If you are looking for things to do in Honolulu Hawaii when you are planning your family vacation to Oahu Island of Hawaii you are in luck. There are so many things to do when you are staying in the Honolulu area of Oahu Island in Hawaii. This list of things to do in Honolulu with kids will help you when you are planning your trip.
Things to do in Honolulu With Kids
The island of Oahu is small enough that you can stay just about anywhere on the island and be able to go to any other part of the island with just a short drive. That makes it a great place to explore and makes it easy for being able to explore all parts of the island that you want to.
To make things easier for your planning you will probably want to do like we did and explore one area of the island at a time or per day. This will make things easier and a lot less driving while you are exploring.
We broke our trip up as best as we could for exploring and breaking down the things to do in different areas of the island. 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 with Kids in Honolulu.
If you are planning a trip around the whole Island, be sure to check out our 7 Day Oahu Hawaii Itinerary.
Things to do on Oahu Island in Hawaii
Is Honolulu good for kids?
Yes, Honolulu, Hawaii is a fantastic destination for kids! The city offers a wide range of family-friendly activities and attractions that cater to children of all ages. Honolulu is a destination that caters to the interests and enjoyment of children, making it an excellent choice for a family vacation.
Where is Honolulu Located?
Honolulu is located on the island of Oahu, which is part of the state of Hawaii in the United States. It is situated on the southeastern coast of the island, facing the Pacific Ocean. Honolulu is the capital and largest city of Hawaii, and it serves as the main gateway to the state.
Things to do with Kids in Honolulu Hawaii
There are many things to do when you are in the Honolulu area of Oahu island in Hawaii. There are plenty of exciting things to do in Honolulu with kids. Honolulu offers endless adventures and opportunities for family fun, ensuring that kids of all ages will have a memorable time exploring the city and its surroundings.
Take a hike to Diamond Head
Taking a hike to Diamond Head is a popular outdoor activity in Honolulu, offering breathtaking views and a chance to explore a historic volcanic crater. The trail begins at the Diamond Head State Monument. It then winds its way up to the summit, rewarding hikers with panoramic vistas of the city, coastline, and Pacific Ocean. The trail consists of well-maintained pathways and a series of staircases, making it accessible for most visitors. Along the way, hikers will encounter fascinating geological formations and lush vegetation. Reaching the summit, one can appreciate the sheer magnitude and beauty of Diamond Head crater.
Spend a day at the beach
Honolulu boasts beautiful sandy beaches where kids can swim, build sandcastles, and play in the waves. Some great ones include Waikiki Beach, Ala Moana Beach Park, and Kailua Beach Park, Fort DeRussy Beach Park.
The Bishop Museum is a renowned museum located in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in honor of his late wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. The museum is dedicated to preserving and sharing the rich history and cultural heritage of Hawaii and the Pacific. The museum’s extensive collection includes artifacts, exhibits, and specimens that highlight various aspects of Hawaiian culture, natural history, and scientific research. You can explore exhibits on Hawaiian traditions, ancient artifacts, and contemporary artwork.
The Honolulu Zoo is a beloved attraction located in the heart of Waikiki. It gives an immersive experience with a diverse range of animal species. Spread across 42 acres, the zoo provides a fascinating opportunity to observe and learn about animals from around the world. Visitors can encounter elephants, giraffes, lions, tigers, and many other captivating creatures. The zoo’s exhibits are thoughtfully designed to recreate natural habitats, providing an enriching and educational experience for visitors of all ages. In addition to animal viewing, the Honolulu Zoo offers various educational programs, interactive presentations, and behind-the-scenes tours. The Honolulu Zoo provides a fun and educational outing for families and wildlife enthusiasts alike.
Explore the historic Iolani Palace
Iolani Palace is a historic landmark situated in downtown Honolulu, Hawaii. It holds great cultural and historical significance as the former royal residence of the Hawaiian monarchy. Completed in 1882, it served as the official residence of King Kalakaua and his successor, Queen Liliuokalani. The palace showcases stunning architecture and luxurious interiors, featuring a unique blend of Western and Hawaiian design elements. You can take guided tours to explore the grand halls, royal bedrooms, and the throne room, while learning about the monarchy’s history and the events leading up to the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
Children’s Discovery Center
The Children’s Discovery Center in Honolulu is a fantastic destination for families with children. This interactive museum provides a hands-on and engaging experience designed to spark curiosity and encourage learning through play. The center features a variety of exhibits and activities that cater to children of all ages. Kids can explore a mock volcano, learn about Hawaiian culture in the Pacific Voyager exhibit, and engage in imaginative play at the Fantastic You exhibit. The center also offers workshops, storytelling sessions, and special events that promote creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. The Children’s Discovery Center in Honolulu provides a safe and stimulating environment for kids to explore, discover, and have fun while expanding their knowledge and understanding of the world around them.
