When it comes to family-friendly adventures, the Central area of Oahu is a great place. It offers a few activities and attractions that are sure to delight kids of all ages. This list of things to do in Central Oahu with kids of Oahu will help you plan your trip when visiting Oahu Island of Hawaii.
Things to do in Central Oahu with Kids
We broke our trip up as best as we could for exploring. Breaking down the things to do in different areas of the island made things easier. The island of Oahu is broken up into 5 major sections, Honolulu, the Windward Coast, Central Oʻahu, the Leeward Coast, and the North Shore. For this post, we are going to focus on the Things to do in Central Oʻahu with Kids.
I am going to be upfront with you on this area, there is not much to do. The majority of the central portion of Oahu is residential areas and pineapple plantations. You will pass thru this area when you are going to other parts of the island. There are a few stops in this area for things you will want to see
If you are planning a trip around the whole Island, be sure to check out our 7 Day Oahu Hawaii Itinerary.
Things to Do in Oahu Hawaii with Kids
- Aulani the Disney Resort and Spa Review
- Visiting the Byodo-In Temple
- Learn about Hawaiian culture at the Polynesian Cultural Center with Kids
- Hiking Diamond Head with Kids
What part of Oahu is the Central Oahu region?
The Central Oʻahu region is located in the central part of the island of Oʻahu in the state of Hawaii. It is generally considered to encompass the areas between the Waianae Range (west) and the Koʻolau Range (east). The central area stretches from the southern coast near Pearl Harbor to the northern coast near Haleʻiwa.
What Towns are in central Oahu?
Central Oahu is home to several towns and communities that contribute to the region’s unique character. Here are some of the towns in Central Oahu:
Wahiawa: Located in the central part of Oahu, Wahiawa is a town known for its cooler climate and military presence. It serves as a gateway to the North Shore and is home to Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Airfield.
Mililani: Mililani is a planned community situated in Central Oahu. It is one of the largest residential areas in the state, featuring a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums. Mililani offers a suburban atmosphere with parks, shopping centers, and a variety of amenities.
Waipio: Waipio is a residential area situated in the central valley of Oahu. It features a mix of residential neighborhoods, shopping centers, and recreational facilities. Waipio is known for its lush landscapes, golf courses, and the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park.
Whitmore Village: Whitmore Village is a small community located near Wahiawa. It has a rural setting and is known for its agricultural activities, including farms and nurseries.
Wheeler Army Airfield: Wheeler Army Airfield is a major U.S. Army installation situated in Central Oahu. While primarily a military base, it also has residential areas for military families. It offers amenities such as schools, shops, and recreational facilities.
Things to do with kids in Central Oahu
When you are planning your vacation to Ohau Hawaii there are many fun things to do with kids. While you won’t be finding sea turtles, snorkeling or surfing in this area there are things that you will want to check out.
Dole Plantation, located in Wahiawa, Central Oahu, is a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists. Known as the “Pineapple Capital of the World,” Dole Plantation offers a fun and educational experience for the whole family. The plantation features a range of activities. They include a train ride called the Pineapple Express, which takes visitors on a scenic journey through the pineapple fields. The world’s largest maze, where families can challenge themselves to find their way through the path.
You can indulge in refreshing pineapple treats like Dole Whip ice cream or browse through the gift shop for pineapple-themed souvenirs.
Dole Plantation is not only a place to learn about the history and cultivation of pineapples but also a delightful destination to create lasting family memories.
Hawaiʻi Plantation Village
Hawaiʻi Plantation Village is an open-air museum located in Waipahu, Central Oahu. Visiting provides a glimpse into the history and heritage of Hawaii’s sugar plantation era. The village preserves and showcases the unique multicultural legacy of the plantation era, which played a significant role in shaping the cultural fabric of Hawaii.
Visitors to Hawaiʻi Plantation Village can take a self-guided tour through the various restored plantation buildings and homes that represent the diverse ethnic groups that once worked on the sugar plantations. These structures include plantation houses, bunkhouses, a Buddhist temple, a Filipino community center, and more. The village offers an immersive experience, allowing visitors to step back in time and learn about the lives of the immigrant laborers who worked on the plantations.
Throughout the village, you’ll find informative displays, exhibits, and artifacts that shed light on the daily lives, customs, and traditions of the plantation workers. You can explore the different cultures represented, such as Japanese, Filipino, Chinese, Portuguese, Korean, and Puerto Rican, and gain a deeper understanding of the hardships and contributions made by these communities.
Go on a hiking adventure
Central Oʻahu has several family-friendly hiking trails which offer scenic views and opportunities to explore nature. When you are planning on going on a hike be sure to wear proper shoes, put on sunscreen, and bring water. Here are a few popular hiking spots in the area:
Aiea Loop Trail. Located in the Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area, the Aiea Loop Trail is a 4.8-mile loop that offers panoramic views of Central Oahu. The trail is relatively easy and is suitable for hikers of all skill levels.
