Try these family-friendly activities in Hawaii
There's more to Oahu than Waikiki beach. We get the local knowledge on 6 amazing ways to keep your kids happy on a Hawaiian holiday.
- August 2019
Sitting by the pool and beach isn’t going to be enough for keeping the kids entertained – even in Hawaii. Oahu-based mum of five and owner of Faith Surf School, Tammy Moniz, shares her local insight on things to do that will spark memories of a holiday your family can treasure forever.
Go it alone
The white-sand beaches on the north shore are usually empty from May to September, and great for exploring on a daytrip (from December to February, waves are typically big and full of experienced surfers, so not ideal for little ones). Superior water quality makes this one of the planet’s most beautiful places. Before heading north, grab poke, drinks and snacks at Ono Seafood in Kapahulu. Finish off the day with a refreshing treat from Waiola Shave Ice.
Fun with food
Nowhere else is the story of Waikiki – the beach boy legacy, fun, sun and waves – as apparent as at Duke’s Waikiki. The salad bar is the best on the island and their hula pie is to die for. If the kids can’t wait, head upstairs to sister restaurant Hula Grill. This restaurant is a top choice for family fun.
Waikiki’s beaches are a great destination for the whole clan. Younger kids can soak in the warm waters. Newbie surfers will find small and long waves to practice riding. Bigger kids will find spots to jump into the sea and larger breaks to boogie board or surf further out. Plus, there are plenty of tropical fish for snorkellers to check out. Hoping to spot dolphins? Hop aboard the Kepoikai II catamaran. Captains Jay and Biggy have been taking people onto the sea since 1977 and offer day and sunset sails.
Discover Hawaiian history
Honolulu’s Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum has been a family favourite for years. The Hawaiian Hall is a tribute to ancient Hawaiian history. Check out the feathered helmet and cape once worn by royalty and see pre-colonial artefacts, then head over to the Science Adventure Center for a lava-making show (yes, it's real lava). Be sure to time it right as there are only two showings a day.
Splash and slide
When waves have gone AWOL, Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawaii delivers a dose of youthful adventure. This massive fun-filled venue on the west side of the island is Hawaii’s only major water park. Kids from around the state come to ride the thrilling tunnel slides, surf the man-made swell, frolic in the wave pool, play mini-golf and splash around in the water playground. For more water fun, take the kids to Baby Makapuu Beach, across from the Sea Life Park Hawaii entrance, to search the little tide pools for sea creatures.