John Ball Zoo Vlog | Why We Love the Zoo

Thanks to John Ball Zoo for sponsoring this post.

Do you have a zoo close enough to visit every summer? The John Ball Zoo is about 20 min away from our house so we love going whenever we get a chance. The girls love it more each year and it’s such a fun tradition we have, I love looking back on pictures from the previous years.

2019, 2020, 2022

John Ball Zoo Vlog | Why We Love the Zoo

NEW this year:

Washed Ashore 

This 2022 season John Ball Zoo is hosting a powerful, larger-than-life exhibit called Washed Ashore. The Washed Ashore Traveling Exhibits feature collections of intricate, beautifully designed, giant sea life sculptures made entirely of marine debris collected from the beaches of Oregon. The sculptures of marine life graphically illustrate the tragedy of plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways to inspire others to be actively engaged in ocean conservation.
This exhibit features 16 large and colorful sculptures throughout the Zoo and is included in the cost of daily admission. Washed Ashore will be visible to guests from April 1st until the end of the season.
This was my favorite part of the zoo this year. The art these artists have made out of trash is mind-blowing and they’re so beautiful.

Male koalas, Noorundi and Iluka, are visiting John Ball Zoo for the summer through the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s Koala Conservation and Education Loan Program. Their habitat is located across from the Frogs & Friends Building.     

Coming Soon

The zoo is currently working on a Pygmy Hippo habitat. It’s going in the front of the zoo so you’ll be able to see them as soon as you get inside. Pygmy hippos are one of the most exotic and endangered animals. With fewer than 3,000 of these animals left in the wild, JBZ will be part of a group of accredited zoos cooperating in a species survival breeding plan to preserve them.  You can learn more and donate here.

Why We Love John Ball Zoo

  • Location // super close to us and Grand Rapids is a great place to visit anyway! The zoo is right off the highway so if you’re traveling from further away it’s very convenient.
  • Cost // the price for the day is only $12-$19 depending on age which for a day trip is great. They also have great membership options if you’re local!
  • Shade/Sun // we are big on shade and not being in the direct sun for long periods of time so I’m glad they have areas of shade.
  • Funicular! // if you want to make the zoo trip less of a workout we definitely recommend riding the funicular up to the top, then your zoo tour is all downhill (otherwise it’s all uphill for the most part) we rode up this year and it was life-changing esp if you have strollers or wagon to tote with you.
  • Resting Areas // there are also tons of areas where you can rest on a bench (super convenient for nursing moms too)
  • Lots of Animals // we saw so many awesome animals from tigers to bears, Zara was super excited to see the koalas this year (they’re visiting from California) and she made sure to wear her koala shirt to show them 🙂
  • Food/Snacks/Drinks // there are multiple places to grab a drink or snack (we especially love the ice cream)
  • Face Painting // they have a tent to get your face or hand painted and the girls love this
  • Aquarium // they have an aquarium with penguins, lots of fish, and other water creatures
  • Beer // we’re in beer city so it’s a must to have a beer stand!
  • Petting Zoo // there are lots of areas where the kids can interact with the animals and this year they introduced a new mini highland cow named Pumpkin and he’s adorable
  • Camel Rides // you can catch a ride on a camel! it’s a bumpy ride but the kids love it
  • Picnic Areas // there are areas outside where you can set up a picnic to have lunch/dinner
  • Gift Shop // one of the girls’ favorite parts is always the gift shop. On this trip we got mood rings and pretty stones/gems
  • Gemstones // you can go panning for stones/gems, the girls love doing this

Other fun things to do/explore:

  • sky trail ropes course
  • budget aviary // feed the beautiful birds
  • zip line course
  • summer camp
  • animal adventures
  • scout programs 
  • birthday parties
  • red panda live cam
  • guided tours

You can check out all events and things going on at John Ball Zoo right here.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Here is our post from 2020 and 2019

x, T

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