EDUCATION

SCOUT PROGRAMS

EDUCATION

Scout Programs

Whether you’re learning something new on a badge program, touring the zoo in the evening on a twilight tour or slumbering near the Chimpanzees you’re sure to find the perfect zoo program for your wild troop!

For any questions please contact our Education department at 616-336-4302.

Scout Programs

Scout Badge Programs

Start earning your next badge at the Zoo! These two hour programs will help complete requirements for a badge, journey, beltloop or pin. Each program includes an up-close animal encounter, zoo tour and hands-on activities.

2022 pricing: $10 per person and 1 leader admitted free with every 5 scouts. Minimum of 7 paid scouts/adults. Fee does not include zoo admission.

Girl Scouts

Boy Scouts

Scout Programs

Let the Zoo Come to You

Looking to add life to your troop meeting? Host a travel zoo and let the Zoo bring animals to you. 

COVID-19 Guidelines: John Ball Zoo does not currently require program participants to wear face masks. We will continue to follow masking guidelines set by local, state, and federal agencies and update this policy as needed.

Enjoy an up-close encounter with live zoo animals in the comfort of your own classroom of facility. Presentations work great for classrooms, scout meetings, retirement communities, and libraries. Presentations are typically between 30 and 45 minutes in length. Animals are presented one at a time. Topics vary depending on age of audience (from preschool to adult). We can customize a program for you or you can choose from one of our core education topics.

Program fees are $100 plus an additional $1.00 per mile traveling fee (includes mileage and staffing cost) and $60 for each additional consecutive program on the same day. 

REGISTER HERE

A Meet and Greet Station offers a more informal interaction with ambassador animals. Encounters offer a few minutes in which to engage with our instructors and/or Docents as guests learn about the animal and may even have an opportunity to touch an animal! This type of program works well if your event or facility has a large audience that may not be suited for sitting and listening to a long presentation. Typically, one or two animals are strolling at a time for approximately 45 minutes each. Meet and Greet programs are scheduled by the hour for up to 2 hours at a time. Meet and Greet Travel Zoos work well for retirement communities, community fairs/events, and larger corporate events.

Program fees are $100 plus an additional $1.00 per mile traveling fee (includes mileage and staffing cost) and $60 for each additional consecutive program on the same day. 

REGISTER HERE

SCOUT PROGRAMS

Add A Tour To Your Next Visit!

Experience the zoo in a new ‘light’. Bring your troop, flashlights and a sense of adventure for this guided tour of the zoo as the sun goes down. Learn how to use your senses at night and how animals are adapted to life in the dark.

Pre-registration is required.

Online registration closes 3 days prior to the day of the tour.

Please call 616-336-4302 for availability if trying to book within 3 days.

Stroller Safari

Put on your walking shoes and head to the Zoo with your little WILD one for our newest adventure! Enjoy early access to the Zoo along with a guided tour complete with story time. Each week will feature a different story and area of the Zoo. Zoo Admission is included. Class is strictly limited to participants ages 3 and under with their parent/caregiver. Limited to the first 10 families to register.

Spring 2022

April 12, 19, 26 May 3

9:15am - 10:00am


One adult/child Pair per Class: $15/Member, $25/Non-Member (includes Zoo Admission)

Additional Attendee (either adult or child 0-3 yrs old): $5/Member, $10/Non-Member

Twilight Tours

Experience the zoo in a new 'light'. Bring your family, flashlight and a sense of adventure for this guided tour of the zoo as the sun goes down. Learn how to use your senses at night and how animals are adapted to life in the dark. The program includes an animal encounter, hands-on activities for children ages 5 years and above, and guided tour. Twilight Tours last about 1.5 hours.

Pre-registration and pre-payment required. Minimum age - 5 years old. Participants 17 years of age and younger must be accompanied by a paid adult.

$10/Member, $15/Non-Member

Guided Tours

The Zoo just for you! Start your day at the zoo with a guided tour of the area of your choice. Have the whole place to yourself while also having a Zoo Educator guide you to answer all of your Zoo questions. Each tour lasts about 45 minutes long. Available tour areas can be found below:

North America and Aquarium Natural Treasures and Chimpanzees Red Pandas and Meerkats

$100 per group of up to 6 people ($75 for zoo members). If you are interested in bringing more than 6 people, the cost is $10 for each additional person. Maximum of 20 people per group.

SCOUT PROGRAMS

Sneak A Peek

Join us for a sneak peek behind-the-scenes of the habitats that guests see everyday. You and up to 15 other people will join zoo staff for a behind-the-scenes tour of one of the areas listed below to see where the animals spend their time while not on exhibit and learn how much goes into caring for the animals at the zoo.  

Minimum Age: 6 years of age. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult. 
Maximum # per Program: 16 people. One adult cannot be responsible for more than two children 12 and under.
Program Time: 30-45 minutes 
Price: $15 per person for Members   $25 per person for Non-Members. A minimum of 4 people is needed to run these tours. Admission is included.

COVID-19 Guidelines: John Ball Zoo may require participants to mask and/or wear gloves during certain experiences. 

Advance registration required. Footwear that fully encloses the foot is required – no sandals, flip-flops or similar footwear. No photos can be taken behind the scenes. Sorry, these tours are not ADA Accessible.

Questions? Call 616-336-4302 or Email  education@jbzoo.org

Available 7 days a week

Learn how we keep an aquarium up and running for the fish, penguins, sharks, and marine invertebrates that you see in the habitats. You will also have an opportunity to touch a sea star and an urchin while behind the scenes. Upgrade one person from your group to get the chance to feed the penguins on exhibit with the Close Encounter Penguin Program!

Register Here

Available Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday, at 1 pm. 

See where the bongos, warthogs, and hornbills of the African Veldt spend their time when they are not out in the habitat and get a sneak peek of the habitat from the animal’s view.

Register Here

EXPERIENCES

Close Encounters

Have you ever wanted to feed a bear or penguin or see a chimp training session? How about holding an owl or a snake? Join our keepers for one of these unique experiences listed below.

Prices and requirements vary per program.  Admission is included in price. Advance registration is required. Footwear that fully encloses the foot is required – no sandals, flip-flops, or similar footwear. No photos can be taken behind the scenes.  Sorry, these encounters are not ADA accessible.

Many experiences are available year-round- time and date restrictions apply.  All encounters are subject to availability and animal consideration.

Questions? Call 616-336-4302 Email education@jbzoo.org

Red Panda Encounter

Penguin Feeding

Penguin Encounter

Chimpanzee Encounter

Brown Bear Encounter

Ambassador Animal Encounter