Which Is Best: John Ball Zoo Or Indian Creek Zoo. A Guide To Which Is The Best Zoo In Michigan, USA

Discover the unique characteristics that set John Ball Zoo and Indian Creek Zoo apart in this captivating comparison.

Unveil remarkable conservation and sustainability efforts at John Ball Zoo, set in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Contrast that with the warm family-friendly atmosphere of Indian Creek Zoo in Toledo, Michigan.

Explore their varied wildlife, inclusive activities, and accessibility features, ideal for families with toddlers to older children or those needing disability access.

Which Is Best: John Ball Zoo Or Indian Creek Zoo. A Guide To Which Is The Best Zoo In Michigan, USA

At A Glance

John Ball Zoo and Indian Creek Zoo are both family-friendly animal attractions based in Michigan, USA.

The John Ball Zoo, located in Grand Rapids, emphasizes conservation and sustainability, and is known for its diverse species such as tigers, bears, penguins, and lions.

The zoo spans 31 acres and hosts approximately 200 species.

Here, a visit averages around 2 hours, and adult and child tickets are priced at $20 and $15 respectively, with free entry for children under age 2.

Just a drive away in Toledo, the Indian Creek Zoo offers unique encounters with wildlife including tigers, giraffes, sloths and bears.

Covering a more extensive area of 36 acres, it hosts a larger collection of 400 animals.

The zoo is also best explored in about 2 hours.

Ticket pricing is slightly lower, at $16 for adults and $14 for children, providing a cost-effective alternative for an average family of 4.

Both zoos prioritize accessibility for disabled individuals and families with children, have food stalls and allow visitors to bring their own food and drink, and offer free parking – although neither is accessible via public transport.

However, it’s essential to remember that although service animals are allowed, personal pets and holding animals are not permitted in both establishments.


Comparing the size of John Ball Zoo to Indian Creek Zoo reveals slight differences.

Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, John Ball Zoo sprawls over 31 acres of land, providing a substantial area for its 200 species of animals.

You would need to dedicate approximately two hours to fully explore and appreciate all the attractions this zoo houses.

On the other hand, Indian Creek Zoo in Toledo, Michigan, spreads over a slightly larger area of 36 acres.

Housing 400 animals, this larger expanse would also require a two-hour visit to fully experience all that it offers.

Despite their size difference, both zoos maintain a depth of attraction that can be thoroughly enjoyed within the same time frame.

More About John Ball Zoo

About John Ball Zoo

  • 1300 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, United States
  • 16-336-4300
  • jbzoo.org

Size (acres) 31
Time To Walk Around 2 Hours
Adult Price $20
Child Price $15
Infant Price Free Under 2 Years Old
Price For Family Of 4 $70
Parking Free
Number Of Animals 200 species
Can Bring Your Own Food? Yes

Information from jbzoo.org


Exploring John Ball Zoo could be an affordable option for families and individuals alike.

For adults, the ticket price stands at $20, while for children, it costs $15.

Individuals entitled to concession tickets have to set aside the same amount as kids.

Families comprising four members may find it economical as their total outlay would round up to an appealing $70.

Additionally, making the trip more pocket-friendly for parents, entry is free for children under the age of 2.

When comparing it to ticket prices at Indian Creek Zoo, adults find themselves saving money, as they need to pay just $16.

The price for a children’s ticket is almost similar to that at John Ball, costing only $14, which is negligibly less than at the latter.

Concession tickets at Indian Creek Zoo are also set at $15, just as in John Ball.

An average family of four ends up spending an economical $60 for their day out at Indian Creek, which is $10 less than at its counterpart.

Children below the age of 2 are admitted for free here too.

The cost of an average family of 4 at John Ball Zoo is $70 compared to 60 at Indian Creek Zoo.

When it comes to the variety of animals at these two zoos, both John Ball Zoo and Indian Creek Zoo offer a wide range of species to see, but have a slightly different focus.

