John Ball Zoo Opens This Weekend – Check out the New Animals at the Zoo
Definitely a sign summer is on the way: Grand Rapids' John Ball Zoo opens this weekend! And there are new animals to see!
When Does John Ball Zoo Open in 2023?
John Ball Zoo opens for the 2023 season this Friday, March 24. It will be open daily through November 19.
John Ball Zoo Hours 2023
In March and April, John Ball Zoo is open Monday through Friday 10a.m. to 4p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 9a.m. to 6p.m.
In May, the hours are Monday through Friday, 9am to 4pm and Saturday and Sunday, 9a.m. to 6p.m.
In June, July, and August the zoo is open daily 9a.m. to 6p.m. See fall hours here.
What's New at John Ball Zoo in 2023?
There are some new animals at the zoo this year, though not all will be on display right away.
Visitors can see new bald eagles, a snow leopard, a coati, a sloth, and new goats and sheep at Red's Hobby Farm. (John Ball Zoo recently held a "GOAT-ing Away Party" for some of their goats that are now retired and living on a farm.)
In late summer last year, the zoo welcomed a new miniature highland calf, Pumpkin, to the Hobby Farm.
Later this season, the Pygmy Hippo Habitat will open. Pygmy hippos are listed as Endangered, with less than 3,000 individuals left in the wild. John Ball Zoo will be a part of a group of accredited zoos cooperating in a species survival breeding plan to preserve these intriguing animals.
The space will house multiple species, mimicking biodiversity that occurs naturally within an animal’s environment. In this habitat, guests will find sitatunga, pygmy hippos, and white storks.
Sitatunga are swamp-dwelling antelope native to Central Africa. Meet Chopper and Pecan!
The new habitat is part of John Ball Zoo's Time To Soar Campaign, an $18.5 million dollar investment in infrastructure, habitats, conservation, and guests.
John Ball Zoo has also revealed a new logo:
An exact opening date for the Pygmy Habitat has yet to be announced. Follow John Ball Zoo on Facebook for updates!
New Festival at John Ball Zoo in 2023
A first for Grand Rapids - John Ball Zoo will host The Grand Rapids Lantern Festival in 2023.
The festival, which runs April 19 through June 11, will feature handcrafted Asian lantern displays that will illuminate the Zoo and tell the intersecting story of wildlife and Asian culture.
Find out more here.