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Best Hawaii Family Activities

Hawaii family activities - img. courtesy of Halekulani.com

There’s nothing like a family vacation in Hawaii, with all the sun, beautiful beaches, and lush tropical vistas, you won’t find a better kid friendly destination. We’ve put together the best of the best Hawaii family activities, and insider tips for the perfect Hawaiian vacation for you, so look no further! Also, see our pics for the Best Family Resorts in Hawaii: The Short List

If the kids actually get bored, or tired of playing in the sand and surf, or hotel pool, you’ll want to have some tricks up your sleeve, so check out our picks for the best Hawaii family activities that are a ton of fun for the whole family.


The Honolulu Zoo

This is a great family zoo (even the Obama’s spent part of their vacation there!), fun for the whole bunch. Here are a few other programs they offer:

Vacation Adventures (CheckZoo Calendar) – Children age 6-11 spend an exciting week or day exploring the wilds of Honolulu Zoo.  Click here for details.

PreVacation Adventures – Zoo Calendar) – For children ages 4 and 5 who have not yet completed Kindergarten.  Children will explore the zoo using all their senses.   See calendar for details.

Critters and Crafts This is an exciting class designed for toddlers and their parents.  See calendar for details.

Insider tips: The Zoo parking lot entrance is on Kapahulu Ave and charges twenty-five cents per hour. The Shell parking lot across  the street on Monsarrat Ave has free parking.


Waikiki Aquarium

Located next to a living coral reef, the award winning Waikiki Aquarium brings guests face-to-fin with colorful tropical fish, reef sharks, living corals, endangered Hawaiian monk seals, sea jellies, squid, octopus and more! Over 3,500 marine animals in the exhibits represent more than 500 species of aquatic animals and plants. Every year, 320,000 people including 25,000 school age children visit the Waikiki Aquarium.

Review of the aquarium;

“Fun Little Aquarium”

We had a couple hours to kill, so we stopped by the Waikiki Aquarium.  It’s not extremely big, but there are some really neat creatures there, including the Leafy Sea Dragon, various types of sharks, and sea horses.  There are lots of different tropical fish that are native to Hawaii, too.  You probably didn’t find all of them if you went snorkeling, so it’s fun to go see them up close!

located at; 2777 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu,  ph#  808 923–9741

Sea Life Park and Pacific Whaling Museum

Swim with the dolphins! Watch the dolphin, or seal lion show, the penguin habitat, seabird sanctuary, sea turtle feeding,  or check out the Hawaiian Ocean Theater, and the Hawaiian reef tank. If that doesn’t work for you play in the Adventure Kids Play Zone!  You’ll see ocean life like you never seen before.

Insider tips; A shuttle bus transports tourists without wheels to and from Waikiki for $5.00 round-trip.

located at; 41-202 Kalanianaole Highway #7, Waimanalo, Hawaii  ph# (808) 259–7933

Hanauma Bay

Insider tips: Viewing a 12 minute film is required prior to being granted beach access in the nature preserve. To avoid long waits come early in the morning (the gates open at 6 a.m.).

located at: 7455 Kalanianaole Highway, Honolulu, Ph# | (808) 396-4229

Dole Pineapple Plantation

An Oahu family activity you can’t miss! Dole Plantation provides enjoyable activities for the entire family, including the Pineapple Express, the Plantation Garden Tour, and the Pineapple Garden Maze.

5 Star Review and Insider Tips:

“Treasure Hunting Family Fun “

Who would have thought that the world’s largest maze – and one of only a few permanent botanical mazes in the U.S. – would be found on a pineapple plantation in Hawaii?
The maze stretches over three acres and includes nearly 2 ½ miles of paths crafted from some 14,000 local Hawaiian plants. Within the maze are eight secret stations. Your goal is to find each one, obtain the requisite stencils and complete the hunt.
As you seek out your treasure, you walk through and are surrounded by the flora of the islands. There are colorful Hawaiian flowers, local birds aplenty and butterflies galore waiting to be discovered throughout the maze’s twists and turns.
Beware: This is no simple treasure hunt. If you venture into the maze with young kids, use the map to find the stations. It’s tough to know why they call doing so “cheating” because the map is tiny and difficult to read even for adults.
Bring water and a change of clothes. Water because you and the little ones will most certainly work up a thirst, and a change of clothes because treasure hunting can be dirty business.
And treat yourself to a snack after your treasure hunt. Fresh pineapple or the world-famous Dole Whip are available on site and are the perfect reward for a job well done. (Of course, snacks during the hunt are suggested, too!). Admission to the maze is $6 for adults, $4 for kids ages 4 through 12.

Located at: 64–1550 Kamehameha Highway, Wahiawa, Hawaii 96712 | (808) 621–8408


There are many more fabulous family activities in Hawaii, but these our just our favorites. If you’ve been there and have other suggestions, by all means, leave us a comment, we’d love to hear about it!

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If you’ve been on a family vacation to Hawaii– leave us a comment about your adventures, we’d love to hear about them,  or Join our community to get advice for a destination not covered, or to just connect with other parents who love to get out and about with their kids!  Our community is free to join.  Here, you can ask for advice or help someone out, read a blog or start your own, join or start a group, view and share photos and videos, and so much more.  Think of it as your own personal network.  Invite your friends, join today!

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