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All proceeds benefit and support the programs and activities of John Ball Zoo and John Ball Zoo Society.

Renting rooms in the Zoo for a private function does not secure exclusive use of the entire facility: only the space rented by agreement.

All public spaces are to remain public during normal zoo operating hours.

Rental activities must be consistent with the mission of the Zoo as an educational and cultural institution and must not interfere with its normal public operations.

If your event is during public hours, John Ball Zoo and John Ball Zoo Society will not be held liable for crowds and sounds from any guest enjoying their zoo experience.

Rental activities must not endanger visitors, animals or property in the Zoo.

No sales of any kind are permitted on Zoo Grounds or Park Grounds.

John Ball Zoo reserves the right to deny rental to any group deemed to be inimical to or a risk to Zoo property or interests.

All rental terms and prices are subject to change at the sole discretion of John Ball Zoo.  Rental prices will be set in January for the following year.

Rentals scheduled during holiday weekends and the month of December require an additional fee.

All rental guests must abide by the John Ball Zoo rules.

All rentals must have an approximate guest count, within room capacities, given to Facility Rental Staff five days prior to your rental.

John Ball Zoo, the BISSELL Tree House and the Ball Room are smoke-free environments.

John Ball Zoo is not responsible for any damages, loss of materials, valuables or equipment incurred during your rental.

John Ball Zoo is not responsible for any outside contracted services.

Additional Requirements of Use will accompany rentals for After Hours Rent the Zoo, Ball Room, and Bissell Tree House zoo rentals.

A certificate of liability insurance must be provided in the amount of $1 million for general liability for all rentals.  The County of Kent and the John Ball Zoo Society must be named as additional insured.  Specific information regarding liability insurance will be provided.

Begin the reservation process by contacting our Facility Rental Office at (616) 336-4314 or facilityrental@jbzoo.org.

All rentals include up to two (2) hours of consultation time, not to exceed 2 visits. All appointments must be scheduled in advance with Facility Rental Staff.  Additional visits will be a charge of $100 each visit.

For wedding rehearsals, one hour will be provided during 9am-4pm business hours for rehearsals.  Additional hours will be charged a fee of $200 per hour.  Rehearsals must be scheduled in advance with Facility Rental Staff. Full paid rentals take priority over rehearsals.

You are not guaranteed access to the facility the day before or the day after your contracted rental date.

All reservations are confirmed by a signed contract with John Ball Zoo Society. A single contact person (contract signer) will be the designated contact for all arrangements and only that person will be authorized to make changes to the rental plan.

The Ball Room and Bissell Tree House are available 8:00 am to 11:00 pm daily.  All rentals must end at 11pm.

After Hours Zoo Rentals are scheduled 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm daily for the months of June, July, and August.

One of the following food service companies must cater all rentals:
• Applause Catering & Events, 3755 Broadmoor Ave. SE, Suite C, Grand Rapids, MI 49512- 616 940-0001
• The Catering Company, 1307 East Fulton, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 – 616 454-7475
• West Michigan Caterer, 3361 Charlevoix Dr., SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546 – 616 459-8150

A John Ball Zoo preferred caterer must provide all beverage service.

Food and beverages are permitted in all pre-approved areas but may not be removed from the premises. 

No coolers, flasks, or any other type of container of alcohol may be brought onto the premises.

All food and beverage sales are subject to Michigan sales tax and your caterer’s service fees.

All bars must close one half-hour before the end of the rental.

Set-up and tear-down must occur within the same day, beginning and ending at pre-approved times, or additional hours will be charged.  All deliveries must be scheduled in advance through the Facility Rental Staff. 

There is no refrigerated space available to store flowers, cakes, etc., so please schedule deliveries accordingly.

Any items left after the rental will be forfeited and removed at the client’s expense.

All entertainment, musicians, photographers and rental equipment (tents, chairs, piano) must be approved by the facilities coordinator.  Each vendor is responsible for bringing all necessary equipment needed.  No outside service may interfere with the public’s ability to enjoy their zoo visit, which includes, but is not limited to, blocking exhibits, blocking pathways, gaining access to restricted areas. John Ball Zoo will not provide supplies for vendor use, including lifts, ladders, extension cords, batteries, tool, tape, etc.

John Ball Zoo has final say on all sound levels, as surrounding areas (both public and animal exhibits) must be under manageable sound levels.

Photographing in the zoo is acceptable during regular business hours (unless purchasing After Hours package) but must follow the following protocol: cannot interfere with normal animal activities and behaviors; must not disrupt other John Ball Zoo guests; may not block any public pathways; photographer and subjects must remain on all public pathways; no climbing on statues, exhibits, rocks, trees, etc.  As facility renter, you are responsible for conveying these protocols to the photographer.

The individual, group or organization seeking use of John Ball Zoo assumes liability for damage to any of the Zoo’s exhibits or property by the lessee’s contractors (florists, musicians, rental companies, etc).

All promotional copy, invitations, flyers and other printed and electronic materials must be submitted to the facilities coordinator for approval, prior to publishing.

All decorations and lighting must be approved by the facilities coordinator.

Specific restrictions include:  no open flames - candles must be enclosed in hurricane lamps or glass shields, no live animals, no balloons of any kind, no use of ladders, no rice, birdseed, flower petals, confetti or glitter, no flammable materials, such as sparklers and firecrackers, no straw or hay, no special effects equipment, including but not limited to, smoke, fog, and pyrotechnic machines. 

Tape, tacks, staples, nails, screws or putty on walls or fixtures belonging to the Zoo are not permitted.

Decorations may not be affixed to any wall or ceiling.

Clean up and tear down of decorations, furniture or other property of the renter must be completed within the time stated in your contract or an additional fee will apply.