John Ball Zoo is a sponsor of Grand Rapids Kids. We thank them for their support!

Why Our Family Has a John Ball Zoo Membership

John Ball Zoo Membership Perks

1. Kids LOVE It

Why buy a membership unless it’s a place your kids want to return to time and again? For us, John Ball Zoo fits the bill. It’s great to have a destination that everyone is excited about- and we have a big age range (5, 8, and 11) to contend with. With a John Ball Zoo membership, you get free regular admission for John Ball Zoo for one calendar year.

2. Short Trips are the Best

Sure, you can have a blast staying at the zoo from open to close, but that kind of day can be hard on parents and kids alike. It’s easier if you can break your zoo trip into smaller chunks; and in doing so, you’ll be rewarded with seeing different animals at different times of day. Animals have different daily patterns, so if you can show up at various times of day, you’re apt to discover animals doing things you haven’t seen before. Additionally, you’ll be able to catch different animal feedings or keeper talks if you can return again and again.

3. Fast Entry

Zoo members do not have to stand in line at the gate to get in; just show your card at the gate and you’re golden! (I love walking past a line… somehow that makes me feel extra special.)

4. First Dibs on Zoo Camps and Classes

If you’ve tried to get into a zoo camp or class as a non-member before, you know how tricky it can be. That’s because Zoo Camp is offered first to zoo members, and classes can sell out during this offering. If your child wants to participate in a specific camp or class, signing up for a John Ball Zoo membership is the way to go. Plus, you get a member discount on your camp registration!

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5. Quarterly Magazine

My co-worker, Erin, says that her kids LOVE it when the Zoo News Magazine comes in the mail every few months. They love to read about what is happening at the zoo, what events are coming up, and what is going on with their favorite animals. While my kids don’t pour over our copy of the magazine, I do appreciate the updates on events and happenings as well as the beautiful photos included in their publication.

6. Reciprocal Membership Perks

Potter Park Zoo in Lansing is free with your John Ball Zoo membership. Admission to Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek or the Detroit Zoo is 50% off with your card. Additionally, you can use your JBZ membership to get into over 150 other zoos and aquariums (FREE or reduced admission) around the country.

7. Discounts at the Zoo

Discounts abound for John Ball Zoo members, including:

  • Discounts on special events
  • Discounts on Birthday Parties
  • Discounts on Education Classes
  • 10% discount at Gifts of the Wild gift shop
  • 10% discount at concession stands
  • 10% discount on seasonal experiences such as the Zip Line, Ropes Course, Camel Rides

8. Member Nights & Special Events

Member nights at John Ball Zoo are busy for a reason: they are very, very cool.

During member nights you get to see special animal trainings, keeper talks and other specials that aren’t part of a typical zoo visit.

9. Pays for itself after 3 visits

A household membership (2 named cardholders with dependent children ages 19 or younger) is $80. Regular adult admission is $10 and children are $8. That means one visit for a family of 4 would be $36. A John Ball Zoo membership pays for itself on this family’s third visit, and almost breaks even on the second visit. So, if you think your family would like to go to the zoo 3 or more times in a year, the membership makes a lot of financial sense.

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