More than 2,000 animals populate John Ball Zoo, crawling, swimming, and flying from five different continents and more than 250 different species. The zoo has some other impressive stats: in 2013 alone, for instance, more than 500,000 visitors flocked to John Ball Zoo to marvel at its collection of creatures. Animal-lovers can spot critters big and small, from lions and bears to lizards and lemurs. In the North America section, they come nose-to-nose with grizzlies, and on the Far Side of the World Trail, they get close enough to smell the wallabies' cologne.
At some exhibits, the view is even closer. Visitors can pet stingrays and sharks, ride atop the humps of a camel, and stop by the petting zoo at Red's Hobby Farm. For an adrenaline fix, zoo adventures include the zip line, offering bird's-eye views of the farm from a four-story, 300-foot line.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable visitors to fortify their physical well-being with a cornucopia of advanced fitness equipment and certified personal trainers. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man or one of his many secretaries tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength-training gear or top-of-the-line cardio machines, which feature televisions and other media diversions. A friendly, unintimidating atmosphere provides a refreshing change of pace from aloof gym employees and ear-splitting pump-up jams. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling.
Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill celebrates the home-cooked meals and rollicking roots music of the '50's and '60's with a hearty spread of American pub fare, ice-cold beers, and a schedule full of critically acclaimed musical acts. Visitors groove to the folk-rolk sounds and top-notch musicianship of performers?previous acts including Woody Pines, Pete Anderson, and Dave Alvin?as they sip cocktails and craft beers.
At Little Mexico Cafe, corn and flour tortillas enfold steak, chicken, and vegetables to create traditional Mexican fajitas, enchiladas, and chimichangas. Homemade sauces slather cheese-laden creations spiced up with jalapeños and racy limericks, and chefs also charter a course toward sautéed, grilled, or stuffed jumbo shrimp. The two-story restaurant showcases bright Aztec-themed murals by artist Roli Mancera, and banners of papel picado flutter overhead in the sunny, yellow upstairs dining room. After a devastating fire in 2008 that burned the original Little Mexico Cafe to the ground, resilient restaurateurs Enrique and Consuelo Ayala rebuilt the eatery for a 2010 reopening, where the community revelry was covered by The Grand Rapids Press.
Strength equipment, cardio machines, and a fully loaded aerobic room occupy most of Westside Fitness's 20,000 square feet of space. That's where fitness classes such as outdoor bootcamp, CardioCombo, Pilates, and HIIT Kick work exercisers into a sweat. While members power through classes, children keep busy under the watchful eyes of the staff at Kids Stay-N-Play. And after a workout or personal training session, clients can treat themselves to a massage or tan.
Hanging on the exterior, a huge retro neon sign in the likeness of a bowling pin announces the three central tenets of Clique Lanes: beer, liquor, and bowling. Inside, 160 regular-sized pins—poised at the ends of 16 lanes sprawled across two levels—await the punishing crash of bowling balls and the ensuing high-fives. Between frames, bowlers can stop by the snack bar for burgers and wraps and take advantage of frequent drink specials. On Fridays, the lanes take a turn for the cosmic with Glo Bowling.