John Ball Zoo opens this weekend

Posted at 5:20 PM, Mar 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-10 17:20:05-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The John Ball Zoo will open this Saturday at 10 a.m. The opening date is nearly two weeks later than the last two years, and zoo officials say they are doing it because the weather is often cold and sometimes snowy on their traditional opening day of March 1.

"There have been previous years where the picture around us on even this day leading into March 12 would have been much different," said Andy McIntyre, Chief Administrative Officer at the Zoo. "And in past years we actually did have to bring in front loaders to take the snow out of the zoo to places where we had to have it piled up because we had so much."

This year, the forecast is calling for temperatures around 60 degrees on opening day.

Zoo officials hope the warmer weather and some new features will be good for both visitors and animals alike.

"One is the waterfall trail, which will bring visitors down from the forest trail to the kids zoo area, and that will be through an ADA accessible pathway that meanders through the forest and then goes along a boardwalk," said McIntyre.

Admission is $7 for adults, $6.50 for senior citizens, and $6 for children ages 6 thru 12. Children under the age of two are free.