John Ball Zoo

Overnight Adventures

See the zoo in a new light and have a fun-filled, nocturnal learning adventure! Come to the zoo after hours and enjoy a variety of activities – get an up-close look at an animal demonstration, enjoy hands-on activities, visit nocturnal animals that are usually sleeping during the daylight hours and even make a little something for the animals to eat the following morning. Pack up your sleeping bags and camp out in the Chimp Day Room or in the bomas of the lion exhibit. We offer a variety of Overnight Adventure programs for scout or community groups or individual family groups.

Scouts/Groups/School Overnights begin at 5:30pm and end at 9:00am the following morning. 

Minimum fee of $500 for up to 12 people, each additional person is $45 (includes bedtime snack, breakfast, souvenir and admission to the zoo following the overnight). There is a maximum of 40 people, including chaperones. One adult chaperone is required for every 5 students. Sorry, children under 5 are not allowed.

Please contact the Education Department at 616-336-4300 for more information or to register your group. 

Registrations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis and a $100 non-refundable deposit is required to secure your date upon registration. The complete payment and registration materials will be due 2 weeks prior to the overnight. 

Youth Overnights

In conjunction with our Zoo Camp day programs we also offer overnight adventures to individual youth in grades 3-8. These programs are typically on Friday or Saturday nights throughout the summer, one weekend night over Spring Break and a few weekend nights in the fall. The evening starts at 5:30pm and ends at 9:30am the following morning. Enjoy activities including games, keeper talks, night tours, live animal demonstrations and more. Evening snack and breakfast are included. Two adults supervise a group of up to 16 students for each program. Click here for detailed information for Summer Camp OvernightsSpring Break Overnights, and Fall Overnights

Scout Overnights

Work on earning a badge while on an Overnight Adventure. Choose from one of the following badges or work with the Overnight Instructor on customizing your overnight experience. 

  • General - Nocturnal Theme used for any age group
  • Brownies - Bugs - Hiker - Senses
  • Junior - Animal Habitats
  • Cadette - Animal Helpers - Night Owl
  • Senior - Voice for Animals

Birthday Overnights

Bring your friends to spend the night at the zoo for a birthday sleepover you will not forget! Recommended for children ages 7 and up. The additional $50 Birthday Party overnight fee includes cupcakes and fruit drinks for all participants and a special birthday gift for the birthday child. Please submit the Overnight Adventure form below for Birthday Party Overnights. Check out all of our other Birthday Party Options

Group/School Overnights

Looking for a field trip your students won't soon forget? Head over to the zoo for an overnight. We can easily accommodate one classroom of students in our facility. Work with the overnight instructor to plan your activities around curriculum you study in the classroom.

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