John Ball Zoo

Community Impact

Our mission is to inspire people to be active participants in the conservation of wildlife and our natural environment.

4th most attended cultural facility in Michigan
Over 500,000 visitors in 2016
700,000 touched by conservation message
Over 271 species and more than 1,550 animals
Participates in 24 Species Survival Plans
$38,000,000 annual economic impact
10th oldest Zoo in the United States
A partner with the GRPS Zoo School
Accredited member of the AZA


John Ball Zoo values being accessible to families regardless of income. Through the Zoo’s JUMP program, free Zoo admission is provided to families in Kent and Ottawa Counties who qualify for free or reduced Federal hot lunch. The Zoo works with both Kent and Ottawa County Intermediate School Districts to distribute JUMP passes annually. Each JUMP pass provides Zoo admission for up to five family members. During 2016, over 37,500 visitors came to the Zoo on JUMP passes. The JUMP program provides participants with an opportunity to explore our natural world and enjoy a socially and culturally rich zoo visit. John Ball Zoo encourages you to consider supporting this worthwhile program. Please click here to learn more about JUMP.

Charitable Donation Requests

John Ball Zoo supports other non-profit organizations in West Michigan by providing charitable contributions in the form of complimentary tickets good for the John Ball Zoo. Eligible organization may receive a maximum of 4 complimentary tickets per organization per calendar year.

Due to the tremendous volume of inquiries received, limited resources make it impossible to satisfy all that ask for and merit assistance. 75% of the Zoo’s annual operating budget is dependent upon earned revenue, and it is necessary for the Zoo to limit the number of complimentary admission tickets distributed each year. Once that limit is reached, no further ticket donations will be made. 

Please click here for the charitable donation request criteria.

Contact us:

Call: (616) 336-3309
Walk in: Administration office (Located just outside the entrance of the zoo) from 8am until 4:30pm Monday through Friday
Fax: (616)336-3907
Mail: John Ball Zoo, PO Box 2506, Grand Rapids, MI, 49501