John Ball Zoo

Monarch Butterflies

Monarch Day - September 9th, 2017


Join us as we celebrate monarchs in the fall before they take flight for their migration south to Mexico for the winter. Learn about this amazing journey with a public release of tagged Monarchs, crafts and information about how you can help the Monarchs on their journey. Monarch releases will occur on the hour from 11am to 4pm on September 9th. Enter your name for a chance to release a Monarch (entries are collected 15 minutes prior to each release at Central Plaza in the Zoo) or purchase a Monarch to guarantee your chance to release one of these amazing butterflies.

Click to purchase your Monarch Butterfly to Release at John Ball Zoo - Monarchs $6 each.

John Ball Zoo Monarch Day 2017 proudly sponsored by:


Pick up your $2 OFF Zoo admission coupon at participating locations.

Participating Locations:

6370 Lake MI Dr.    Allendale
2245 84th St. SW    Byron Center
1181 W. Randall    Coopersville
2755 Lake MI Dr. NW    Gr. Rapids
5241 Northland Drive    Gr. Rapids
1225 Leonard NE    Gr. Rapids
4325 Breton Road SE    Gr. Rapids
1415 E Fulton St.    Gr. Rapids
3960 44th St., SW    Grandville
993 Butternut Dr.    Holland
1185 S. Washington    Holland
5221 Cherry Ave.    Hudsonville
6480 28th Ave.    Hudsonville
1965 Baldwin St.    Jenison
6127 Kalamazoo SE    Kentwood
201 Marcell Dr NE    Rockford
565 S. State St.    Sparta
1148 28th St. SW    Wyoming
2275 Health Drive SW    Wyoming
2900 Burlingame Ave SW    Wyoming
9479 Riley St.     Zeeland

Did you release a butterfly at Monarch Day 2016? Tagged monarchs that are recovered along their spring migration North are recoreded and a list is published usually in late spring. To see if your monarch was found by a scientist visit Monarch Watch by clicking here

How You Can Help At Home

Whether it's a stop on their migration route or a summer long home, monarchs need habitat to find food, lay eggs and be a caterpillar. You can help these butterflies by adding milkweed to your gardens or by creating a full butterfly waystation. A waystation has everything butterflies need for their entire life cycle. Milkweed plants play a vital role in the life cycle of a monarch as it is the only plant that eggs will be laid on and that caterpillars will eat! After forming a chrysalis and emerging as a butterfly, they will need nectar producing flowers to feed on until they are able to start the cycle again. To find out more about how you can help visit a Journey North Monarch Butterflies