Gigantic Dinos Take Over John Ball Zoo for Summer 2024! - (2024)

By Melody VanderWeide / March 27, 2024 / West Michigan

Gigantic Dinos Take Over John Ball Zoo for Summer 2024! - (1)

Massive Moving Dinos at John Ball Zoo Will Surprise You!

Starting in July, John Ball Zoo visitors will have the thrilling opportunity to encounter over 20 life-size dinosaurs, including the fearsome Velociraptor, the majestic Triceratops, and the towering T-Rex right here in Grand Rapids.

That roar you hear in the distance may sound a little different than the Lion or Tiger you normally hear during your visit. That’s because it’s a dinosaur!

The upper reaches of the zoo transform into a prehistoric adventure with the arrival of Dino Don’s realistic creatures.

These scientifically accurate, animatronic dinosaurs will showcase behaviors like mothering, feeding, and hunting, bringing the ancient world to life right before your eyes.

Gigantic Dinos Take Over John Ball Zoo for Summer 2024! - (2)

Dino Don is on It

JBZ is going all in for this exhibit, partnering with Dino Don to make sure this event is one you will not forget. (Dino Don is a world authority on dinosaurs.)

Gigantic Dinos Take Over John Ball Zoo for Summer 2024! - (3)

Dino Don’s accomplishments:

  • advisor to Steven Spielberg’sJurassic Park film & theme parks
  • author of 40 books
  • excavator of the largest dinosaurs in the world, the 110 foot long plant-eater Argentinosaurus and the 45 foot long meat-eater Giganotosaurus.

Today, his company works with paleontologists to make the biggest (up to 60-feet long!) and most accurate dinosaur robots in the world for zoos and museums.

Some of their creations will arrive in Grand Rapids this summer!

Dino Adventures Travelling Exhibit

Dates: Monday, July 15 – Sunday, November 10, 2024
Location: John Ball Zoo
Admission: Included with general Zoo admission

What to expect:

  • Over 20 giant, animatronic dinosaurs come to life in the Forest Realm.
  • Full-sized replica creatures up to 60 feet long.
  • They move, they fart, they pee!
  • See a T-Rex, Velociraptor, and more up close.
  • Staff in Jurassic Park hats, giant double doors that open into the Forest Realm where the dinos live.
  • Get into the fossil dig pit and learn about these majestic creatures of the past.
  • Members get in free!

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Why Dinos?

The hope: by learning about how these huge creatures from a gazillion years ago are connected to the animals we see now, people will be inspired to protect today’s creatures – and our world – so they don’t end up extinct like the dinosaurs.

Understanding that our actions today have a real impact on the things of the future – even things as big as the dinosaurs, is key to the success of conservation.

Gigantic Dinos Take Over John Ball Zoo for Summer 2024! - (4)

Dino dig pit

Coming to GR July 2024

So yes, the Zoo will be transformed with life sized dinosaur replica robots that make noise and move!

Embark on your very on Dino Safari through the Zoo’s Forest Realm and learn about the dinosaurs that once roamed the Earth.

Here’s a look at a past Dino Don Safari from Sacramento:

If You Go

Dinosaur Safari is included with John Ball Zoo daily admission.

Members get into the dinosaur exhibit free!

Gigantic Dinos Take Over John Ball Zoo for Summer 2024! - (5)

John Ball Zoo Tickets & Hours 2024

Open dates for 2024: March 22 – November 24, 2024

HOURS:The zoo’s hours vary with the time of year. During the summer they are open from 9 AM – 6 PM seven days a week. However, there are exceptions so be sure to check theircalendarbefore going.

TICKETS:Tickets can be purchased at the gate or in advanceonline.

ADDRESS: 1300 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Admission Rates for John Ball Zoo

May 11 – Sept 29Spring/Fall
Adults (ages 13 – 61)$22$17
Youth (ages 3 – 12)$17$13
Seniors (ages 62 +)$17$13
College Students (with valid student ID)$17$13
Military (with valid military ID.
Available to active & Veteran US Military
personnel and their spouses)
Kids under 2FreeFree

For more information on tickets and memberships, visitJohn Ball Zoo’s website.You can also call (616) 336-4300 or email[emailprotected].

Ticket Giveaway

Ticket giveaways coming soon – we’ll post them here when available.

