Top 15 Activities for Kids on Oahu

By Brandi-Ann Uyemura

Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Oahu has a plethora of activities for kids if you know where to look. Beaches are an obvious option, but there are also other fun things to do for children of all ages.

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1) Children’s Discovery Center

An interactive center with educational activities and exhibits for kids, it’s a perfect indoor option for a rainy day.

2) Honolulu Zoo

This 42-acre zoo centered in Waikiki showcases native plants and animals that will be a big hit with the whole family.

Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

3) Waikiki Aquarium

It’s air-conditioned, near the zoo and gives kids a chance to interact and experience Hawaiian marine life.

Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

4) Beaches

Oahu has some of the best beaches for kids. The Lagoons at Ko Olina, Lanikai and Hilton Hawaiian Village lagoon are just a few beaches with calm ocean conditions that make it safe for families.

Exploring Ko Olina.  Photo courtesy of Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) / Linda Ching.

Exploring Ko Olina. Photo courtesy of Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) / Linda Ching.

5) Parks

Botanical gardens are perfect places for kids to frolic and explore. Ho`omaluhia Botanical Garden has guided nature hikes, and fishing on the weekend.

Feeding the ducks and fish at Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden.  Photo courtesy of Shelly Lyons.

Feeding the ducks and fish at Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden. Photo courtesy of Shelly Lyons.

6) Dolphin Quest

When you’re on Oahu, swimming with the dolphins is a must. The Kahala Hotel & Resort gives families that once-in-a-lifetime experience. Its educational programs of varying durations allow kids to interact with dolphins in a 26,000 square foot lagoon.

Photo courtesy of Dolphin Quest.

Photo courtesy of Dolphin Quest.

7) Pacific Aviation Museum

If you’re looking for an educational activity that’s unique to Hawaii, this museum delivers with flight simulators, aircrafts, and historical footage depicting the infamous December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

Photo: Courtesy Pacific Aviation Museum

8) Sea Life Park

Interact with marine animals, watch a dolphin show, take in the exhibits and do it all in a beautiful Hawaiian setting.

Sea Lion at Sea Life Park.  Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Robert Coello.

Sea Lion at Sea Life Park. Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Robert Coello.

9) Kualoa Ranch

There are multiple things to do here from horseback riding to going on a movie site tour.

View of Kualoa Valley.  Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Daeja Faris.

View of Kualoa Valley. Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Daeja Faris.

10) Hawaiian Railway Society train rides

Ride aboard a 90-minute narrated train ride on a historic railroad in Ewa.

Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Railway Society.

11) Luau

A luau is full of family fun and is a must-do for those who desire the complete Hawaiian experience.

Photo courtesy of Amir Zakeri.

Photo courtesy of Amir Zakeri.

12) Hanauma Bay State Park

Snorkel with tropical fishes, sea turtles and other marine life in their natural habitat.

Aerial view of Hanauma Bay.  Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Heather Titus.

Aerial view of Hanauma Bay. Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Heather Titus.

13) Shave ice

There’s nothing better than an icy snow cone or shave ice as the locals call it. Make a trip of it by trying various renditions from Island Snow in Kailua to Matsumoto Shave Ice in North Shore.

Photo courtesy of Matsumoto Shave Ice.

Photo courtesy of Matsumoto Shave Ice.

14) Bishop Museum

The Bishop Museum offers a slice of Hawaiian history and culture with rotating exhibits especially for kids.

Bishop Museum.  Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson.

Bishop Museum. Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson.

15) Byodo-In Temple

This memorial park in Kaneohe features a replica of an ancient Japanese temple, peacocks, and koi fishponds.

Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Chuck Painter.

Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Chuck Painter.

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