RENTALS & PARTIES

BIRTHDAY PARTIES AT THE ZOO!

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BIRTHDAYS

Looking for a great location to host your Party Animal'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!

Birthday bear

Choose Your Birthday Package!

Package 1
$270

WEEKDAY PARTIES | Mon-Fri | June-Sept

Package Includes:
Package 2
$600

WEEKEND PARTY TIME SLOTS | 10:30am – 12:30pm or 2pm – 4pm

Package Includes:
Member Discount

Members receive a special discount on our base package prices! CLICK HERE to become a member!

Catering

Catering includes compostable tableware and utensils. Final attendance numbers and payment due 10 days prior to the event. Available for weekend parties only. Prices do not include MI 6% Sales Tax. No refunds.

Feed Your Pride!

Perfect for morning parties! Assortment of muffins, danishes, and bagels.

Choice of Pepperoni or Cheese

Sweet Treats

Baked fresh from The Cake Connection

Sprinkled to perfection

really make your party animals roar!

Add an assortment of both cupcakes and cookies!

Experiences

AVAILABLE ADD-ONS FOR WEEKEND PARTIES!
Face Painting
$140.00

One of our talented face painters will visit your party and paint up to 15 faces! This experience will be the first hour of your party. We require parties with guest counts of more than 15 youth to receive an additional 30 minutes of face painting for an additional $50.00!

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Venue Upgrade
Pond Pavilion Venue
$150

Outdoor Picnic Area, Max capacities of 100 people

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Additional Party Attendee
$12 each
Additional Birthday Child
$20
Additional Party Favor
$7 each
Zoo Gift Card
$1 and up
Weekend Party
Weekday Party

WEEKEND PARTY

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To register for a Birthday Party at John Ball Zoo, please fill out the following request form. Please note that requests are required at least two weeks prior to your desired date and reservations are dependent upon availability. After your form is submitted, a John Ball Zoo team member will reach out with more information and confirmation details. If you have any questions, please call 616-336-4300 or email [email protected].

Enjoy a discount off the base party package with a valid John Ball Zoo membership in the birthday child's parent/guardian's name. To sign up as a member, please click here.

If applicable, please include 2nd birthday Child's Name, Gender and Age.

BIRTHDAYS

Frequently Asked Questions

The birthday party host is there to ensure the party runs smoothly. They can assist with setting up decorations, greeting the party guests, replacing forgotten items, and first aid. The party host will provide excellent customer service while helping and assisting wherever they are needed. If you have any questions or concerns during your party, please utilize your host as a resource.

Yes! However, we do ask that you do not bring alcohol or glass containers. Please note that the rental spaces do not have outlet usage and we do not allow on-site caterers. We also offer a variety of catering options available for pick up at our main Monkey Island Café on the day of your party.

Our cupcakes are baked fresh for each party by The Cake Connection. If you have any dietary restrictions or allergies, please let us know in advance. We will try our best to accommodate.

Absolutely! However, we do ask that you do not bring balloons, confetti, glass objects or pinatas. We do allow access to the reserved space up to 30 minutes prior to your party time for decorating. Please note that we do not provide signage for parties, so please communicate with your guests regarding the location of your party. A representative of your party may need to wait at the admissions gate if you have late arrivals that need to be escorted into the Zoo.

Our Ambassador Animals are a variety of small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates, and birds. Some examples include rabbits, turtles, insects, parrots, snakes, geckos, hedgehogs and more! Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate requests for specific animals. Ambassador Animals are chosen based on availability and the animal’s behavior the day of the event. We will do our best to accommodate if there are concerns of allergic reactions with advanced notice. Ambassador Animals will visit your party for the last 30 minutes of your scheduled party time. Please be sure to have all food and beverage cleaned up prior to their arrival.

You may meet your party host at Guest Services up to an hour prior to your party start time! Your host will provide you with your birthday packet containing admission for all of your guests along with any additional items that you may have pre-purchased. We do not permit items to be stored in the reserved party space before or after your rental time. Please be aware of the start and end times of your party.

You may explore the Zoo before and/or after your party during normal operational hours. Please note that our hours of operation do change throughout the season and may affect the best time to visit the Zoo based on your party time slot. For more information on hours of operation, please visit our website at jbzoo.org.

Parties do happen rain or shine! Refunds will not be given for inclement weather unless the Zoo closes due to weather. Rain checks will only be issued for any pre-booked experiences that have been cancelled due to inclement weather. In the event that John Ball Zoo cancels a party, a full refund will be issued.

Adjustments and refunds (minus the party deposit) can be made up to 14 days prior to your party’s date. Anything after that is nonrefundable. Additional guests may be added up to 7 days prior to your party date for $12.00 each.

Admission tickets are non-refundable. If you have additional guests attend the day of, they are subject to our general admission rates and may purchase admission directly at the admissions booth.

We are happy to accommodate parties for all ages. Whether you’re turning 1 or 101- let our birthday party coordinator plan the purr-fect party for you! There is truly no age limit on having fun at the Zoo.

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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!