Kaka’ako Waterfront Park
Kaka’ako Waterfront Park is a beautiful and spacious waterfront park located in the Kaka’ako neighborhood of Honolulu. The park offers a serene and scenic retreat for both locals and visitors. It features expansive grassy areas for picnics and recreational activities, making it an ideal spot for families to spend quality time together. The park also offers a large playground area with swings, slides, and climbing structures, providing endless fun for children. One of the highlights of Kaka’ako Waterfront Park is its waterfront area, where shallow pools allow kids to splash and play in the water. The park offers stunning views of the ocean and provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Whether it’s enjoying a picnic, playing on the playground, or simply taking a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, Kaka’ako Waterfront Park offers a serene and enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages.
Take a family-friendly hike
Honolulu offers several hiking trails suitable for families. These hikes provide opportunities to explore nature, spot wildlife, and enjoy scenic views. There are many different places to hike when you are in Honolulu. Here are just a few to visit with the kids.
- Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail. This paved trail is located on the eastern tip of Oahu and offers stunning coastal views. It’s a relatively easy hike, suitable for families with children. The trail is about 2 miles roundtrip and leads to the historic Makapu’u Lighthouse.
- Manoa Falls Trail. Located in Manoa Valley, this trail takes you through a lush rainforest to a picturesque waterfall. The hike is approximately 1.6 miles roundtrip and provides a great opportunity for kids to appreciate Hawaii’s tropical vegetation.
- Ka’ena Point Trail. The Ka’ena Point Trail is a scenic coastal trail that offers the chance to spot wildlife and enjoy ocean views. The trail is relatively flat and easy, making it suitable for families.
- Koko Crater Trail. For families seeking a bit more challenge, the Koko Crater Trail provides a unique hiking experience. The trail consists of old railroad ties that form a steep incline leading to the summit. While it can be strenuous, the panoramic views at the top are worth it.
Visit Pearl Harbor and Explore the USS Arizona Memorial
A visit to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial is a deeply moving and historically significant experience in Honolulu, Hawaii. Pearl Harbor serves as a poignant reminder of the infamous attack on December 7, 1941, which propelled the United States into World War II. The USS Arizona Memorial is built above the sunken remains of the battleship. It offers a solemn tribute to the servicemen who lost their lives that day.
You can take a boat ride to the memorial, and pay your respects. You will learn about the events of the attack, and reflect on the sacrifices made. A visit to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial is an educational journey that leaves a lasting impact on all who visit.
Honolulu Museum of Art
The Honolulu Museum of Art is a cultural gem located in Honolulu, Hawaii. It offers a captivating and enriching experience for visitors. With a diverse collection spanning thousands of years and encompassing various art forms, the museum showcases both local and international art. From classical Asian and European art to contemporary works and Hawaiian artifacts, there is something for everyone to appreciate and enjoy. The museum also hosts rotating exhibitions, providing fresh and dynamic displays that highlight different artistic movements and themes. In addition to its impressive collection, the Honolulu Museum of Art offers educational programs, workshops, and events for all ages, allowing visitors to deepen their understanding and connection to the art world. With its beautiful galleries, tranquil gardens, and commitment to fostering creativity and cultural appreciation, the Honolulu Museum of Art is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and curious minds alike.
The Waikiki Aquarium is a captivating and educational destination nestled in the heart of Waikiki, Honolulu. With its stunning location right on the shoreline, the aquarium offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore and learn about the fascinating marine life of Hawaii and the Pacific. The aquarium features a diverse range of exhibits that showcase a variety of species, including vibrant tropical fish, mesmerizing coral reefs, graceful sea turtles, and even fearsome sharks.
You can wander through interactive displays, attend captivating feeding sessions, and learn about the important role that the ocean plays in the Hawaiian ecosystem. The Aquarium also conducts conservation and research efforts to protect marine life and raise awareness about the fragility of our oceans. Whether you’re a marine enthusiast or simply looking for an immersive and family-friendly experience, the Waikiki Aquarium is sure to leave you with a deeper appreciation for the wonders of the underwater world.
Take a Catamaran Sales
Catamaran sails in Honolulu offer a delightful and picturesque way to explore the beautiful waters surrounding the city. With its gentle trade winds and stunning ocean views, sailing on a catamaran is a popular activity for locals and visitors alike. Whether you’re looking for a romantic sunset sail or a fun-filled family adventure, there are numerous catamaran tours and charters available. You can relax on the spacious deck, feel the ocean breeze, and take in panoramic views of the Honolulu skyline and the sparkling turquoise waters. Many catamaran excursions also offer the opportunity to snorkel, swim, or even spot marine life like dolphins and sea turtles. With a friendly crew to guide you, catamaran sails in Honolulu provide a memorable and enjoyable experience on the water. We choose to do the kepoikai II catamaran morning sale.
