Information on:

John Ball Zoo Society

1439 Butterworth South West

The John Ball Zoological Garden is owned and operated by the County of Kent. The John Ball Zoological Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation serving as a private support organization for the John Ball Zoo. The Zoo Society incorporated in 1950 and has been working in partnership with the Zoo since that time.

The Society operates a membership program, food services and the Gift Shop, coordinates publicity and promotions, and conducts fund-raising operations. The Zoo Society contributions include funds for promotions, events, marketing, advertising, animal purchases, a portion of the education budget, and all capital exhibit construction.


Dave Durand

Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Amazing zoo. Definitely our favorite in Michigan! Unlike a lot of flat zoos this one has all kinds of tree cover and elevation that make for very unique exhibits. Very fun to walk and see everything but if you have children it might be a workout pushing them around. That said they do have a wide variety of things for the kids scattered throughout the zoo. From play zones to activities like testing your jumping skills against an animal. There's plenty of food and drink stands nearby most exhibits. They've got a great variety of animals including the new red panda, who's awesome, bears, lions, tigers, and many more. They also have nice and cool reptile, amphibian, and aquarium houses.

kristina kohler

Thursday, July 5, 2018
Extremely beautiful zoo! The animals and exhibits are well maintained, the scenery is beautiful and there's a lot to see and do. We enjoyed the variety of unique animals. The zoo trails lead you through well shaded, gorgeous established trees which adds to the experience. My boys enjoyed a break from walking by playing in the play area up towards the top of the zoo. There are a handful of cool things you can pay an additional fee for too (funicular, 4 story up ropes course, gem mining, feeding birds, camel rides). A day well spent and we will be going back 💚

Lisa Ancona

Friday, July 6, 2018
Awesome zoo! I loved the upper path leading through the trees and water falls. The way this zoo is set up, it allows the Observer to get very close to the animals. The zip line was totally fun and so were the camel rides. We had a blast here. There is beautiful landscaping everywhere you look in the staff is super friendly. Do not miss this Zoo if you are traveling to Grand Rapids.

Wanda Atkinson

Thursday, July 12, 2018
A fabulous zoo for kids that features play areas, a zip line and rope bridges. For adults it is a very nice smaller zoo with several enclosures where you can view the animals up close. The outside cages are beautiful with many having flowing streams or even small waterfalls and lots of beautiful foliage. Interior cages are not nearly as nice and in some cases too small. The zoo is built on a hill so expect steps and some climbing or at least walking up and down sloping paths.


Friday, June 29, 2018
Great location and size. Many animals and an aquarium. The staff was helpful and friendly. The zoo is very clean. The animals seemed happy and well cared for. I did feel some of the animals structures and homes were too small and lacked some things they should have in their habitat. My family had a blast and this is one of the best zoos I've been to in the US!

John Ball Zoo Society is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media