John Ball Zoo, situated in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is home to about 200 species of animals, including tigers, bears, penguins and lions.

On the other hand, the Indian Creek Zoo, also in Michigan but located in Toledo, houses a total of 400 animals.

Like Grand Rapids, it also takes pride in its bears and tigers but in addition, it delights visitors with giraffes and sloths.

Hence, while both zoos deliver a unique wildlife experience, Indian Creek Zoo appears to offer a larger collection of animals to its guests. <div class=”overview” markdown=”1”id=”wyntk-indian-creek-zoo”>

More About Indian Creek Zoo

About Indian Creek Zoo

Size (acres) 36
Time To Walk Around 2 Hours
Adult Price $16
Child Price $14
Infant Price Free Under 2 Years Old
Price For Family Of 4 $60
Parking Free
Number Of Animals 400 animals
Can Bring Your Own Food? Yes

Information from https://indiancreekzoo.com/



Both John Ball Zoo and Indian Creek Zoo prioritize accessibility for disabled visitors in their design and set up.

At John Ball Zoo, visitors with mobility difficulties can avail themselves of rentable equipment, ensuring comfortable and hassle-free navigation around the 31-acre space.

The zoo is committed to ensuring its pathways and facilities are designed so everyone can witness the wonder of its 200 species, from the tigers to the penguins.

On the other hand, Indian Creek zoo, which is home to 400 animals and spans 36 acres, has implemented a dedicated wheelchair route, providing smooth and easy access to all its exhibits.

This noticeable feature ensures that all visitors, regardless of their mobility status, can enjoy intimate encounters with animals such as sloths and giraffes.

Therefore, both zoos are suitably equipped with facilities and infrastructure to provide a delightful and inclusive experience for disabled visitors.

Pefect For

When it comes to planning the perfect family excursion, both John Ball Zoo and Indian Creek Zoo provide numerous features that make them appealing destinations.

Each zoo is highly accessible to individuals with disabilities, offering equipment rentals at John Ball and a dedicated wheelchair route at Indian Creek.

Moreover, each place offers activities and features suitable for families with toddlers and older children, ensuring that guests of all ages can enjoy the attractions.

Both locations are well-equipped for family trips, offering free entry for children under the age of two, ample parking, and the permission to bring in your own food and drinks, which can greatly ease the day out with little ones.

Indian Creek Zoo, with its focus on family, field trips, and nature encounters, is particularly well-suited for educational family outings where children can learn about various animal species.

On the other hand, John Ball Zoo, with its commitment to conservation and sustainability, makes for an excellent trip for families interested in learning more about environmental preservation.

In essence, both zoos make for wonderful family-friendly destinations, but each has its unique niche that can cater to varying interests.


In summary, both John Ball Zoo and Indian Creek Zoo offer engaging wildlife experiences with plenty of amenities for visitors.

Nestled in Grand Rapids and Toledo respectively, both in the state of Michigan, these zoos are defined by their unique qualities.

John Ball Zoo emphasizes conservation and sustainability, is more accessible with rental equipment, hosts 200 species of animals and has abundant food choices.

Indian Creek Zoo is larger with 400 different animals, offering a more organic and up-close encounter with wildlife while still embracing disability inclusivity with a dedicated wheelchair route.

Despite their unique features, both zoos are perfect for families, especially ones with toddlers or older children.

The lack of public transport access to both zoos might be a consideration for some, however, there’s ample and free parking at each location.

Both venues encourage bringing your own food and drinks but also offer food stalls.

Regarding ticket prices, Indian Creek Zoo offers a slightly more economical family outing at $60 for a family of four compared to John Ball Zoo’s $70.

For the budget-conscious or large groups, it’s a point to note.

Although there’s no opportunity to hold animals at either location, the diverse animal range is sure to provide a thrilling experience.

So, whether you prefer a zoo visit leaning towards conservation aspects or a closer encounter with nature, both John Ball Zoo and Indian Creek Zoo offer unforgettable experiences in their own unique way.

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