Planning a trip to the Hawaiian Island Oahu? There is so much to do and see that it is a must-see area of the island of Oahu. Check out all the fun things to do on the Leeward Coast of Oahu with kids.
Things to do on the Leeward Coast of Oahu with Kids
We spent 2 days at the Disney Aulani Resort which is in the Leeward Coast area of Oahu Island. While we did leave the one day to go back to the Polynesian Cultural Center we did spend time having fun in this area of the island. Next time we go back I do plan on spending more time in this area. There are so many Things to do on the Leeward Coast of Oahu with Kids that we didn’t get to do.
This area of the island is the perfect spot to go when you want calm and relaxing on your vacation. This area of the island is much slower paced than other areas and is also the area where you will find the luxury resorts.
No matter if you are looking for adventures in the great outdoors or some relaxing either at a spa or on the sand the Leeward Coast on Oahu Island is a great location to visit for the whole family.
We broke our trip up as best as we could to explore. Breaking our trip down to do things in different areas of the island made things much 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 on the Leeward Coast with Kids.
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 with Kids
- Visit Dole Plantation
- Hike Diamond Head
- Visit the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor
- Our Visit to the Byodo-In Temple
- Visiting Iolani Palace with Kids
Is the Leeward Coast a good spot to Visit with Kids?
Yes, the Leeward Coast of Oahu is a great destination for visiting with kids. There are so many Things to do on the Leeward Coast of Oahu with Kids. Here are some reasons why the Leeward Coast is good for visiting with kids:
- Calm and Safe Beaches. The Leeward Coast is known for its calm and relatively gentle beaches, making it ideal for families with young children. Many beaches offer protected swimming areas with calm waters. This allows kids to play, swim, and build sandcastles in a safe environment.
- Snorkeling and Marine Life. The Leeward Coast is home to some excellent snorkeling spots, where kids can explore the underwater world and discover vibrant coral reefs and tropical fish.
- Cultural Experiences. The many Things to do on the Leeward Coast of Oahu with Kids also will have kids engaging in cultural activities and learning about Hawaiian traditions. Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, located in Ko Olina, provides character breakfasts, storytelling sessions, and other cultural experiences for kids. They can learn hula dancing, make leis, and participate in interactive activities that introduce them to the local culture.
- Family-Friendly Parks and Facilities. When looking for Things to do on the Leeward Coast of Oahu with Kids a kid friendly place is a must. The Leeward Coast has several beach parks and recreational areas equipped with facilities that cater to families. Many of the beach areas offer picnic areas, playgrounds, showers, and restrooms. This makes it convenient for families to spend a day enjoying outdoor activities and beachside relaxation.
- Scenic Beauty and Wildlife. The Leeward Coast’s natural beauty, with its stunning mountains, coastline, and sunsets, will be appreciated by the whole family. Children can enjoy scenic drives, nature walks, birdwatching, and potentially Hawaiian monk seals in their natural habitats.
Where is the Leeward Coast of Oahu?
The Leeward Coast of Oahu is located on the western side of the island of Oahu in the state of Hawaii, USA. It stretches from the southwestern tip of the island, near Kaena Point State Park, to the southern part of Oahu around the city of Kapolei. The Leeward Coast includes communities such as Ewa Beach, Waianae, Makaha, and Nanakuli.
What towns are on the leeward side of Oahu?
The Leeward Coast of Oahu includes several towns and communities. Some of the towns that are part of the Leeward Coast are:
Kapolei. Located in the southern part of the Leeward Coast, Kapolei is a major urban center and the second-largest city on the island of Oahu. It serves as a commercial hub and offers a range of amenities, including shopping centers, restaurants, and entertainment options.
Ewa Beach. Situated just east of Kapolei, Ewa Beach is a residential community known for its beautiful beaches and relaxed atmosphere. It offers a mix of housing options, from single-family homes to condominiums, and has some retail and dining establishments.
Waianae. Located on the westernmost part of the island, Waianae is a town with a rich cultural heritage. It is known for its stunning coastline, rural landscapes, and close-knit community. Waianae offers a glimpse into the traditional Hawaiian way of life and is home to popular beaches like Poka’i Bay and Makaha Beach.
Makaha. Situated northwest of Waianae, Makaha is a small community famous for its pristine beaches and world-class surf. It is a popular destination for surfing enthusiasts and offers a more secluded and laid-back atmosphere compared to the busier areas of Oahu.
Nanakuli. Located between Waianae and Makaha, Nanakuli is a residential area with a mix of suburban and rural landscapes. It is known for its natural beauty and offers access to beaches and hiking trails.
Ko Olina. Ko Olina is primarily known for its upscale resort area, which encompasses a stretch of coastline. The resort features four main luxury hotels including Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina, Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club, and Beach Villas at Ko Olina.
Things to do on the Leeward Coast of Oahu
The Leeward Coast of Oahu offers a range of kid-friendly attractions, safe beaches, cultural experiences, and outdoor activities. These things make it a suitable destination for families with children. We loved our time exploring the Leeward Coast of Oahu and made many family memories there.
Swim at the Ko Olina Lagoons
One of the highlights of Ko Olina is its four man-made lagoons. These picturesque lagoons have crystal-clear waters protected by rock walls, making them ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and stand-up paddleboarding. The great thing about the lagoons is you do not have to worry about waves. While swimming or snorkeling the water is calm.
The lagoons are connected by a walking path, providing visitors with a scenic stroll along the coast. You can spend time visiting each of the 4 lagoons in the area. All of the lagoons are free to visit. You do not need to be staying at any of the resorts in the area to enjoy them.
