Hawaii is one of our favourite places to vacation as a family with young children. We even have a post dedicated to why! Check it Why you should visit Oahu on your next family vacation! Here are 10 things we love to do in Oahu for Preschoolers or Toddlers (and really for kids of all ages!)
1. Visit the Honolulu Zoo
With their affordable entrance rates and stroller friendly paths, the Honolulu Zoo is a great way to spend the day with your kids. It is the perfect size to wander around for a few hours and you are able to see everything! Large trees afford lots of shaded areas around a grassy area and a playground for your little ones to play and enjoy a picnic without the sun beating down on them. I highly suggest asking about the Family Pass.Â For $45 you get admission for two adults and up to 4 children for a whole week. Depending on your childâ€™s ages, this is a better deal than buying individual passes. And if your kids are like mine, they will be asking to go back the next morning and see the animals again! If you are a foodie, make sure you try the Kapahulu Burger while you are at the Zoo. It tastes amazing and I donâ€™t think I have had anything quite like it!
2. Play at Waikiki Beach
Early mornings at Waikiki beach are one of our favorite times. Build sandcastles as the sun comes up (make sure you grab a coffee for yourself!) and watch Waikiki come alive! We always share our crackers with the birds in Kapiolani Park and let the kids run around on the sand. It is a great way to spend the morning, or a whole day! Here are some things to pack for your day at the beach!
3. Visit the Waikiki Aquarium
The Waikiki Aquarium is an Aquarium rich in history, and small enough for your toddler to wander around. Our kids loved running from tank to tank to see what they could find and it is a great way to get out of the sun for a little while. It is stroller friendly but small enough for toddlers and preschoolers to run around without needing one
4. Watch the Street Performers on Kalakawa Ave
After dinner, put the kids in the stroller and walk along Kalakawa Ave as the sidewalks come to life with street performers. I suggest the stroller because the streets can get packed in the evenings and it can get tough for little ones to navigate!
5. Watch a Parade
Waikiki has dozens of parades every year. Check onlineÂ before you leave, or look for the no street parking signs. Those are usually a good indication of a parade date on Kalakaua! Stake out a spot early; bring a chair and a blanket!
6. Explore an Empty Beach
The beach is public property, however you sometimes need to find a way to â€œaccess itâ€ but once you do, (via the many beachside parks around the island,) spend some time exploring the beautiful shores. You will often find beaches with no one on them at all!
7. Attend a Luau or watch Polynesian Dance
It is possible to catch a free Hula performance while in Hawaii. If you are at Ala Moana Centre, they have performances daily. I highly suggest checking out the Polynesian Cultural Centre for the full experience! If you are planning on doing a lot on Oahu, I suggest you try to GO OAHU Card, it offers admission to 30 attractions including the Polynesian Cultural Centre and MUCH more. You can check it out here.
8. See the Fireworks
This one can be hit and miss depending on your own child. But if your child is a night-owl and not afraid of loud noises, consider watching the Friday night fireworks around 8pm at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel.
9. Grab some uniquely Hawaiian Food
Hawaiian cuisine is a fusion of Asian, North American, Portuguese Â and Native Hawaiian foods. Just go into any local grocery store and you will find many different foods. Grab some ready-made Poi (Taro) for the kids to try. Its taste is bland, consider adding milk and sugar and serve it like oatmeal. Click here for some Hawaiian Foods we think you should try!
10. Visit Dole Plantation
Easily accessible by car or by taking TheBus (and we all know that kids love a bus ride! BONUS that kids ride free and Adults are only $2.50) spend a few hours at the Dole Plantation. Take the 20 minute train ride and learn about the pineapple industry in Hawaii and take your children for a run in the â€œWorldâ€™s Largestâ€ Maze (stroller friendly for off road type strollers like the BOB) Donâ€™t leave before you grab a DoleWhip ice cream! They also have great food if you go for lunch; we enjoyed the Kalua Pig Quesadillas and the kidâ€™s chicken nuggets! You can also use the Oahu Go Card for the Maze at the Dole Plantation!
Things to Pack for Hawaii with Kids
Here are two of our favourite essentials we packed when we travelled to Oahu with a Toddler and a Preschooler.
There are more ideas from our post on what to pack for the beach with toddlers and preschoolers here.
Want more ideas? Check out some ideas from Barbara at Jet-Settera here!
Have you ever traveled to Hawaii?Â What was yourÂ favourite thing to do? If youÂ haven’t been yet, what are you most looking forward to seeing! Let me know in the comments!If you found this page helpful, i would love it if you would pin, share or tweet it on whatever social media platforms you use! Every little bit will help us fund our travels and continue to bring great content to our site!
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Lindsay is the founder and editor of Carpe Diem OUR Way. She left her career in Canada to share her love of travel with her two young boys. She is passionate about sharing adventure travel activities for families and to encourage others to explore the world. She resides in the suburbs of Vancouver when not jet setting abroad.