Wahiawa Hills Trail. This moderate 5-mile trail is situated in the Kukaniloko Birthstones State Monument area. It takes you through lush forests and offers stunning views of the surrounding valleys and mountains.
Central Oahu Regional Park Loop Trail. The Central Oahu Regional Park features a paved loop trail that is perfect for a leisurely walk or jog. The trail spans approximately 3 miles and is suitable for all fitness levels.
Mililani Mauka Trail System. Mililani Mauka features a network of trails that wind through the hills and forests of Central Oahu. These trails vary in length and difficulty, providing options for both beginners and experienced hikers.
Take a scenic drive
Central Oahu offers several scenic drives that allow you to soak in the beautiful landscapes and explore the area. Here are a few scenic drives you can enjoy in Central Oahu:
Kamehameha Highway (Route 99). This highway stretches along the eastern coast of Central Oahu, providing stunning ocean views and opportunities to stop at beaches and coastal parks along the way. From Waikiki, follow the highway north through towns like Pearl City, Aiea, and eventually reach the lush landscapes of the North Shore.
Kaukonahua Road. This scenic road takes you through the picturesque countryside of Central Oahu. Starting near Wahiawa, the road winds through farmlands, open fields, and offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. It’s a great way to experience the rural charm of the region.
Schofield-Waikane Road. This road begins near Schofield Barracks and takes you through the scenic beauty of Central Oahu’s lush landscapes. As you drive along, you’ll pass through wooded areas, enjoy glimpses of the Ko’olau Mountains, and witness the natural beauty of the region.
Wheeler Army Airfield Loop Road. This loop road begins and ends at Wheeler Army Airfield and provides a scenic drive through the base. As you navigate the loop, you’ll pass through tree-lined streets, catch glimpses of the surrounding mountains, and experience the peaceful ambiance of the area.
Visiting Pearl Harbor is a powerful and moving experience that offers a glimpse into a pivotal moment in history. Located on the island of Oahu, Pearl Harbor is home to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, a solemn tribute to the events of December 7, 1941. Upon arrival, visitors can explore the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, where they can view informative exhibits, watch a documentary film, and gain a deeper understanding of the attack that propelled the United States into World War II.
The centerpiece of the memorial is the USS Arizona Memorial, which rests above the sunken battleship, honoring the lives lost during the attack. The memorial provides a poignant and contemplative space for reflection and remembrance. A visit to Pearl Harbor allows visitors to pay their respects, learn about the historical significance of the site, and gain a profound appreciation for the bravery and sacrifice of those involved.
Go Shopping at the Waikele Premium Outlets
Waikele Premium Outlets is a popular shopping destination located in Waipahu, Central Oahu, Hawaii. It is a large outdoor outlet mall that offers a wide range of brand-name stores, making it a favorite shopping spot for both locals and tourists.
The outlets feature over 50 designer and brand-name stores, offering a variety of merchandise including clothing, footwear, accessories, housewares, and more. Some of the well-known brands you can find at Waikele Premium Outlets include Coach, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Kate Spade New York, and Tommy Hilfiger, among others.
The layout of the shopping center is designed as an open-air village, allowing visitors to stroll from store to store amidst a pleasant Hawaiian setting. The outlets offer a relaxed and enjoyable shopping experience, with shaded walkways, palm trees, and tropical landscaping.
Get Malasadas at Leonard’s Malasada mobile Wagon
While there is the original location that is in the Kapahulu neighborhood of Honolulu, near the iconic Waikiki Beach area there are multiple Lenard’s Bakery mobile truck locations as well. One of them is in the Central Oahu area in Waipahu.
Visit the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden
Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden is a stunning and expansive garden located in Kaneohe, on the windward side of Oahu, Hawaii. Spanning over 400 acres, the garden offers a serene and picturesque setting that showcases the natural beauty of Hawaii.
Visitors to Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden can explore a network of well-maintained trails that meander through lush landscapes, tranquil ponds, and panoramic vistas. The garden’s centerpiece is a large reservoir known as Lake Wilson, which adds to the overall scenic beauty of the surroundings. The garden’s expansive green spaces are perfect for picnics, leisurely walks, and quiet contemplation of nature.
Visit the Wahiawā Botanical Garden
Wahiawā Botanical Garden, located in Wahiawā, Central Oahu, is a peaceful and scenic garden that showcases a variety of plant collections. This botanical garden spans over 27 acres and offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Wahiawā Botanical Garden features a diverse range of plants, including tropical and subtropical flora native to Hawaii and other regions of the world. The garden is divided into different sections, each highlighting specific plant species or ecosystems. Visitors can explore areas dedicated to palm trees, native Hawaiian plants, ferns, bamboo, and more.
As you wander through the garden, you’ll encounter meandering paths, tranquil ponds, and lush greenery. The garden provides an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of nature and learn about different plant species. It’s an excellent place for nature enthusiasts, botany lovers, or those seeking a peaceful environment for relaxation and contemplation.