by Jennifer W



[note] Tickets for this giveaway were donated by the John Ball Zoo. All opinions are my own. Congrats to Trevor C, the winner of this ticket giveaway.[/note]


A Great Adventure!

Talk about a wonderful adventure! We recently visited John Ball Zoo with our five year old son and had a fantastic time. There are attractions that would excite kids of any age! It is definitely worth the drive to Grand Rapids.

Prior to heading out, I would make sure to check out the John Ball Zoo website at for a full listing of daily programs such as animal feedings, touching opportunities, rides and experiences. Many of the experiences have additional costs and some have height and weight requirements.

Daily Programs

  • Penguin and Pelican Feeding
  • Chimpanzee Enrichment


Experiences and Adventures

  • Camel Rides
  • Stingray Lagoon
  • Funicular (Scenic ride above the forest)
  • Zip Line
  • Ropes Course
  • Pygmy Goat Petting Corral
  • Red’s Hobby Farm
  • Aviary
  • Walk-Thru Wallabies



What You’ll See

Upon arrival, you will be greeted with a huge play structure next to the parking lot with ample space to run and play before you enter.

Once you walk through the zoo gates you will see a variety of animals ranging from a bald eagle to wallabies. My son was especially enamored with the howler monkeys, the chimpanzees and the enormous bald eagle nest. Within a couple of hours you will visit 1100 animals representing Africa, Asia, South America, Australia and the United States.

Why not spend the day watching lions, chimpanzees, penguins, frogs, fish, otters, birds, bears, goats and tigers?


Check Out The New Tiger Exhibit

Speaking of tigers, the zoo will be opening a brand new, highly anticipated Amur Tiger exhibit is now open!

Amur Tigers are the biggest cats in the world and they need a lot of space. These tigers are highly endangered, so the zoo has been planning and building a spacious state-of-the-art exhibit for these tigers over the past few years.

When you visit you will find the exhibit designed to resemble the forests in eastern Russia, the native Amur tiger habitat.


Great Outdoor Play Spaces

As a family, we love to visit area zoos……what sets John Ball apart from the rest are the wonderful outdoor play spaces. The wooden train is a classic that has been enjoyed for years. Since our last visit, the Tree Top Outpost and the Children’s Natural Play Zone have been added.  It was fantastic to hear the sound of kids having fun in such a natural environment. Make sure to set aside enough time to enjoy these wonderful amenities. My son had the best time playing in the clubhouse!


Additional Information

  • The zoo is generally open 9 am-6 pm during the summer months.
  • Entrance fees May 10-September 21 is follows:
  • $8.50 for adults
  • $7.50 for seniors (62 and over)
  • $6.50 for children (3-13)
  • Free for children (2 and younger)
  • Also note that the zoo is open September 22-November 3 in 2014.
  • There are several concession stands throughout the zoo, with a new pizza shop opening in June.
  • If you prefer to bring your food, there are picnic tables galore!
  • There is a very large gift shop filled with tons of goodies and souvenirs!

John Ball Zoo is a fantastic place to visit and a must do for loads of family fun! Have a wonderful trip!

Enter Our Ticket Giveaway

We’re excited to give you a chance to win a one family four pack to the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids!

To enter this giveaway tell us if you’ve ever been to John Ball Zoo and what your favorite part of the zoo is. Good luck!

*This giveaway will close on July 7 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 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 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 | 2014-07-08T06:34:36+00:00 June 23rd, 2014|Categories: Newly Published, Reviews, Win!|117 Comments

About the Author:

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


  1. beth June 23, 2014 at 7:31 am

    I have never been to John Ball Zoo. I would love to go!!

    • Alicia VanMaanen June 30, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      I was at John Ball when I was a very little girl, and haven’t been back since. Would love to take my little girls and family.

  2. Brynn wade June 23, 2014 at 7:34 am

    I have been to john ball before. My favorite part was touching the sting rays.

  3. Caitie Shafer June 23, 2014 at 7:37 am

    We have never been to John Ball Zoo but it’s on our to do list this summer! We have heard great things about it!

