[note] Thanks to the John Ball Zoo for their donation of tickets for the giveaway. We appreciate their business sponsorship of KZOOkids.com. All opinions are my own.[/note]


by Jill Piwko



“Thank you so much for taking me here!” This is the exact quote from my now six year old as we drove into the parking lot of the John Ball Zoo in late July. We love this zoo. Why? Because not only does it have great animals to see, but also because there are so many adventures which add to the great zoo experience.

Why We Love John Ball Zoo

1. All Of The Great Animals

We love the variety of animals that there are to visit at the zoo. From the bears to the penguins to the monkeys…there are so many animals for the kids to visit. The John Ball Zoo has over 1100 animals representing the wilds of Africa, Asia, South America, Australia and the United States.





 2. The Great Outdoor Play Spaces

We love all of the great outdoor play spaces for kids to explore. The Kids Clubhouse is one of my son’s favorites as well as the campsite where kids can build a teepee or pretend that they are on a campsite. There’s plenty of opportunity to play and enjoy the great spaces at the zoo.




3. The New Tiger Exhibit

We were looking forward to seeing the new Tiger Exhibit at the zoo. The tigers exhibit is cool and we love the natural element of the exhibit. We were lucky to be able to see the tigers on the day of our visit. We heard from the zoo staff that the tigers are a little shy and still becoming acclimated to their new home and environment.



4. Adventures Galore!

So many adventures to do and see at the John Ball Zoo. One of our favorites is the camel ride. Every time we hit the zoo, this is one of our “must-do’s”. Plus, the Funicular is a favorite of my son. (Additional fees apply to these adventures). Make sure to call ahead and check their schedule as activities change daily. Check out the John Ball Zoo’s Adventures and Experience page for more information on all of the adventures at the zoo.

camel ride




feeding birds

5. John Ball Zoo’s Behind The Scenes Programs

Did you know that John Ball Zoo has many behind the scenes programs? What a fun way to enhance your zoo experience. Just be sure to call ahead and check out the details for each behind the scenes program. Some of the behind the scenes programs include:


Close Encounters Program

Keeper for a Half Day

Check Out The Zoo

There’s still plenty of time to check out the John Ball Zoo this season. Check their website for hours and pricing. Plus, watch out for a few of their special fun events coming in the next few month:

  • MONARCH BUTTERFLY DAY is on Saturday, 9/6 from 11:00 am -3 pm. Join the zoo as they send our monarch butterflies on their 4,000 mile journey to Mexico. Give your kids a very special memory to hand-release a butterfly for only $5.00! Call 336-4312 to purchase tickets.
  • ZOO GOES BOO is being offered Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – 10/16, 17 & 18 and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – 10/23, 24, 25 – 10-3pm Daily. $7.00 is the admission price or pick up a coupon for $1.00 off from any participating Meijer Stores. Some of the highlights include: Trick-or-treat on the Kooky-not-Spooky Trail, games, entertainment, crazy decorations, and special animal activities!

Enter To Win

We’re giving you a chance to WIN a family four-pack to the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids. We told you our top five reasons why we love this zoo. Now it’s your chance to tell us what you love about John Ball Zoo. Leave a comment in the section below telling us why you love about John Ball Zoo.

This giveaway will close on September 8 at midnight and the winner will be notified via email. The winner will have 24 hours to respond by email accepting the prize. No purchase necessary to enter the contest. Leaving a comment on this blog post is not a requirement of entry. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to KZOOkids.com and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used to enter the contest and notify winners. Entrants will release Facebook from all liability. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and reside in Michigan. Only one entry per household. Entrants may also enter the contest by sending an email to jill@KZOOkids.com containing their name, address, phone number and email address along with the words: The John Ball Zoo Giveaway in the subject line. KZOO Kids’ liability is limited to the value of the prize.

By | 2014-08-14T10:47:02+00:00 August 25th, 2014|Categories: Newly Published, Reviews, Win!|36 Comments

About the Author:

Jill is a mom of a busy 9 year old son. When not working the KZOOkids.com website, Jill likes to hike, cook, and read in her free time.


  1. Jennifer Johncock August 25, 2014 at 11:48 am

    We’ve never been to John Ball Zoo, but I’m sure we could find lots to love about it.

  2. Beth B August 25, 2014 at 11:49 am

    I love the penguins!!!!

  3. beth b August 25, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I love the monkeys!!

  4. Wendy August 25, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    A zoo we haven’t visited (yet) but have always heard great things. Would love to see the Monarch Butterfly send off!

  5. anne stewart August 25, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    I love all of the amazing animals!

