Celebrate the Holidays with a flurry of furry at John Ball Zoo

John Ball Zoo hosts annual Christmas for the Animals on Sat. Dec 2nd

The last day of John Ball Zoo’s season will be on Saturday, December 2, and to mark that day, the Zoo will also be hosting their annual Christmas for the Animals event.

Christmas for the Animals is an entirely free event.  It features Santa, his reindeer,  “aquatic elves” diving in the aquarium, an ice carver turning ice into art and a marching band …well, marching!   The event also showcases animal enrichment – a form of animal care that addresses the animals’ psychological wellbeing.  Daily and varied enrichment help keep the animals engaged in their surroundings and behaving as they would in the wild.   Guests attending Christmas for the Animals will get to see many of the animals receiving enrichment.

In past years, the Zoo asked for a donation of animal enrichment items in return for free admission and visitors were extremely generous.  This year, however, the Zoo is asking for help in other ways:

Make a gift of cash, check or credit card when they attend the event, or make a donation at jbzoo.org.  All donations received at Christmas for the Animals will be used to purchase enrichment items.

Go to Amazon Smile.com and go to John Ball Zoo’s Wish List.  There you’ll find a variety of enrichment items hand-picked by our zookeepers.  Choose an item and send it the Zoo’s way!


John Ball Zoo is the fourth most attended cultural institution in the state, serving over 530,000 guests in 2017.  John Ball Zoo is located on Fulton Ave. one mile west of downtown Grand Rapids.  For more information www.jbzoo.org, info@jbzoo.org, (616)336-4300, Facebook:  JBZOO.  The Zoo is open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, December 2.  Hours of Christmas for the Animals is 10-3pm.