Twilight safari a new zoo experience


John Ball Zoo offers families a rare glimpse of the zoo as the sun goes down.

Very few people get to experience the zoo as the sun goes down, but that rare opportunity will be available at John Ball Zoo this spring. For the first time ever, the zoo will host Twilight Sensory Safaris, special tours that invite families to take a look (and a listen, and a taste, and a feel, and a smell) of what it’s like at the zoo as it gets dark!

John Ball Zoo will offer Twilight Sensory Safaris twice: April 10 and 17 from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The Safaris will be hour-and-half guided tours of the zoo as the sun goes down, designed to teach visitors how humans and wildlife are adapted to life in the dark. Throughout the tour there will be stops where guests will participate in activities that demonstrate the amazing function of our five senses. Think you can guess where a sound is coming from with your eyes closed? It’s not always as easy as you might think. Our hearing is not as good as that of most nocturnal animals. Owls triangulate the origin of a sound to find their prey in the dark and our Sensory Safari guides will allow guests to experience why and how.

The Twilight Safaris are a new offering from John Ball Zoo’s education department. If they are well attended, the education team will include them in their regular schedule of events. “Nocturnal animals have amazing adaptations,” said Andy McIntyre, John Ball Zoo Education Director. “To use our senses as it gets dark allows us to experience it as they do and appreciate their unique adaptations. This is a fun learning opportunity for all ages. When you can show parents and kids something with a hands-on experience, they learn!”

Advance registration is required to attend the Twilight Sensory Safaris.  Families can register on line at or call Kathy at (616) 336-4310. Participants must be five years of age or older to attend. Those 17 years of age and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Fee is $6 per person for John Ball Zoo Society Members and $8 for non-members.

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