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Oahu for Kids

Have an island getaway with Oahu for kids in mind.  Trust me…you’ll have fun too!  With so many fun activities for kids on Oahu, we’ve created a short list of Oahu attractions that are better suited for the keikis…that’s Hawaiian for kids.

oahu 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.

Oahu for Kids Activites

Best Oahu for Kids Beaches

Oahu Beaches For Kids

I don’t have to sell you on Oahu Beaches being the #1 choice of activities for kids on Oahu, 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.

The Windward side is my favorite and has beaches and crystal blue water like no other, including Kailua Beach and beautiful Lanikai Beach.

Oahu Beaches for Kids

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Plan your trip ahead and purchase a GO Oahu Card that gives discounts (up to 55%) to multiple attractions & things to do in Oahu, museums and tours around the island. Activities include popular attractions such as Pearl Harbor, Oahu hikes & waterfalls, Polynesian Cultural Center, Dole Plantation, and great luaus!

Oahu Go Card

Explore the North Shore

North Shore Shave Ice

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.

Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor

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!

Polynesian Cultural Center

Polynesian Cultural Center

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 is filled with activities for kids.  They have 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!

Polynesian Cultural Center


Book your ticket now before they sell out...especially popular selections. There are a few different packages available including different options such as transportation, luau dinner, and a popular night show called Ha "Breath of life".  Bus Pick up from Waikiki starts at 10 am, and later pick ups for evening luau packages & show only.  Book your tickets

There is so much to see and discover at the Polynesian Cultural Center that you will need at least a couple of days to explore it all!  And you will be happy to know that your entrance ticket is now good for 3 days beyond your first visit, if you wish to return and experience additional shows and village areas.

Honolulu Attractions and Museums

Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center

Hawaii Childrens Discovery Center

A mecca of activity for kids on Oahu playground!  The Hawaii's 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!

Location - 111 Ohe St, Honolulu - (808) 524-5437

Learn more at the Hawaii Children's Discover Center

Waikiki Aquarium

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.

Bishop Museum

Bishop Museum

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.

Honolulu Zoo

Honolulu Zoo

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.

Discover more Oahu for Kids!

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!

Aloha & Enjoy!

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