VISIT

RENTALS AND PARTIES

RENTALS & PARTIES

Host Your Event At John Ball Zoo!

The Bissell Tree House, where fun and elegance meet, is situated on one of Grand Rapids’ highest points, is John Ball Zoo’s most picturesque venue.

Enjoy a spacious view of downtown with floor to ceiling windows, adjustable lighting for the perfect ambiance, and a covered deck set for cocktails, ceremonies, and more.

Whether you choose to host a seated meal or a casual cocktail party, the Bissell Tree House makes a memorable backdrop for any meaningful event in your life.

CLICK HERE TO PLAN YOUR WEDDING

For a unique experience, consider renting John Ball Zoo privately for you and your guests. Get access to all public areas of the Zoo after normal operating hours. Private Zoo rentals are a great way to host parties, corporate events, and benefits of all types in this spacious outdoor environment.

The Bissell Tree House provides a relaxing environment for your next meeting or luncheon. You can also host your event in our Event Tent located inside the entrance of the Zoo. This venue is the perfect spot to host any party, corporate meeting, or event.

CLICK HERE TO PLAN YOUR CORPORATE EVENT

Need more details before booking your event? Contact us at [email protected] or give us a call at (616) 336-4314 for more information.

Enjoy the entire zoo and all it has to offer with your friends, family, and coworkers. Take advantage of beautiful Michigan summer nights, accessible paths weaving throughout the zoo as you explore world-class animal habitats, and meet & greet animal experience your guests won’t soon forget.

Whether you choose to host an employee party, community gathering, or an elegant gala, John Ball Zoo makes a memorable backdrop for any event.

CLICK HERE TO RENT THE ZOO

John Ball Zoo’s covered event space provides guests a private outdoor venue where guests can enjoy the zoo during the day or have an intimate night time experience.

CLICK HERE TO RENT THE EVENT TENT

Reserved picnic areas are available. You can check availability and reserve one of the 7 different picnic areas in John Ball Park through our web store. Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT PLANNING YOUR PICNIC RENTAL

If you have additional questions, please inquire at [email protected] or call 616-336-4314.

Host your 2023 or 2024 graduates’ celebration at the Bissell Tree House at John Ball Zoo.

Contact our sales coordinators at 616.336.4314 or 

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT PLANNING YOUR GRADUATION PARTY

Looking to plan a WILD birthday celebration?

CLICK HERE TO PLAN YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY

John Ball Zoo members receive a discount off of the base party package price. CLICK HERE to become a member!

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WEDDINGS

Host Your Wedding At John Ball Zoo!

The Bissell Tree House, where fun and elegance meet, is situated on one of Grand Rapids’ highest points, is John Ball Zoo’s most picturesque venue.

Enjoy a spacious view of downtown with floor to ceiling windows, adjustable lighting for the perfect ambiance, and a covered deck set for cocktails, ceremonies, and more.

Whether you choose to host a seated meal or a casual cocktail party, the Bissell Tree House makes a memorable backdrop for any meaningful event in your life.

BIRTHDAYS

Looking for a great location to host your little critter's birthday? Let them go wild at the Zoo!

Create the party package that best suits your needs. Make your reservation early! Summer dates fill up quickly.

Birthday parties at John Ball Zoo are customizable and fun!

Our base party package begins at $400.00 and includes a party space for 2 hours, admission for up to 20 guests, party favors for each child in attendance, a special gift for the birthday child and a visit from one of our ambassador animals! Parties are customizable with fantastic add on options including catering and experiences. Please view our Birthday Party Package document below for more information.

Please note that registration is required at least two weeks prior to the party date that you are requesting and is subject to availability.

John Ball Zoo members receive 20% off of the base party package price. CLICK HERE to become a member!

CORPORATE EVENTS

Corporate Meetings & Events

For a unique experience, consider renting John Ball Zoo privately for you and your guests. Get access to all public areas of the Zoo after normal operating hours. Private Zoo rentals are a great way to host parties, corporate events, and benefits of all types in this spacious outdoor environment.

The Bissell Tree House provides a relaxing environment for your next meeting or luncheon. You can also host your event in our Event Tent located inside the entrance of the Zoo. This venue is the perfect spot to host any party, corporate meeting, or event.

Need more details before booking your event? Contact us at [email protected] or give us a call at (616) 336-4314 for more information.

RENT THE ZOO

Host Your Next Community Event At John Ball Zoo!

John Ball Zoo is the perfect place to host events from weddings to high school reunions. Whether it’s a simple picnic in the park or an elegantly catered meal at one of our venues, your guests will be amazed!

Need ideas? Here are a few examples of community events that you can host at John Ball Zoo:

  • Class Reunions
  • Graduation Parties
  • Family Reunions
  • Fundraisers
  • Proms
  • Quinceaneras
  • Retirement Parties
  • Wedding Ceremonies & Receptions
PRIVATE EVENTS

Host Your Private Event At John Ball Zoo

Founded in 1891, John Ball Zoo is located in Grand Rapids on the rapidly developing West Side and provides a unique venue for your event. Family-friendly, the Zoo celebrates animals and conservation daily.

Host your event in our Event Tent located inside the entrance of the Zoo. This amazing venue is the perfect spot to host any party or corporate meeting or event.

