John Ball Zoo

How do I make a park reservation?

A park reservation can be made by visiting our website at and clicking the Picnics and Park Reservations tab on the left side of the screen.  You can also follow this link park reservations. 

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept the following forms of payment: cash, check (payable to John Ball Zoo), American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa.

When is my payment due?

The full payment of the park rental is due at the time your reservation is made.

What is your refund policy?

There are no refunds on reservations cancelled within 30 days of the rental.  There is a 50% refund for reservations cancelled before 30 days; this does not apply to Picnic Acre, Pond Pavilion, or the Hilltop Pavilion.

Can I reserve an area for a partial day?

Each area is charged a full-day rental but you do not need to utilize the area for the full day.

Is there a charge for parking?

A parking fee is assessed for groups not utilizing the zoo through the purchase of admission tickets or gift cards.  Fees are determined based on the size of the group.

What is included with my park reservation?

The following is included with your park reservation:  reservation of area, picnic tables, bagged trash pickup at end of your rental, and electricity (where available).

Is there an additional deposit I need to make?

An additional deposit is not required.

Do you have an area that can accommodate my large group?

Picnic Acre can accommodate large groups.

How do I reserve Picnic Acre?

To reserve Picnic Acre, contact to inquire about availability and request a park permit application.  Application must be completed and approved before a reservation can be made.

Are there Group Rates available for admission?

Group Rates for zoo admission (good for day of rental only) are available when purchased in advance through the park reservations coordinator in conjunction with a park reservation.  Click here for the Group Pricing Table.  Contact to purchase.




Is inflatable equipment (such as a bounce house, slide, etc.) allowed at my rental?

A liability insurance rider must be submitted prior to the approval of inflatable equipment.

Can I display signs/banners for my rental?

You may post signs/banners only at your rented area on the day of your reservation and must not block any visitor walkway.  They must be removed once your rental has ended.

Can I have balloons at my rental?

No.  For the safety of our animals, balloons are not permitted in the zoo or park.

Are there pictures available for each area?

You may click here to view the different picnic areas available. 

How many people does my rental area accommodate?

Each rental area can accommodate at least 100 guests.  

Is alcohol permitted in the park?

Alcohol (beer and wine) is prohibited at John Ball Park rentals without prior approval from the rentals department.

Is there electricity available at my rental area?

Electricity is available at the following sites: Hilltop Pavilion, Picnic Acre, and Pond Pavilion.

Is there an extra fee to have electricity?

No, electricity is included with your rental fee at the available electrical areas.

Is potable water available at my rental area?

Potable water is available at the following site: Hilltop Pavilion, Picnic Acre, and Pond Pavilion

Are there grills available?

All sites except Picnic Acre and the Pond Pavilion have grills available for public use.

Can I select my own caterer?

For park rentals, you may use your own caterer, however, we do recommend Applause Catering & Events, Gilmore Catering, Martha's Catering, The Catering Company, or West Michigan Caterer.

Can I sell food or merchandise at my event?

In order to sell food or merchandise in the park, a Park Event Permit application must be completed and approved.

Do you rent stages?

No, we do not have stages available to rent.

What time does the park close?

John Ball Park closes at 9pm or dusk, whichever comes first.