The 7 best beaches for kids in Oahu, Hawaii

Home to over 125 different beaches, Oahu is the perfect family holiday destination for all things sun, sand, and surf. Here are the top beaches for kids.

Aerial view of Hanauma Bay in Oahu, Hawaii.
  • Isobel Benesch
  • January 2020

Known for its white sand beaches, warm turquoise waters, and stunning natural beauty, Oahu is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. From sheltered beaches to calm bays, we have rounded up the most kid-friendly beaches on Oahu.

Hanauma Bay

Even the tiniest of tots will enjoy snorkelling here without needing to swim in this well-known bay that has miles of shallow reef and almost always clear and mellow water. It’s easy to rent all of the snorkel equipment you and your little ones will need, and with an abundance of colourful, native fish, it’s one of the best places for all ages to get acquainted with sea life in their natural habitat.

Secret Island Beach

A part of Kualoa Ranch, the Secret Island beach is the ideal place for families to relax and enjoy a variety of water activities in this sheltered bay. With a multitude of family-friendly beach equipment available for use at your leisure such as kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, snorkel gear, hammocks, and table tennis, to name a few the Secret Beach truly has it all whether you’re looking for a day of relaxation or a day of adventure.

View of Kahala Beach in Oahu fringed with palm trees.
Kahala Beach's calm waters is ideal for young ones.

Kahala Beach

Kahala beach is a stunning stretch of sand where calm waters lap the shoreline and panoramic views of the Diamond Head crater and surrounding mountains abound. A short 10-minutes from Waikiki, come here to avoid the crowds and enjoy a peaceful and quiet afternoon soaking in the Hawaiian sun. This tropical paradise is protected by an outer reef, which means the waters are calm and ideal for little ones year-round.

Kaiona Beach

Kaiona Beach is located just down the way from the popular tourist spot, Lanikai Beach. It has the same beautiful soft white sand, crystal clear waters that are ideal for snorkelling and picturesque views as Lanikai Beach, but without the crowds. There’s also a wall that keeps out any hard-hitting waves, making Kaiona Beach the ideal place for children.

View of a lagoon at Ko Olina in Oahu.
The man-made lagoons are great for even the most timid swimmers.

Ko Olina Lagoons

Ko Olina, meaning “place of joy”, is a sprawling resort community complete with four man-made lagoons that are perfect for little ones to play in the surf without any chance of being bowled over. Protected from the ocean, families flock to this safe haven of a beach with little to no shore break, making even the most timid of little swimmers feel comfortable approaching the water. With year-round calm waters, pristine white sand beaches, and a location that experiences the least amount of rain on the island, these lagoons make playing in the water easy for little ones.

Kahana State Park

When you need a break from the more touristy spots, head up the scenic route along Likelike Highway to the windward side of Oahu where you will be treated to unspoiled natural coastal beauty. With wild chickens running free, coconuts littering the ground, and gentle waves lapping against the shore, it’s the perfect place for families to get away from it all.

View of Bellows Beach with people playing in the surf.
Bellows Beach features an on-duty lifeguard.

Bellows Beach

Located on an active marine base, but open to the public on the weekends, this kid-friendly spot features an on-duty lifeguard, excellent facilities and a shaded picnic area to enjoy a sand-free lunch. A seemingly endless stretch of white sand that meets a blue-green aquamarine warm water, you will be taken aback by its natural beauty. Famous for its incredibly soft sand, and protected by reef on one end, it’s the perfect beach for kids to swim and play in the friendly surf.

Looking for more family fun? Check out this insider's guide to the best kid-friendly activities in Hawaii.