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Family and Youth Programs

Animal Adventures

John Ball Zoo partners with Frederik Meijer Gardens to bring you Animal Adventures: Surviving in the Wild. 

Animal Adventures: Surviving in the Wild
Have fun exploring the survival techniques of an opossum, a parrot, a wood duck and a tarantula. Enjoy watching live animal presentations, listening to interactive animal stories, playing animal games and trying your luck at animal challenges. Perfect for ages 3 to 6, but all ages are welcome. Come in out of the cold and join us at Meijer Gardens!

Saturday, January 31, 10:00-11:30am

Saturday, February 7, 10:00-11:30am

Reservations are required. John Ball Zoo members or the general public may register online Here. Meijer Gardens members may register online at meijergardens.org. Phone reservations may be made with John Ball Zoo at 616-336-4301 or Meijer Gardens at 616-974-5225.

Please note: this program takes place at Meijer Gardens, located on the East Beltline, just North of I-196.

Youth Programs (Spring, Fall and Winter Educational Classes)

Youth classes include the Sprouts Series for 3 & 4 year olds, the Kid’s Night Out programs for 4 to 12 year olds and Spring Break Camp for students in Kindergarten thru 5th grade. Classes include up close animal demonstrations, zoo tours, games, crafts and much more. Youth Classes.

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. Program includes animal encounters, hands-on activities for ages 5 years and up. Twilight Tours

Overnight Adventures

See the zoo in a new light and have a fun-filled, nocturnal learning adventure! Come to the zoo after hours and enjoy a variety of activities – sneak a peak on a guided behind the scenes tour, get an up-close look at an animal demonstration, enjoy hands-on activities and even make a little something for the animals to eat the following morning. Overnight Adventures

Young Rembrandts at John Ball Zoo

Aspiring wildlife artists will love this new collaborative program between Young Rembrandts and the Zoo. Students will learn about the majestic and intriguing animals at the zoo through exhibit tours then learn how to illustrate them using either markers or color pencils. Zoo staff will then bring in some animal guests for up-close and personal observations in every workshop! Sign-up for the entire series or pick your favorite animal subject. No experience is necessary. Each option requires individual registration. Each registered child will receive a wristband day pass for the zoo!

more information

register with Young Rembrandts

Summer Zoo Camp - Day/Overnight Camps

John Ball Zoo’s Summer Zoo Camp program is a unique, fun, hands-on learning experience for children, ages 3 years to those entering 9th grade! Each class follows its particular theme and uses a variety of methods to stimulate the learning process (role-playing, behind the scenes tours, games, stories, songs and more). Summer Zoo Camp

Self-Guided Tours and Scavenger Hunts

Click here to create a fun, interactive experience for you and your children by utilizing our self-guided tours and scavenger hunts.

Still don't know which program is for your Child?

Contact Us!