  4. Andrea Stemaly June 23, 2014 at 7:41 am

    I have been there, and we love the bears!

  5. Gayle VandeMaele June 23, 2014 at 7:44 am

    I have been to John Ball Zoo before. My family’s favorite part is the ropes course. We can’t wait to see the tigers!

  6. Shannon Vega June 23, 2014 at 7:44 am

    My favorite visit was during their “Mane Event” I brought my kids and some of my nieces and nephews… It was a very fun day!

  7. Julie Strunk June 23, 2014 at 7:52 am

    We have been to John Ball Zoo, it’s been awhile:( would love to go back with the Grandkids. Our favorite thing to do is feed some of the animals. you so many love to just watch them.

  8. Courtney Horn June 23, 2014 at 7:55 am

    My family loves John Ball. We’d love to win free tickets!

  9. Heidi Wolfe June 23, 2014 at 8:04 am

    I have gone to this zoo a few times with my nieces and we always love the lions and the penguins. We also always make it a point to get ice cream by the petting zoo and there are often chickens walking around by our feet, which makes us laugh.

  10. Becky June 23, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Yes, our family has been to the John Ball Zoo several times and our favorite areas are probably the chimpanzees and natural play area.

  11. Holly Roberts June 23, 2014 at 8:13 am

    “My favorite part of going to John Ball Zoo was playing in the playhouse in the woods, seeing the big huge bear by me and seeing the penguins, they were so silly”! This was the reaponse from my sweet 4yr old!! “The penguins”!! And this was the reaponse from my sweet 2yr old when i asked what his favorite part was! Yes we love going to John Ball Zoo! The last time we were there, when we got up to the brown bears, bith my boys were up to the glass and the bear turned and yawned right next to them! They were in aww(mama was excited too)! We actually are closer to another zoo but we choose John Ball over that one!!! Super family friendly, so many different animals and exhibits to look at, and all around just a lovely park to visit!

  12. Janelle June 23, 2014 at 8:16 am

    My kids and I have only been there one time. We absolutely loved all of the monkeys and the camel ride.

  13. Meredith June 23, 2014 at 8:34 am

    We love the John Ball Zoo! The kids always have a great time there. They especially love the aquarium and the children’s play zone. We are looking forward to seeing the new Tiger exhibit this year!

  14. Heather June 23, 2014 at 8:56 am

    We have never been to John Ball. But, we would love to go!

  15. Deb Baker June 23, 2014 at 9:32 am

    I’ve never been! I’d love to take my kids 🙂

  16. Julia W June 23, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Never been! But always up for a new adventure!

  17. Anne June 23, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Growing up in GR JBZ was a favorite of mine… I even attended Zoo school in 6th grade and was able to be a junior zoo keeper…loads of fun. Would love to take my kiddos!

  18. Beth Ogden June 23, 2014 at 10:43 am

    I’ve taken my daughter only once to the John Ball Zoo and we loved it!! She loves the monkeys and penguins. Can’t wait to take her on the zip line when she is older!

  19. Nicole June 23, 2014 at 10:59 am

    We have only visited once, but our favorite part was touching the sting rays.

  20. Melanie Sage June 23, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Our family has gone to John Ball a few times, but it has been a couple years since we’ve visited. The stingrays and the parakeets were 2 of my favorites. I am excited to hopefully visit this summer and see the new tiger exhibit.

  21. Robin June 23, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I have never been! I would love to take my daughter this summer 🙂

  22. beth bell June 23, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    I enjoy watching the monkeys!!!!

  23. Amy Leskowski June 23, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    We’ve never been! Would love to go!

  24. Tiffany June 23, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    We have been to the zoo and love the bears!

  25. Tiffany June 23, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    We have been to the zoo and love the monkeys!

  26. Holly Bishop June 23, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    We went for the first time last year. It’s such an amazing zoo!

  27. Brandy June 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    I’ve taken my girls once and they loved watching the bears.

  28. marie June 23, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    we have gone for years! Hoping to go this year…these tickets would help.

  29. Sheila Reuther June 23, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I have never been to John Ball Zoo and would love to take my family there! Thanks for the opportunity!!