There are four main lagoons within the Ko Olina Resort area, each designated by a number and a name. They are:
- Lagoon 1: Honu Lagoon (Turtle Lagoon)
- Lagoon 2: Kalaeloa Lagoon
- Lagoon 3: Ko Olina Lagoon
- Lagoon 4: Ula Lagoon (Red Lagoon)
Go For a Walk to Lanikuhonua Secret Beach
This is a spot that you are going to want to visit. It was here that we saw the monk seal in the water and on the beach. While there is no actual path to get to this location and it is no longer a huge secret it is a place you will want to take the kids.
There is no guarantee that you will see the resident Hawaiian monk seal, but if you do it is an amazing site to see. Remember not to get close to the Monk Seal as they are protected animals.
Accessing this beach does not involve a designated path, unlike the lagoons in Ko Olina. The most convenient option, is to stroll along the beach adjacent to Aulani, heading towards the Four Seasons Resort. Follow the path that will lead you to Sacred Beach at Lanikuhonua in Ko Olina. As you continue walking, you will encounter some rocks that you’ll need to navigate (please exercise caution as this may not be suitable for everyone). Once you successfully traverse the rocks, you will have arrived at your destination.
Go Snorkeling at Electric Beach Park
Hawaiian Electric Beach Park, also known as Electric Beach or Kahe Point Beach Park, is a popular snorkeling located on the Leeward Coast of Oahu. It is situated adjacent to the Hawaiian Electric power plant in the town of Kahe, near the community of Nanakuli. It is easily accessible from Farrington Highway and has a designated parking area.
The warm water from the power plant creates an ideal environment for various fish species, green sea turtles, and other marine creatures. Snorkelers and divers can observe colorful tropical fish, and vibrant coral reefs, and potentially encounter larger marine species such as dolphins or eagle rays.
This one is on our list for the next time we are on Oahu as we loved seeing the sea turtles on Laniakea Beach (also known as Turtle Beach) so the kids want to see if they can see any swimming in the water as well.
Go to the Beach
The Leeward Coast boasts stunning beaches with golden sands, clear turquoise waters, and fantastic views. These beaches are great for swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, and surfing. While there are other beaches that you can swim at in the area these are the most popular ones. I suggest visiting these and the lagoons so you get to experience all the water fun activities in the area.
Pokai Bay Beach Park. Pokai Bay Beach Park is a popular beach park in Waianae. It features a wide sandy beach with gentle waves, making it suitable for swimming and picnicking. The park has facilities such as restrooms, picnic tables, and barbecue grills, providing a pleasant setting for a family day out.
Makaha Beach Park. Makaha Beach Park is known for its clear waters, sandy shores, and impressive waves that attract experienced surfers during the winter months. It offers scenic views of the surrounding mountains and is also a great spot for picnicking, beachcombing, and enjoying the beautiful sunsets.
Yokohama Bay. Located at the westernmost tip of the island, Yokohama Bay (also known as Keawaula Beach) offers a remote and less crowded beach experience. The expansive sandy beach is framed by rocky cliffs and provides a great setting for sunbathing, picnicking, and long walks along the shoreline. The water conditions can vary, so it’s important to exercise caution and check local advisories.
Nanakuli Beach Park. Nanakuli Beach Park, also known as Nanakuli’s Black Rock Beach, is a local favorite for picnicking, swimming, and family gatherings. The beach has soft sand, shaded areas, and calm waters during the summer months. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the ocean breeze.
Watch the sunrise or sunset at the Lagoons
The Ko Olina Lagoons are particularly renowned for their stunning sunsets and amazing morning sunrises. As the day starts you will see an amazing view of the sun rising above the water. As the day comes to an end, the lagoons provide a picturesque setting to watch the sun sink into the horizon, painting the sky with vibrant hues of orange, pink, and purple.
Character Breakfast at Aulani
The character breakfast at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, offers a delightful and interactive dining experience for guests of all ages. As you indulge in a delicious breakfast spread, beloved Disney characters make their way around the restaurant, stopping at each table to greet and interact with guests. From Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse to Goofy and Stitch, the characters bring laughter, joy, and memorable photo opportunities to the breakfast experience. This enchanting encounter allows guests to create lasting memories while enjoying a scrumptious meal in the magical setting of Aulani.
Wet’n’Wild Hawaii is a popular water park located in Kapolei, Oahu. It offers a thrilling and refreshing experience for visitors of all ages. The park features a variety of exciting water slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and other water attractions. Guests can enjoy exhilarating rides like the Tornado, a high-speed water slide, or relax in the calm waters of the Waianae Coasters wave pool. The park also caters to younger visitors with kid-friendly areas like Keiki Kove, which include miniature slides, fountains, and shallow pools. With its tropical setting, exciting water attractions, and family-friendly atmosphere, Wet’n’Wild Hawaii provides a fun-filled day of splashing and sliding for everyone.
Go to a Laua
There are a few different Lauas that you can attend while you are in the Leeward Coast area of Oahu.
The Paradise Cove Luau is a popular and well-known traditional Hawaiian luau located in the Ko Olina area of Oahu, Hawaii. It offers visitors an immersive cultural experience combined with delicious food, traditional entertainment, and stunning oceanfront views. The luau features a grand buffet-style feast that showcases an array of local Hawaiian dishes. Guests can indulge in traditional favorites like kalua pig (roasted pig), lomi lomi salmon, teriyaki chicken, fresh island fish, poi (taro paste), and tropical fruits. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available.
The Disney Aulani Laua is another popular one in the area. The lū’au takes place in a scenic outdoor venue at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, located in the Ko Olina area of Oahu, Hawaii. The setting provides a beautiful backdrop of palm trees, gardens, and ocean views. The lū’au features a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet-style feast that showcases a wide array of traditional Hawaiian dishes. Guests can savor local favorites such as kalua pig (roasted pig), fresh island fish, poke (marinated raw fish), poi (taro paste), and other island-inspired delicacies.