Have an island getaway with Oahu for kids in mind. Trust me…you’ll have fun too! With so many things to do in Oahu, we’ve created a short list of Oahu attractions that are better suited for the keikis…that’s Hawaiian for kids.
Oahu is pretty much a playground for all, but some of the island engaging activities, beaches, hikes, and museums are better suited for kids than others. Visit beaches with calmer waters, museums that have devoted kid zones, activates that engage kids well, and great waterfall that’s fairly easy to get to.
I don’t have to sell you on Oahu Beaches being the kids # 1 choice activity, but some beaches are much friendlier to the little ones than others, including Waikiki’s Kuhio Beach with its protective sea walls, or San Souci Beach that has calmer waters from the protective reef.
Ala Moana Beach is pretty calm and has a neat half-moon beach section called Magic Island.
Ko’olina Lagoons features 4 beautiful man-made half-moon beaches that usually provide calm swimming conditions.
Speaking of playgrounds, the north shore has plenty to offer. Pay a visit to Waimea Valley that is filled with ongoing Hawaiian culture activities, and a stunning waterfall that you can take a small hike to.
A rite of passage for some of the older kids is climbing a famous rock that sits in Waimea Bay and taking a 30 ft plunge back into the water.
Finally, no trip out to the north shore isn’t complete without a stop in old town Haleiwa, and ordering a tall colorful Hawaiian shave ice for yourself and the whole family.
Some folks wonder if Pearl Harbor is appropriate or a little too much for children. I see many families attending with kids having lots of fun! The ferry ride out to the Arizona Memorial, and viewing the sunken battleship from the viewing platform is captivating!
And visiting side attractions including walking aboard & viewing the Battleship Missouri big guns, or wondering below deck on the Bowfin Submarine and touching hundreds of pressure valves, and exploring the hangers of the Pacific Aviation Museum, are playgrounds in the eyes of the kids…and for the whole family on that note!
Still considered part of the north shore, but located on the far eastern side, is a grand entertainment thyme park that is an all-day adventure.
The Polynesian Cultural Center has 7 areas on the premises representing the different Polynesian cultures. They are filled with engaging activities, education stations, and some of the best entertaining shows.
Add a canoe ride that travels through the resort and one of the best Hawaiian Luau’s on the island, the kids will be begging to come back!
A pure activity zone for kids! The Children’s Discovery Center, located next to Kaka’ako Park and just a few miles away from Waikiki, is a kid haven for fun!
This is really a special place that allows kids to interact, create, and play with Hawaii themed stations. Let the kids explore and learn how to pick pineapples, fly a Hawaiian airplane, product a Hawaii news cast, and so much more!
If you need a break from the sun or rainy days, this is a good easy choice!
I don’t care what age you are, we all become kids when entering the Waikiki Aquarium! It’s definitely not the largest aquarium, but it is the oldest aquarium around, and filled with lots of exciting exhibits to explore.
If the kids pull you outside, it’s for good reason, as there is a monk seal tank that’s exciting to see, and an open living reef tank that allows you to interact and touch some of the sea life.
Kids love this museum…! The Bishop Museum not only holds the largest collection of Hawaii’s history artifacts, but has a whole center that is devoted to children.
It’s called the Mamiya Science Adventure Center, and it features a gigantic volcano that happens to erupt every 15 minutes! I personally like the full size tiki’s and Hawaiian Hale (grass hut) that’s set up in the main hall.
Did you know there’s a zoo at the end of Waikiki…towards Diamond Head? The Honolulu Zoo is a great inexpensive activity when you need a break, but the kids still want to run around and explore.
Take a stroll through the 42 acre grounds and explore different exhibits that surround the walking paths. Do not miss the Keiki Zoo section that was specially designed for the kids.
There’s even a playground on the premises if the little ones still have lots of energy to expend.
Don’t let the fun end here…! Discover your own Oahu for kids adventures. It could be family hike to an isolated bird sanctuary out at Kaena Pt, or beach combing along Diamond Head Beach, or Ziplining in the tropical forest out at Kualoa Ranch. The choices are endless!