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“Perfect size hidden gem!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of John Ball Zoo

John Ball Zoo
1300 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids, MI 49501
616.336.4301
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Ranked #12 of 87 things to do in Grand Rapids
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Attraction details
Battle Creek, Michigan
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Perfect size hidden gem!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013 via mobile

We visited on 9/10. The admission price was great. The "train" or whatever it's called was still down, which the girl at the ticket booth must not have known because she told us to take it lol. The zoo took us about 4 hours to get through, but we looked at everything! It was super hot and some of the poor animals were hidden in their cool spots, but we still caught glimpses. The aquarium isn't exactly what I envisioned, but it's not bad either. The best part was feeding the stingrays! If it's feeding time, you must try it! It's only $1 to pet them and another $1 to feed. I'll leave the experience for you to feel, just know it's so freakin cool! The bear came right up to the window for us! Well, actually, he was looking for food lol. We did get to see the hawks get fed, pretty neat too. My only thing is Why The Snake Exhibit?!?! Ewww!!!! But if your into them, there's some monsters for you! Not too much walking, just right. Follow your maps and signs and have a great time!

Visited September 2013
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271 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Fenton, Michigan
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“John Ball Zoo”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

We visited the John Ball zoo in Grand Rapids, MI in the early summer of 2013. We have visited many zoos and really loved this one. The zoo was well shaded with attractive and interesting attractions located relatively close to each other. There are a few unique experiences at this zoo including a sting ray tank where you can touch sting rays and sharks for minimal fee of $1, zip line which looked fun for those not afraid of heights (not us so unsure of cost but I think it was under $10) plus they had crafts for young children free of cost and a couple small animals for the kiddos to touch too. This zoo was not to big and spread out that you were exhausted by the end of the day but was the perfect size to take your time at each exhibit. We were also able to bring our cooler to enjoy a picnic lunch a top the hill which the hill is located. The only negative thing I would say is this zoo is on a hill and would be challenging to anyone in a wheelchair such as my Mother who did not come along due to the hills which would drain her battery that powers her chair and pushing a wheelchair around this zoo would not be fun.

Visited June 2013
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Kalamazoo, Michigan
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Ideal zoo for families with small children”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

This zoo is just right, a good variety of animals and not so spread out that a family with a stroller can't cover it. My kids particularly liked the penguins, budgie aviary (get a food stick for $1 to attract the birds) and monkeys. Big animals include chimps, bears, lions, and snow leopard. One neat feature is the stingray petting pool where you can touch stingrays for $1/person. They've added some neat extras this year: a zipline, ropes course, and a funicular which takes you to the high point of the zoo so your walk is downhill (not included in entrance fee). The prices are reasonable and membership has reciprocal benefits at lots of zoos around the country. There's also a playground and picnic tables near the parking lot so you can bring a cooler and let the kids run a bit.

Visited September 2013
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Moscow, Russia
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
32 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Great zoo”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

Meet the big tiger - he is the friendliest tiger in the whole world :) Zoo is very nice, very cozy and comfortable to walk.

Visited August 2013
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kalamazoo mi
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Quick run through the Zoo. Loved the baby monkey!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

We did an overnight trip to Grand Rapids to shop & come see the newest addition to John Ball! We loved the zoo! It has many different animals that our local zoo does not have. I didn't like the snakes...sorry! The baby monkey was the best though. It was very clean and nice, we skipped the farm animals & it took about2 hours for us to see the rest of the zoo exhibts. I found it hard to find the zoo, but we are not used to so much traffic either! LOL

Visited August 2013
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