Gigantic Dinos Take Over John Ball Zoo for Summer 2024!

Dino Adventures at John Ball Zoo Grand Rapids Triceratops

Massive Moving Dinos at John Ball Zoo Will Surprise You!

Starting in July, John Ball Zoo visitors will have the thrilling opportunity to encounter over 20 life-size dinosaurs, including the fearsome Velociraptor, the majestic Triceratops, and the towering T-Rex right here in Grand Rapids.

That roar you hear in the distance may sound a little different than the Lion or Tiger you normally hear during your visit. That’s because it’s a dinosaur!

The upper reaches of the zoo transform into a prehistoric adventure with the arrival of Dino Don’s realistic creatures.

These scientifically accurate, animatronic dinosaurs will showcase behaviors like mothering, feeding, and hunting, bringing the ancient world to life right before your eyes.

a Dino Don T-Rex on diplay at the Topeka Zoo
a Dino Don T-Rex on display at the Topeka Zoo

Dino Don is on It

JBZ is going all in for this exhibit, partnering with Dino Don to make sure this event is one you will not forget. (Dino Don is a world authority on dinosaurs.)

Dino Don with dinosaurs

Dino Don’s accomplishments:

  • advisor to Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park film & theme parks
  • author of 40 books
  • excavator of the largest dinosaurs in the world, the 110 foot long plant-eater Argentinosaurus and the 45 foot long meat-eater Giganotosaurus.

Today, his company works with paleontologists to make the biggest (up to 60-feet long!) and most accurate dinosaur robots in the world for zoos and museums.

Some of their creations will arrive in Grand Rapids this summer!

Some of Dino Don’s Creatures

Dino Adventures Travelling Exhibit

Dates: Monday, July 15 – Sunday, November 10, 2024
Location: John Ball Zoo
Admission: Included with general Zoo admission

What to expect:

  • Over 20 giant, animatronic dinosaurs come to life in the Forest Realm.
  • Full-sized replica creatures up to 60 feet long.
  • They move, they fart, they pee!
  • See a T-Rex, Velociraptor, and more up close.
  • Staff in Jurassic Park hats, giant double doors that open into the Forest Realm where the dinos live.
  • Get into the fossil dig pit and learn about these majestic creatures of the past.
  • Members get in free!

Why Dinos?

The hope: by learning about how these huge creatures from a gazillion years ago are connected to the animals we see now, people will be inspired to protect today’s creatures – and our world – so they don’t end up extinct like the dinosaurs.

Understanding that our actions today have a real impact on the things of the future – even things as big as the dinosaurs, is key to the success of conservation.

Dino fossil dig pit john ball zoo

Dino dig pit

Coming to GR July 2024

So yes, the Zoo will be transformed with life sized dinosaur replica robots that make noise and move!

Embark on your very on Dino Safari through the Zoo’s Forest Realm and learn about the dinosaurs that once roamed the Earth.

Here’s a look at a past Dino Don Safari from Sacramento:

If You Go

Dinosaur Safari is included with John Ball Zoo daily admission.

Members get into the dinosaur exhibit free!

John Ball Zoo Ticket Booth

John Ball Zoo Tickets & Hours 2024

Open dates for 2024: March 22 – November 24, 2024

HOURS: The zoo’s hours vary with the time of year. During the summer they are open from 9 AM – 6 PM seven days a week. However, there are exceptions so be sure to check their calendar before going.

TICKETS: Tickets can be purchased at the gate or in advance online.

ADDRESS: 1300 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Admission Rates for John Ball Zoo

May 11 – Sept 29Spring/Fall
Adults (ages 13 – 61)$22$17
Youth (ages 3 – 12)$17$13
Seniors (ages 62 +)$17$13
College Students (with valid student ID)$17$13
Military (with valid military ID.
Available to active & Veteran US Military
personnel and their spouses)
$17$13
Kids under 2FreeFree

For more information on tickets and memberships, visit John Ball Zoo’s website. You can also call (616) 336-4300 or email [email protected].

Ticket Giveaway

Ticket giveaways coming soon – we’ll post them here when available.

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