John Ball Zoo

Membership FAQ

How do I purchase a gift membership?

Please email or call (616) 336-4312 to purchase a gift membership. You will be asked to provide the contact information (phone number, email, street address) of the recipient.

How long does a membership last?

Memberships are good for one year from date of purchase.

I'm renewing early, when will my membership start?

Renewing memberships will automatically begin when the current membership expires.

Do the named cardholders have to share the same address?

Yes, memberships are per address and we verify the addresses of named cardholders.

Can I add extra children to the membership?

Only the named cardholder's grandchildren or dependent children or may be added to the membership. We encourage upgrading to a membership that includes guests if you plan on bringing extra visitors. Violation of membership may be cause for termination.

Can I upgrade my membership later?

Yes! You can upgrade your membership at any time. Membership upgrades are not prorated.

How do I request an additional or replacement membership card?

If you've misplaced your card permanently, you can order a new card for a $5 processing fee*. The Membership Office is open Monday–Friday from 10:00am-4:00pm excluding holidays (616-336-4312).  *Prices subject to change.

Why do I have to show a photo I.D. when I use my card at the Zoo?

The John Ball Zoo is a non-profit organization and depends upon the revenue generated by memberships for support. Requiring a photo ID at admission prevents the abuse of our membership policies, which are designed to serve our constituency and support the Zoo.

Can a friend or family member use my membership card? What about my Plus One or Plus Two Guest Membership without me being with them?

Memberships are nontransferable and are valid only for named cardholders. Your membership has a tremendous value. To protect the rights of our members, we will ask to see your photo ID at the time of your visit.  Please do not pass out your card to the babysitter or grandma and grandpa to use to enter the Zoo without you.  You may add a caregiver to your Family Membership card for an extra fee. Your membership card will allow for your children to enter without parents, but unnamed guests MUST be accompanied by the adults in order to enter for free on the plus one unnamed guest and two unnamed guest cards.

If the other member on my card cannot make it to the zoo, can I bring a friend instead?

For the reasons mentioned above, you may not substitute a friend for a named cardholder. If you wish to bring friends to the Zoo, please upgrade to a membership with added-on unnamed guests, or purchase admission at the gate.