John Ball Zoo Wizarding Weekend

All aboard the magical express for Hogwarts!  

Ok, John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Mi, but it was as close as we could get to the real thing. Despite our busy schedules with school starting back up, we spent this past Sunday at the Wizarding Weekend special event. The zoo is transformed into Harry’s magical world, complete with portkeys, fantastic beasts, and photo ops straight from the story into real life. 


The zoo staff spent so much time and detail in making sure every aspect was just right. It gave us just the break we needed to renew our imagination and brush up on our spells as we were whisked away to Nocturnal Alley and the Forbidden Forest. I even got to take a photo with the Griffindore trio themselves (British accent and all). 


Admission is the same as standard zoo admission ( $15 for adults, $11 for children) during the event and includes many fun extras. My favorite was the scavenger hunt in the reptile house. Everything from mandrakes, to a basilic tooth, to Colon’s camera, we’re hidden in there amidst the animals in their habitats. 


Hands down, the spookiest part was walking up to Aragog and her army Of spiders. Real or fake, I am not a fan. It did add to the incredible theming, though. 


With that, I’m happy to say spooky season has begun!