  • July 4, 2017
    Close to the heart of the Grand Rapids Michigan city area. Good selection of animals to see, feed and pet. If taking kids go earlier in the day and recommend a stroller as the zoo has a fairly large area and a lot of walking will be involved. Large park and picnic area in front of the zoo entrance so bring the relatives too. Easy access just take exit 75 off the I-196 freeway and zoo is right at bottom of hill.
  • June 28, 2017
    Been going to the zoo since we had kids {9 years). Love feeding the 'birds, looking for the mountain lions and snow leopards, riding the camels, watching the penguins,...Kids never are bored there. They don't fight and we can easily spend a day walking the whole park getting fresh air. If you bring a lunch it can be next to free; if you pay for a membership and use it more than once. Family membership very affordable. We always ride bikes there and make it a destination. The surrounding park has plenty to explore also. Easily a place to make a regular stop at and great for young kids and parents who don't want their kids spending our wonderful west michigan summer inside watching TV!
  • July 1, 2017
    This was our first time here. We have gone to the Detroit zoo many times. It was nice to change it up. This zoo is great. The food is ok. I feel like we spent more time at this zoo than we do at Detroit because there are a lot of stops along the path for the kids. Play areas, zip lines....the rope challenge was my daughters favorite part. Lots of trees make you forget you're in the city.
  • June 24, 2017
    They always seem to keep up with the improvements. I love the staff and the service we get here. So many many many things to see and do and seriously. It's not that expensive and it'll be well worth an entire day out with the family. 😊😊
  • June 14, 2017
    The zoo was super affordable and not very crowded. There was plenty of parking and a decent amount of animals to see. The layout of the zoo is a little odd with lots of dead ends but all the animals seemed really happy and active. There was a lot of workers at the exhibits with information about the animals. It was well worth the trip!

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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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