John Ball Zoo Announces 2021 Opening Day, Tempting Us With Triplet Red Panda Cubs!

john ball zoo red panda cubs

John Ball Zoo Reopens for 2021 on Saturday, March 27

John Ball Zoo will open their doors to the public for the 2021 season on Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 9 am.

Many of John Ball Zoo’s animals are active and playful in the cool spring weather, while others prefer to stay inside until warmer temperatures arrive. There are a number of viewing opportunities for guests in the Aquarium, Natural Treasures, Frog’s buildings, and the chimpanzees in their day room.

A river otter at John Ball Zoo

2021 Highlights Include Baby Animals & New Traveling Exhibit

The Zoo’s triplet red panda cubs, Rose, Ruby, and Willow, are three of the most anticipated animals for guests to see this season.

Born June 25, 2020, they were growing and bonding behind the scenes last season and were out of the view of guests. They are now romping and playing outside for everyone to enjoy these three young red pandas, along with their parents, Wyatt and Wasabi.

Another baby born at the Zoo last season was Yoshi, the Canada lynx, who was born in May. While she may not look like a kitten anymore, she still has the same playful and energetic spirit and is sure to continue to be a guest favorite.

Yoshi, a Canadian Lynx at John Ball Zoo, was born May 2020

John Ball Zoo also announces a sneak peek into an exciting SUPERSIZED exhibition arriving on opening day.

This exhibition supersizes nature’s small and mighty. From sneaky predators such as the fearless honey badger, to the venomous blue-ringed octopus, the more than 30 toy brick sculptures are featured because of their colorful appearance in nature, unusual natural abilities, and because they can be magnified to an eye-popping size.

Safety Measures

John Ball Zoo staff and volunteers are working hard every day to keep the Zoo a safe place for you to visit and for wildlife to live.

Following the regulations of the State of Michigan and the CDC, all guests ages 5 and older will be required to wear a mask at all times and everywhere in the Zoo, including outdoor spaces.

Guests may remove their masks temporarily to eat or drink when at a safe distance from others. They will also continue their increased cleaning and disinfection, encouraging social distancing, having additional handwashing and hand sanitizing stations, encouraging cashless transactions, and monitoring the number of guests inside buildings.

john ball zoo handwashing stations
Handwashing Stations are Positioned Throughout John Ball Zoo

How to Get Tickets

John Ball Zoo will continue to operate with a limited guest capacity.

It is recommended that ALL guests reserve an online timed-entry ticket to secure their visit time, including members, non-members, and MI Bridges cardholders (JUMP). You may also purchase tickets at the Zoo but immediate entry is not guaranteed.

Admission tickets will go on sale Friday, March 12 for opening day.

Spring hours are Monday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 9 am to 6 pm.

Both members and nonmembers use the same link to purchase/secure tickets.

Tickets will be emailed to you.

john ball zoo screenshot
A look at the online timed ticketing system used by John Ball Zoo

To reserve timed entry tickets and for more information, visit John Ball Zoo’s website at

If you have any questions, call (616) 336-4300 or email [email protected].

John Ball Zoo
1300 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

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