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    Gigantic Dinos Take Over John Ball Zoo for Summer 2024! - (2024)


    How many animals does John Ball Zoo have? ›

    Providing customized and compassionate care to over 2,000 animals. From nourishing our animals with local produce in their diets to innovative medical care, our team provides customized and compassionate care to the over 2,000 animals that call John Ball Zoo home.

    How long does it take to do John Ball Zoo? ›

    School group visits are popular each weekday morning March through May as well as during September. This is a great time to visit if you enjoy the excitement and energy of youngsters exploring their Zoo. We suggest you allow yourself two to three hours to see most of the Zoo.

    How long will the dinosaurs be at the Phoenix Zoo? ›

    It is available until April 30, 2023, and is included with general Phoenix Zoo admission. The newest exhibit at the Phoenix Zoo is the dinosaur section. They have animatronic dinosaurs Spread out along the path and they make growling noises.

    Does John Ball Zoo have a petting zoo? ›

    Over 2,000 animals and more animal touching exhibits than any other zoo in Michigan; tigers, petting corral, wallabies, camels and butterflies.

    Who owns John Ball Zoo now? ›

    A long term management agreement is in effect that allows non-profit management with continued ownership by Kent County.

    Are there lions at John Ball Zoo? ›

    Abena formed a strong connection with the zoo's male lion, Kiume, who has been at John Ball Zoo since 2012.

    Are there pandas at the John Ball Zoo? ›

    Red Panda Encounter

    Wyatt's current habitat is located behind-the-scenes near the bear and lynx habitats. This experience does not include viewing the red panda habitat where Wasabi and the cubs are located.

    Are there elephants at John Ball Zoo? ›

    SPENCER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — It's been 46 years since the only elephant ever housed at John Ball Zoo died.

    Will we ever see a living dinosaur? ›

    The non-avian dinosaur part of the evolutionary tree went extinct about 66 million years ago, likely due to a catastrophic event such as an asteroid impact, leaving no real dinosaurs alive today except for their bird descendants.

    Are we close to bringing back dinosaurs? ›

    It is therefore entirely possible for prehistoric genetic material to survive for up to one million years. But the big dinosaurs departed this life some 66 million years ago. So the prospect of finding enough viable DNA material in what remains of them today is therefore vanishingly remote.

    What is the longest living Dino? ›

    Sauropods — a group of long-necked leaf eaters that includes the largest dinosaurs that ever lived — likely had the longest lives of all of the dinosaurs, with the oldest-known sauropods living to around 60 years old, according to Holtz.

    Are there polar bears at John Ball Zoo? ›

    Monkeys, lemurs, polar bears, oh my! Located on the West Side of Grand Rapids, the John Ball Zoo spans 140 acres. The zoo is a West Michigan landmark, and has been around for over 125 years.

    Does John Ball Zoo have Komodo dragons? ›

    Animal collection

    Most animals at John Ball Zoo were born in another zoo. Few of the animals are taken from the wild. Almost all the wild animals are at the zoo because they sustained injuries and can no longer live in their natural habitat. In 2004, the zoo added a Komodo dragon named Precious.

    Does John Ball Zoo have wolves? ›

    John Ball Zoo on Instagram: "Sometimes, John Ball Zoo is just a stop on an animal's journey to save their species. This is the case for our maned wolf, Nikko.

    Did John Ball Zoo ever have elephants? ›

    SPENCER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — It's been 46 years since the only elephant ever housed at John Ball Zoo died. Now, she's making a return. After coming to the Grand Rapids zoo in 1965, Zooella the elephant was beloved by the people who came to see her.

    How many animals are in the Cincinnati zoo? ›

    It was appointed as a National Historic Landmark in 1987. 3400 Vine St, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. The zoo houses over 500 species, 1,800 animals and 3,000 plant species.

    How many animals are at the Columbus zoo? ›

    Get ready for a WILD visit!

    Here are some of the animals you will meet during your journey to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, home to over 10,000 animals representing 600 species.

    How many animals are in the Turtle Back zoo? ›

    Turtle Back Zoo
    Date opened1963
    LocationWest Orange, New Jersey, United States
    No. of animalsApproximately 1,400
    Annual visitors979,056
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