  30. Jennifer June 23, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    We went last year for the first time and loved it! The best parts for us was that there felt like a new animal around every corner. The kids stayed interested. We also loved feeding the birds!

  31. Candace Moore June 23, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    My family have never been to the John Ball Zoo! But I’ve heard so much great things about.

  32. Amanda June 23, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    The best part about John Ball Zoo is the monkey display- I love the natural atmosphere around them and they are just hilarious to watch!

  33. Jennifer Johncock June 23, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    We’ve never been to John Ball Zoo, but I’d love the opportunity to take my kids. The kids play areas sound like lots of fun!

  34. Victoria Triemstra June 23, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    We have never been to the John Ball Zoo, but we have heard many great things about it and would love an opportunity to go this summer!

  35. erika Johnson June 23, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    We have never been. Looking forward to going sometime this summer.

  36. beth bell June 24, 2014 at 12:12 am

    I love the monkeys!! What fun!!

  37. Carisa F June 24, 2014 at 8:28 am

    We have been to the zoo and my kids always favor the monkey area. I enjoy watching the penguins swimming (If i’m not mixing up my zoos)

  38. Kathi June 24, 2014 at 8:54 am

    My family has not been to John Ball Zoo but we plan on going soon:)

  39. Julie June 24, 2014 at 9:07 am

    We have never been to John Ball 🙁 We would love to take our little monkey to see the monkeys!

  40. Grace G June 24, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Since we’re new to the west side of the state, we have not experienced the John Ball Zoo. I’m trying to use this summer to experience everything the area has to offer with my three kids. It would be wonderful to have a trip to John Ball.

    • Grace G June 24, 2014 at 10:14 am

      Also, being of Arabic decent, it would be fun to ride a camel since I’ve never tried it. 🙂

  41. Amanda W. June 24, 2014 at 10:17 am

    We love John Ball zoo! It is the perfect size, not too small or too large. Our favorite part is watching the monkeys play! Or maybe the big cats 🙂

  42. Shannan June 24, 2014 at 11:19 am

    We haven’t been in a couple of years, but loved the Sting Ray encounter. We would love to see the new tiger exhibit!

  43. Jean Henderson June 24, 2014 at 11:58 am

    We went for spring break last year. Love feeding the parakeets!

  44. Janelle Kenyon June 24, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    We love going to the Zoo. For my son’s first birthday we went and toured some of the zoo. He loved the train ride, there were so many wonderful new trees and sights to see! Another attraction he loved were the baby goats! Seeing them run around and jump made him so happy. We are looking forward to going again soon!!

  45. Samantha June 24, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    We loved the otters!! They were so entertaining!!

  46. Audrea Hoelle June 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    We have never been to John Ball Zoo. We would love to go!

  47. Denise June 24, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    We have never been but are planning a trip this summer.

  48. Tiffany Corey June 24, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    We have been to John Ball zoo a couple times and we really enjoyed the sting rays.
    It is a really nice zoo, not far away.

  49. Melissa Becker June 24, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    I’ve been to the zoo numerous times as a college student years ago, but I’m excited to bring my daughter there now! My favorite part was always the tide pool (or the stingrays in Summer). After visiting a funicular in Pittsburgh, my daughter and I are VERY excited to ride another one! 🙂

  50. Jenny B. June 25, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    The John Ball Zoo is great! We love touching the stingrays and seeing the chimpanzees! And I love that there is a picnic spot right in the zoo where we can take a lunch break. Can’t wait to go this summer!

  51. Erika Craig June 25, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Been several times as a child but never with my own children

  52. Don C June 25, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Nope sure have not but it looks like fun!

  53. Erika Craig June 25, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    as a kid ..but not with my own kids.

  54. McGuire Girl June 25, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    I try to make it a point to visit the local zoos of areas we vacation at. We have yet to go to the John Ball Zoo (perhaps because we are local). I would love to take my kids. I enjoy helping them connect the animals they read about with “the real thing”. I’m not sure if you read the book Sparky, but now every sloth we see or read about is named Sparky according to my 2 year old. lol.