Snorkel at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve offers a captivating underwater experience in Honolulu, Hawaii. With its crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, Hanauma Bay is a paradise for snorkelers of all skill levels. This bay is a protected marine life conservation area. The bay is home to a diverse array of marine species, including colorful tropical fish, sea turtles, and fascinating coral formations. Snorkelers can explore the underwater world, observing the mesmerizing beauty and tranquility beneath the surface. The bay provides calm conditions, making it ideal for families and beginners. Prior to entering the preserve, you are required to watch an educational video that emphasizes the importance of preserving this fragile ecosystem. Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve offers an unforgettable opportunity to witness the wonders of the ocean firsthand.
Indulge in delicious local Cuisine
There are many delicious foods to eat when you are in Hawaii. My kids are foodies and love to try new foods whenever we are traveling.
- Poke. This traditional Hawaiian dish consists of fresh, raw fish (usually tuna or octopus) marinated in a flavorful blend of soy sauce, sesame oil, and other seasonings.
- Kalua Pork. Prepared by slow-roasting a whole pig in an imu (an underground oven), Kalua pork is tender, smoky, and packed with flavor.
- Loco Moco. Loco Moco is a hearty dish that typically features a hamburger patty topped with a fried egg and smothered in savory gravy, all served over a bed of rice.
- Shave Ice. Shave ice is finely shaved ice flavored with a variety of syrups, often including tropical flavors like pineapple, coconut, and passionfruit. It’s often topped with condensed milk and various add-ons like ice cream or azuki beans.
- Malasadas. These Portuguese-inspired donuts are a sweet indulgence that you shouldn’t miss. They are deep-fried until golden brown and coated in sugar. They are often filled with various delicious fillings like custard, chocolate, or tropical fruit flavors.
- Traditional Hawaiian breakfast. Just about anywhere you go including McDonalds you can get a traditional Hawaiian breakfast. This is a meal of eggs, white rice, and meats including spam or Portuguese sausage.
- Spam Musubi. A popular snack or lunch item, Spam musubi combines a slice of grilled Spam with rice, wrapped in a strip of seaweed (nori).
- Poi. Poi is a traditional Hawaiian staple made from the taro root. It’s pounded and fermented to create a smooth and slightly tangy paste.
- Haupia. Haupia is a creamy and silky coconut pudding made with coconut milk and cornstarch. It’s often served as a dessert, and its delicate coconut flavor is a true delight.
Royal Hawaiian Center
The Royal Hawaiian Center is a premier shopping, dining, and entertainment destination located in the heart of Waikiki, Honolulu. This is one of the largest outdoor malls in Hawaii. It offers a vibrant and upscale atmosphere for visitors and locals alike. The center showcases a wide range of high-end retailers, luxury boutiques, and renowned international brands, making it a shopper’s paradise. From fashion and jewelry to Hawaiian crafts and souvenirs, there is something for everyone. The Royal Hawaiian Center also hosts live performances, cultural events, and hula shows that showcase the rich heritage of Hawaii. Visitors can also indulge in a variety of dining options, ranging from local Hawaiian cuisine to international delicacies.
Magic Island Lagoon
Magic Island is a picturesque and tranquil park that offers a range of recreational activities and stunning views. Situated at the end of Ala Moana Beach Park, this man-made peninsula is a popular spot for picnics, leisurely walks, and enjoying outdoor activities. Magic Island features expansive green spaces, shady trees, and walking paths that are perfect for strolling or jogging.
One of the highlights of Magic Island is its beautiful lagoon. You can swim, paddleboard, or simply relax on the sandy beach. With its calm and clear waters, it’s a great place for children to play and splash around. Magic Island is an excellent spot to capture breathtaking views of the city skyline and Diamond Head in the distance. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or a place to enjoy outdoor activities, Magic Island provides a serene and scenic escape in the heart of Honolulu.
Take a ride on the Waikiki Trolley
Taking a ride on the Waikiki Trolley is a fun and convenient way to explore the vibrant city of Honolulu. The Waikiki Trolley offers multiple routes that take you to popular attractions, shopping centers, and scenic spots. The trolley provides easy access to many attractions around the city. It’s a great way to hop on and off at different stops, allowing you to explore at your own pace. The trolleys are brightly colored and provide an enjoyable and nostalgic experience as you ride through the streets of Waikiki.