Let us make your event one to remember. Email [email protected] or call 616-336-4314 for more information.

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Great Lakes Rare Turtles

Great Lakes Conservation
About

Turtles are in trouble around the world and locally. The Great Lakes Rare Turtle Program addresses on threats that are existential and widespread for Blanding’s, Spotted, Wood, and Box Turtles. The John Ball Zoo is working wth partners to study head starting as a conservation tool, protecting nesting habitat for Wood Turtles from raccoons, and researching the distribution and status of Spotted Turtles in Southwest Michigan. The zoo partners with local community scientists to indentify road crossings that pose a threat to Blanding’s and other species of turtles.

Partners

Poweshiek Skipperling

Oarisma powesheik

Facts
Habitat

Grassland, Wetlands (inland)

Threat Range

Critically Endangered

Region

Extant (resident) - Canada (Manitoba); United States (Wisconsin, Michigan), Possibly Extinct - United States (South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa), Extinct - United States (Indiana, Illinois)

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Mitchell's Satyr

Great Lakes Conservation
About

The prairie fens of southern Michigan are a stronghold for the Endangered Mitchell’s Satyr butterfly. We are working with Michigan State University, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, and the Kalamazoo Nature Center to develp to propagate this rare butterfly. Offspring reared in the program may be used to supplement wild Mitchell’s Satyr populations.

Partners

Freshwater Mussels

Great Lakes Conservation
About

Freshwater Mussels are one of the most fastenating groups of animals. Unfortunately they are also one of the most imperiled groups on animals with more than 70% of North American species listed as Threatened or Endangered. Our own Grand River is home to an impressive 32 different species, 19 of which are listed. The John Ball Zoo is working with scientists at Grand Valley State University to evaluate Grand River Mussel populations. During the 2023 field season, the team documented over 1,000 individuals from 27 different species. This includes the Endangered Snuffbox Mussel.

Partners

Habitat Hero

Community Science
About

The Habitat Hero program is focused on creating better urban pollinator habitat by giving away native plants to west Michigan community members. By giving away native trees, shrubs and wildflowers, we are inviting community members to provide crucial nectar sources for pollinators as well as become more involved in pollinator conservation in their own yards and gardens.

Partners

Kestrel Nest Box Monitoring

Community Science
About

American Kestrels are one of North America’s most abundant raptors, but their populations have been steadily declining since the mid 1960’s. This year we have begun participating in the American Kestrel Partnership, run by the Peregrine Fund, to monitor local kestrel nest boxes and help better understand Kestrel population trends and biology.

Partners

Grand River Sucker Monitoring

Community Science
About

Suckers are a very important, and often overlooked, group of migratory fish that inhabit the Grand River. Every spring they migrate upriver from Lake Michigan to spawn in tributaries of the Grand River. We are joining a project started by the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago to determine how changes in temperature and flow of the streams impact the spawning behavior of the suckers.

Partners

Turtle Road Mortality Surveys

Community Science
About

One of the major threats to turtle populations is mortality associated with roads and vehicles. We have a team of trained volunteers who survey predetermined road crossing sites and report the number of turtles they find at these locations. We plan to use the data to assist in conservation decision-making regarding roads and turtles in west Michigan.

Partners

Michigan Butterfly Network

Community Science
About

As part of our pollinator conservation work, we want to understand how native butterfly populations are changing over time. By training community members to use the Michigan Butterfly Network monitoring protocol, we are offering passionate people the opportunity to help contribute to our understanding of butterfly populations in west Michigan.

Partners

Bat Surveys

Community Science
About

West Michigan is home to several species of rare and threatened species of bats. This summer we will have a group of volunteers collecting bat occurrence data by driving predetermined routes and using special recorders and software to identify bat species. The data will be submitted to the North American Bat Monitoring Project as part of their ongoing analysis of bat abundance and occupancy across North America.

Partners

Massasauga Rattlesnake

Great Lakes Conservation
About

The Massasauga is Michigan’s only venomous snake and plays an important role in the ecosystem. Unfortunately, these snakes are declining in numbers and are listed as Threatened. The John Ball Zoo helps to educate the public on the plight of the Massasauga and helps conservation biologists study them in the field. Currently, we are assisting Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, Grand Valley State University, and Sarett Nature Center develop new technologies to monitor this secretive snake species.

Partners

City Nature Challenge

Community Science
About

The City Nature Challenge is one of the world’s largest annual community science events. Started by iNaturalist in 2016 as a friendly competition between the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, this bioblitz has grown into a global phenomenon with over 500 cities participating. Taking place over the last weekend in April each year, the City Nature Challenge is all about getting outside and documenting the biodiversity in and around our communities while building and strengthening relationships with other people who are passionate about conserving local species. The West Michigan City Nature Challenge is Michigan’s only City Nature Challenge event, and encompasses Allegan, Barry, Kent and Ottawa Counties. We are excited to partner with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and many other local organizations to engage our communities in four days of exploring our biodiverse outdoor spaces.

Partners

Michigan Area

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Freshwater Mussels

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Habitat Hero

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Kestrel Nest Box Monitoring

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Grand River Sucker Monitoring

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Turtle Road Mortality Surveys

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Michigan Butterfly Network

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Bat Surveys

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Massasauga Rattlesnake

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City Nature Challenge

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Get Involved!