  55. Janessa June 27, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    we have been to John ball before although its been a while. our favorite part was the fish house and that you could go into the cage and feed the birds!

  56. Gina Greene June 29, 2014 at 9:29 am

    We always enjoy John Ball Zoo. Feeding the stingrays is exciting for my boys:)

  57. Beth Ogden June 30, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    We have only been once to the John Ball Zoo. My daughter is still talking about it! But we missed the entire kids section. We need to go back to check it out!

  58. Dorothy June 30, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Never been to John Ball, but planning on going this summer. We’re closer to (and members of) Binder Park Zoo but we want to visit some other nearby zoos this summer.

  59. Charles Tipken June 30, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    We try to go once a year, I love John Ball Zoo! We have 4 kids and they love the up close look you get at the animals at the zoo. Great Zoo for Families!

  60. Danielle Jones June 30, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I believe I went with kindergarten about 20 years ago, LOL! I would love to take my little ones now!

  61. Corinne S June 30, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    We go every winter and summer! In the winter months we love to go on Thursday when they feed the snakes. In the summer months we love to pet and feed the sting rays!

  62. Amy Ohrstrom June 30, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    It’s been so long since we’ve been to John Ball that I cannot remember what my favorite part is. But I know my two year old son would love it!

  63. Suzie H June 30, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    We are hoping to visit for the first time this summer. I think the penguins will be our favorite. My daughter loves them!

  64. Michelle Budnik-Nap June 30, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    We have never been to the john ball park zoo but would love the opportunity to experience it !

  65. Heather Schettner June 30, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    We have been to the zoo before ,my kids love all the animals.

  66. Jaime June 30, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Never been to John Ball Zoo but we are hoping to go this year. I think my 2-1/2 year old would love it!

  67. Sarah Avink June 30, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    We have been before, but not in a couple of years. I loved riding the camel with my son!

  68. Ashley June 30, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    we have been and my favorite part is spending time as a family and seeing our 5 kids have fun!!

  69. Brandi Strunk June 30, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    We have been there several times! We love the little aquarium and we LOVE to feed the sting rays and birds!!!

  70. Beth June 30, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I have been to John Ball Zoo. Would love to go!!

  71. Megan June 30, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    We have not been in a long time. We are looking forward to seeing the Tigers and the penguins.

  72. Laura June 30, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    I’ve been on a field trip with sixth grade students. My favorite was the stingray exhibit.

  73. julie owens June 30, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    We’ve never been! We were wanting to take a mini vacay this summer!!!

  74. Abby July 1, 2014 at 10:54 am

    We love visiting John Ball Zoo! My girls love the penguin exhibit and we’re really looking forward to checking out the new Tiger exhibit!

  75. samara d. polynice July 1, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    We’ve never been but would love to go. My husband will be leaving for basic training down south soon for over two months. We’re trying to make as many family memories as we can with our 15 month little girl. It’ll be her first visit to the zoo and she loves animals

  76. Sara Beilfuss July 1, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    When I was a little girl, we took a field trip every year to the zoo. It was always my favorite field trip and my favorite part was the monkeys. I haven’t been back since I was a little girl and I would love to win the passes to return and bring my daughter to see the fun at John Ball Park Zoo!!

  77. Meg July 1, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    I love feeding the birds. It is so fun to be that close and have the bird land right on the stick to eat.

  78. Emily Hewitt July 2, 2014 at 10:00 am

    I went last year. We love all the big cats and watching the otters.

  79. Michelle July 7, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    A trip to the zoo is fun for all ages!

  80. Lindsey Caprathe July 7, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    We have been to the zoo. My kids have been awaiting the new tiger exhibit. They would be so excited to know it’s open!

  81. Megan July 7, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    I would love to bring my 4 boys! Thanks for the chance!

  82. Jennifer L July 7, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    We love John Ball Zoo, My kids favorite part was the camel rides, I loved the baby monkeys last year! Great Zoo!

  83. Erin July 7, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I’ve never been, but my family would love to go!

  84. Courtney Wright July 7, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    I have never been to the John Ball Zoo but we aretrying to say money to go! Im so excited to try to go!