  6. Tracy August 25, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Well, I can’t say why we love it because we haven’t lived here very long so we’ve never been. But I’d still love to win and have the chance to check it out!

  7. Nicole S August 25, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    It’s been a while since we’ve been to this zoo, but I remember touching some sting rays was a pretty big highlight.

  8. Audrea Hoelle August 25, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    We have not visited the zoo yet. My boys love animals and I am sure they would find something there that they would love!

  9. Kendra Muller August 25, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    We’ve never been to the John Ball Zoo but I would love to take my daughter! She would LOVE the butterflies.

  10. Jan August 25, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    It’s been 2 years. You make us eager to go again. Always love a zoo.

  11. Jennifer H. August 25, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    I love a lot about John Ball, but especially the penguins and the lion exhibit.

  12. Megan August 25, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    It’s a beautiful zoo! We loved the monkeys and penguins!

  13. Jenny B. August 25, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    We love this zoo! So much to do, but I think touching the stingrays is our favorite!

  14. Tami B August 26, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    You are spot on about this zoo! Loved all the adventures our family experienced. Thanks!

  15. Taryn Shearer-Chapman August 27, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    We love John Ball because you don’t have to walk as much, which can be exhausting with little ones, and you still see so much. The penguins are our favorite 🙂

  16. Becky August 28, 2014 at 9:04 am

    We love the penguins and natural playground.

  17. Christie White August 28, 2014 at 9:25 am

    We love the John Ball Zoo. We love the animals but also that there is so much more. From the ropes course to zip lining over the zoo, it has something for everyone in our family. Don’t tell my kids but I like the station that you can make your own slushie from 6 different kinds. 🙂

  18. Amy LaRue August 28, 2014 at 9:28 am

    We have never had the privilege! With four kids I can only imagine what an amazing adventure it would be!

  19. Lindsey C August 28, 2014 at 9:43 am

    All three of my kids love the zoo for different reasons. My oldest loves the tiger exhibit and the penguins. My middle son loves to feed the parakeets and ride the “train” and my youngest is always mesmerized by the fish and waves in the aquarium. We would love to see the stingray exhibit on our next visit.

  20. Sheila Reuther August 28, 2014 at 11:55 am

    I love the John Ball zoo because they have penguins and I’m a huge fan of penguins!

  21. Nichole Finkler August 29, 2014 at 9:11 am

    I loved John Ball Zoo as a child and that love continues now that I have children of my own to share it with.

  22. Victoria Triemstra August 29, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    We have never been to John Ball Zoo but have heard wonderful things about it, we would love to win free passes.

  23. Nichole Finkler August 29, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I loved John Ball Zoo as a child and that love continues now that I have children of my own to share it with!

  24. Randy August 30, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Our kids LOVE Binder Park. We want to explore John Ball!

  25. Katie September 2, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Like so many other people, we love the penguins’ antics! I’m also always impressed by the efficient way they use space. The exhibits are always clean accessible and the grounds are beautiful and shaded. We visited the weekend before the Tigers arrived and really want to go back and see them in their new home!

  26. Amy September 3, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Would love to take my son to check out john ball zoo new attractions we have not been there in years

  27. Beth September 3, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    We love this zoo!

  28. Jennifer L September 3, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    My girls love the camel rides. I love the parakeets!

  29. Kelly D September 3, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    We love the John Ball Zoo for its animals…lions, (now) tigers, and bears! I’ll never forget the time we were walking up to the entrance and heard a very loud noise that made us stop in our tracks…turns out it was the male lion roaring from inside the zoo! It was absolutely amazing!

  30. Tiffany Cloud September 4, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Being able to pet the stingrays is an all time favorite, but then there is the bird cage where you can go inside and catch birds, zip lining through the zoo, high ropes obstacle courses, and we LOVE the fact that its compact in size and laid out great for kids!

  31. Gayle VandeMaele September 4, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    My kids like the climbing course.

  32. Shawn September 8, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    We love the sting ray petting station and the budgie feeding exhibit.

  33. Karen R. September 8, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Our favorite things were feeding the birds and the touch tank. This zoo is beyond awesome! 🙂

  34. Nancy September 8, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    I love the penguins exhibit, but my daughter likes feeding the beautiful budgies.

  35. Heather Bryan September 8, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    I haven’t gotten to take my 2 year old son here yet and would love the chance! I grew up going to John Ball Zoo and love the wide variety of animals and compact design!

  36. Thomasina September 9, 2014 at 5:53 am

    We loved the aquarium and the penguins.

Comments are closed.