Hawaii Travel Guide
Let’s face it, traveling with kids infants to 6 years old can be very difficult. It means dealing with a lot of tantrums and naps. On the other hand, it also means having a lot of fun and bonding with your family. It’s a good thing the island of Oahu in Hawaii is packed with attractions and activities to allow families have fun and quality time together. Here’s my top 18 list of spots you can visit together as a family when visiting Oahu.
- Atlantis Submarine (1600 Kapiolani Park Suite # 1630, Honolulu + 1808 548 6242, www.atlantisadventures.com)
Climb aboard this real submarine and see what’s up down there at the bottom of the ocean. On your underwater adventure, you will be rewarded with sights of airplane wrecks, ship wrecks, fishes, corals, and other marine creatures.
- Hawaiian Natures Adventure Park ( 400 Farrington Highway, Kapolei, HI + 1 808 9453928 and +1 808 674 9238, www.hawaiianwaters.com)
The 25-acre Hawaiian Natures Adventure Park has a place for everyone, even for infants. There are a pools with varying depths, slides and water-spraying cannons. Water is always warm, and there are pools with a depth range starting from a few inches to no more than 2 feet.
- Pineapple Maze at Dole Plantation ( 64-1550 Kamehameha Highway, Wahiawa HI + 1 808 621 8408, www.doleplantation.com )
Explore the world’s largest maze located at the Dole Plantation! Plus, there’s pineapple treats for everyone – chocolate-glazed pineapple, pineapple salsa, pineapple-flavored frosty, pineapple chili dog and more!
- Oceanarium Restaurant (2490 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu HI +1 808 922 1233, www.pacificbeachhotel.com)
Give your kids one-of-a-kind dining experience at Oceanarium Restaurant. There are tableside views of a giant 3-story indoor “oceanarium,” – you and your kids will have a blast dining while having a fantastic view of manta rays and tropical fishes.
- Honolulu Zoo (151 Kapahulu St., Honolulu HI +1 808 971 7171, www.honoluluzoo.org)
Call this your African savannah in Hawaii- Honolulu Zoo has a 10-acre safari setting, a petting park, a zoo train, a walk-through bird sanctuary and Koi pond. The zoo offers several fun tours including the Zoo by Twilight Tour (where kids can discover the habits of nocturnal animals) and Snooze in the Zoo (features which animals snore and which animals roar when sleeping; pizzas and campfires are also provided).
- Bishop Museum (1525 Bernice St., Honolulu HI + 1808 848 4158 www.bishopmuseum.org)
This small museum features millions of plant and animal specimens, a 50-foot whale exhibit and a 16,500-square foot interactive science adventure center that includes a planetarium, a walk-through volcano, and a walk-through tunnel into the ocean. Activities include lei making and thumping an ancient drum.
- USS Arizona Memorial and Aloha Flea Market (99-500 Salt Lake Boulevard, Honolulu HI +1 808 732 9611 www.alohastadiumswap.net)
Board the USS Arizona Memorial and let your kids learn about the history of Pearl Harbor. Then go to the Aloha Flea Market for a one-of-a-kind cultural experience. Aloha Flea Market features 700 vendors from different parts of the world. At the flea market, you’ll find a wonderful of variety of craftworks, handcrafts and foods.
- Sea Life Park (41-202 Kalanianaole Highway #7, Waimanalo HI +1 808 259 7933 www.sealifeparkhawaii.com)
Sea Life Park is the only place in the world where you can see a wholphin— a freak hybrid of a killer whale and a dolphin! The ocean-themed park has large Hawaiian reef tank, an open air aquatic theater featuring trained dolphins and penguins, interactive play areas, a giant pirate ship maze. You’ll have plenty of fun getting cozy with marine animals- hugging sea lions and swimming with dolphins.
- Polynesian Cultural Center (55 370 Kamehameha Highway, Laie HI + 1 808 293 3333 www.polynesia.com)
Give your kids fun while learning about ancient Polynesian culture. The Polynesian Cultural Center offers activities such as face painting, Hawaiian bowling, beating ancient drums, ukulele lessons, spear throwing, fishing and playing games of ancient Polynesians.
- USS Bowfin Submarine Park (11 Arizona Memorial Drive, Honolulu HI +1 808 423 1341 www.bowfin.org)
USS Bowfin Submarine Park offers a submarine-themed interactive museum. The kids are given activity books to complete as they go through their historical journey. If you have a kid 5 years of age or older, you can bring your child to ride the park’s featured real submarine.
- Hanauma Bay (7455 Kalanianaoel Highway, Honolulu HI +1 808 396 4229 www.honolulu.gov)
Teach your kids to snorkel or swim. Experience what it’s like to have a close encounter with different tropical fishes in Hawaii’s best beach. The water is shallow and clear, and there’s plenty of room for kids to go about.
- Waikiki Aquarium (2777 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu HI + 1808 923 9741 www.waikikiaquarium.org)
Discover underwater world in the Waikiki Aquarium. The aquarium features a wonderful array of sharks, sea dragons, octopus, turtles, rays, monk seals, mushroom-shaped jellies, and fishes (including a real-life Nemo) and live corals. Lightweight strollers for babies are available.
- Children’s Discovery Museum (111 Ohe St., Honolulu, HI + 1 808 524 5437 www.discoverycenterhawaii.org)
Children’s Discovery Museum provides interactive environment for kids to enhance their sense of touch, sight, and hearing. There’s a play area for toddlers, a giant bubble blower and a “kids’ town.” Kids get a global tour donning global dress costumes.
- Honolulu Academy of Arts (900 S. Beretania St., Honolulu HI +1 808 532 8700 www.honoluluacademy.org)
Drop by the front desk to get a Keikei (child) kit or Gallery Hunt Activity kit when you visit the Honolulu Academy of Arts. The Keikei kit includes books and puzzles. The Gallery Hunt kit gives a keikei-parent adventure-themed learning experience; the activity focuses on art.
- KiTnKitchen (1010 University Avenue #B Honolulu, HI +1 808 942 7622 www.kitnkitchen.com)
At Kit NKitchen, kids can make their own pizza for free- provided accompanying adult makes a purchase. The restaurant also provides crayons and puzzle games to keep your kids entertained while your waiting for your order
- Kapiolani Park (3840 Paki Ave., Honolulu HI +1 808 971 2504 www.kapiolanipark.org)
Kapiolani Park is one of the best places to stroll or fly kites as trade winds here are always constant. Or you and your family just sit on the grass and relax while watching dragon kites flown by pros.
- Hawaii Maritime Center (Pier 7, Honolulu HI +1 808 523 6151 www.bishopmuseum.org)
At the Hawaii Maritime Center, you will find the the Kalakaua Boat House. Your kids will surely be excited by the exhibits that include Matson cruise ships, flying ships and the skeleton of a humpback whale.
- Matsumoto Shaved Ice (66-087 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa HI +1808 637 4827 www.matsumoshavedice.com )
What kid doesn’t like shaved ice? And kid or not, no trip to Hawaii is complete without giving yourself a taste of authentic shaved ice. There’s a wide choice of tropical flavors for everyone at Matsumoto Shaved Ice.
The island of Oahu is packed with historical landmarks. It offers firsthand experience of Hawaiian culture and natural beauty through its attractions and activities. Challenging it may be to bring kids with you, nothing is more essential than having quality bonding time with your family. The rewards of traveling with your family will far outweigh the little troubles such as changing diapers and dealing with kids’ tantrums. Just a reminder, wherever you go, don’t forget to bring a stroller, sunscreen and fanny pack for your kids!