Monday, August 5, 2013

John Ball Park Zoo

Sitting on John Ball! 
This group is my three kids, my 2 nephews, my nephew's wife,
 niece, and two great nephews!
Growing up in the Grand Rapids area going to John Ball Park Zoo in the summer was kind of a tradition.  My neighbor and I even rode our bikes when we were old enough from our houses to the zoo! 

While growing up not much changed at our little zoo, but in the last few years they have begun to improve some of their enclosures, expand, and add more animals.

Each time we go with the kids we take the same loop.  We begin by going by the Pelican Pier, up past the American Eagles, and then on to the Living Shores Aquarium.  The kids love watching the tide pool and seeing the sea creatures!  Our next loop takes us on the Far Side of the World trail to Red's Hobby Farm.  From there on it is just a natural loop to get around the zoo.  Depending on how long you stop to look at the animals it can take you a couple hours to get through the zoo.  We  usually go in the morning and leave by lunch time.

Feeding the parakeets
Lola in the petting zoo
John Ball Zoo has some "Adventures and Experiences" like camel rides, petting sting rays, and zip lines, but be aware that they are all extra charges.  You will see this on the map that they hand you, but it isn't advertised that you need cash for each separate adventure before you walk in.  When some of these new attractions opened I made the mistake of going without any cash.  That was not a fun time when I told the kids they could do some things and found out that they couldn't because Mom wasn't in the know!
Watch out!  Wild animals lurk where you least expect them!











We look forward to new exhibits they are planning to add in the near future and will continue to enjoy our local zoo when we want to take a little outing!

Josh finds a new friend

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