  85. Nancy Deluca July 7, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    My family and I have been to the zoo a few times and we love every time we go! Our family are huge animal lovers! Probably our favorite part is feeding the giraffes!

  86. Angie July 7, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    We love John Ball zoo! My favorite is petting the stingrays and my son likes the ropes course.

  87. Casey July 7, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    We have never been but want to go now that my son is old enough to appreciate it!

  88. justina crow July 7, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    We are newish to the area and are super excited to see what it has to offer! We’d love to win the tickets so we could do just that!

  89. trevor crow July 7, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    We have 15 month old twins who would love to bring their grandparents to visit for the first time!

  90. Megan July 7, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    I visited John ball long ago on a field trip. Haven’t been back since but would love to take my daughter! She is an animal lover! She totes around all sorts of stuffed animals including her crocodile and tells me they are her friends, ” I need to bring my friends mom” . This would be awesome to win but most importantly thank you for always giving families these great opputunities.

  91. Patti July 7, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    We went on Saturday with our two year old twin granddaughters. We had a wonderful time. We all loved the parakeets the best. But tigers and bears and monkeys were really great too. A super nice zoo. Would love to win tickets so we can take the other grandkids.

  92. Heather July 7, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    We’ve never been there but look forward to checking it out!

  93. Brooke July 7, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    I have been to the zoo and love it! We love the tigers 🙂 would love to win

  94. Sarah Blaine July 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    We have never been and would love to go! Our young son loves our local zoo and we go quite often and having the chance to be season ticket holders here would be fantastic as well. We’d love the opportunity to broaden his horizons and explore the John Ball Zoo and all of it’s amazing offerings. Thank you for the fun giveaway!

  95. Lindsey P July 7, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    We love John Ball zoo!!! My kids love the monkeys and the goats!

  96. Kim R. July 7, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    We have never been and would love to go! Thanks for offering this contest 🙂

  97. morgan kreps July 7, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    I haven’t been there since I was little. I would love to take my little ones.

  98. Lesa July 7, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    We have visited John Ball and would love to go again. I love the monkeys but want to see the sting rays and the new tigers exhibit!

  99. Heather July 7, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    We went 8 years ago. Loved the penguins…..

  100. Sarah July 7, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    My kids could watch the monkeys all day!

  101. Amanda S. July 7, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    I have never been, but I love animals!

  102. ahu tutak July 7, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    We came from turkey .we haven’t been there yet but we’d love to…

  103. Kata July 7, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    I havent been since i was little and we went with school. i am sure my girls would love to.go!

  104. Gretchen Zimmerman July 7, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    My parents took me to John Ball zoo when I was a kid now I get to take my own kids. Our favorite is the camel rides!

  105. Jessica July 7, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    We have been once and it was when my girls were still pretty little so it would be fun to take them now that there older. We really enjoyed the bears!

  106. Cathy Boris July 7, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    A few years ago I took my niece and nephew from New Jersey. The expression on their faces was priceless especially when they sat on the camel and went into the bird cage.

  107. marie July 7, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    We love the stingrays and the bongo drums

  108. Robyn Richardson July 7, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    I used to go as a kid and would love to take my kids there!

  109. Erin Veldt July 7, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    I love John Ball Zoo! It’s a great zoo for small children. My favorite as a child and to today is what we call Monkey Island…is that what it’s always called? Haha! Good luck everyone!

  110. Karen Horein July 7, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    We have been before and we love the monkeys!!!

  111. Denise VerHage July 7, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    We have been to the Zoo and loved the big Cats. My son was really young and would love to go back with him again.

  112. Chelsea Aguilera July 7, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Lee have never been to john ball zoo but we would move the opportunity to go! 🙂

  113. Heather Parker July 8, 2014 at 1:24 pm


  114. Angela July 16, 2014 at 9:04 am

    My family has never been to the John Ball Zoo & we would love to go!

  115. Samara P July 21, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    Would love to win and take my daughter to the zoo for the first time with her older cousin. I want to make it Military mom day. My sister is law is visiting from Florida and I most likely will be moving when my husband gets his orders. I would love to go to the zoo with family before we leave.

Comments are closed.