John Ball Zoo celebrates 125 years

The new Waterfall Trail at John Ball Zoo
The new Waterfall Trail at John Ball Zoo

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) Get ready to sing “Happy Birthday” to John Ball Zoo! The zoo is celebrating 125 years at the same site in Grand Rapids, with new exhibits that are better than ever!

Families can hike up the new Waterfall Trail that extends nearly 1,000 feet from the bottom of the zoo to the top. It’s a great option for people in wheelchairs or with strollers or who don’t want to take the funicular or stairs. The trail gives a great bird’s eye view of parts of the zoo that visitors haven’t been able to see before.

A must-see stop at the zoo is the new Wildway Trail. Families can stop to see the new Howler monkey exhibit, which lets them hear the monkey’s unique roar. They can also see Ringtail Lemurs climbing overhead. Kids can climb through tunnels and on a new ropes course, just like they see the monkeys doing!

When it’s time to recharge, stop by one of the zoo’s many concession areas for new food offerings like a glazed donut cheeseburger, tortoise salad, or stop by the new coffee and fudge cart.

The gift shop is a great stop on the way in or on the way out. Find items that are made in Michigan as well as unique gifts that come from some of the countries as many of the zoo animals.

John Ball Zoo is celebrating its 125th birthday by holding 125 animal birthdays! A person, family, or business can sponsor a birthday for $125, providing enrichment gifts for the animal of their choice. There are only a few spots left!

Come celebrate along with the zoo during Community Week, August 15 through 19. There will be birthday treats for visitors, daily entertainment, and fun animal activities. August 17 is Walk with Maranda and Priority Health at John Ball Zoo.

Click on the Happy 125 tab on the John Ball Zoo website to learn about the history of the zoo, timelines, see profiles of animals, and people important to the zoo.

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