Hey, guys! It’s finally summer here and I am so excited about planning summer day trips with our little fam. I have always been a huge fan of the zoo and went all the time growing up so now I love taking the girls. Emery loves it more and more each year and Zara just had her first zoo trip the other day! Today I’m recapping our trip to the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids and telling you why it’s the perfect day trip!
The Perfect Day Trip | John Ball Zoo
Why John Ball Zoo?
- Location // super close to us and Grand Rapids is a great place to visit anyway!
- Parking // easy to park, 2 lots and not too far to walk if you have to use the larger lot
- Cost // the price for the day is only $8-$13 depending on age which for a day trip is great
- Customer Service // when you walk in there is a customer service counter to help you in any way
- 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.
- 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, Emery loved the tiger exhibit because she got inches away from the massive tiger and gave him a high five which she was so excited about
- Food/Snacks/Drinks // there are multiple places to grab a drink or snack (we especially love the ice cream)
- Face Painting // we missed the table but they have a tent to get your face painted, who doesn’t love a good face painting sesh
- Aquarium // they have an aquarium with penguins, lots of fish and other water creatures
- Beer // because #momlife and also we’re in #beercity
- Petting Zoo // there are lots of areas where the kids can interact with the animals and Emery loved it
- Camel Rides // you can even get a ride on a camel! Emery also loved that.
- Picnic Areas // there are areas outside where you can set up a picnic to have lunch/dinner
- Gift Shop // one of Emery’s favorite parts was the gift shop, she wanted just about everything she saw
You can check out all events and things going on at John Ball Zoo right here.
What to Pack
We get better at packing for day trips as we go but I do think we have a pretty good system and really know what to pack. My goal is to have everything we possible could need without packing too much. One of my tips for this is finding products that can be used for multiple things, I’ll list my must haves below.
- sunscreen // This is always a must have. I prefer the sticks because they make it super easy to swipe on
- wipes // I bring regular baby wipes and also Babyganics sanitizing hand wipes to wipe off hands, toys, the stroller tray, high chairs +more
- for germs // I do not go anywhere without my Thieves hand purifier, it smells like Christmas and protects us all from germs without having toxins/chemicals
- stroller // We have the Joovy Caboose Too and LOVE it, absolutely no complaints. My tip is to also have an organizer, this is key for storing phone/wallet/keys and saves me from having to bring my purse on our day trips.
- carrier // We always bring our Boppy® ComfyFit® Baby Carrier wherever we go. Even now that we have a double stroller you never know when Zara is going to get fussy riding or just wants to be close to mama. You can also practice nursing in a carrier so you can do that when you’re out and about on a day trip.
- water // I always pack a a couple of water bottles just in case
- change of outfits // we’ve learned the hard way a few times that you can’t go anywhere without a change of clothes for each kid, also don’t forget socks
- swaddle or muslin blanket // I use our swaddle blankets for many, many things and don’t go anywhere without one. I’m going to write an entire post on the things we use them for
Shop my must haves
Shop our Outfits
Thanks so much for reading! Where is your favorite place to go on a day trip?
Thanks to John Ball Zoo and Boppy for collaborating with me on this post, all opinions are always my own.