31 Fun, Family-Friendly Things to Do in Oahu with Kids

If you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly Oahu activity, look no further than these attractions. They are all located within minutes of Waikiki, making them perfect for an afternoon with the kids.

  1. Dolphin Quest

Dolphin Quest is a marine mammal training facility and interactive dolphin experience. This attraction is a great place to visit with kids because they can participate in various activities, including watching the dolphins perform tricks and interacting with them. The park also has an aquarium where you can see sharks up close, or if you want to get even closer (and possibly wet!), there are underwater tunnels connecting two tanks filled with water that you can walk through while holding your breath!

If traveling with young ones who don’t like heights or walking through watery tunnels at all times, then don’t worry; there are plenty of other fun things for them to do at this location, such as feeding fish or exploring their new favorite playground!

  1. Kualoa Ranch

Kualoa Ranch is a movie ranch that’s also a working cattle ranch, so it’s great for families who want to spend time outdoors without having to worry about their kids getting lost or hurt. It’s also an ideal picnic spot. The ranch hosts countless events throughout the year, such as horseback riding and camping trips, including other activities like morning hikes through the jungle or feedings of goats!

The ranch is also great for people who want to learn more about the culture of Hawaii and its history. Many museums and exhibits tell visitors about aspects of Hawaiian life, such as surfing, ranching, and agriculture. Visitors can also participate in hula dancing classes or weaving lessons! The ranch is open from 9:30 am -5:00 pm, except for Christmas Day.

  1. Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum

The Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum Oahu is a must-see for any family visiting Oahu. It is free to enter place offering excellent exhibits that keep even the most reluctant kids occupied for hours. There are exhibits about the history of flight, including models of airplanes from around the world; take a ride on an F6F Hellcat fighter jet, or try out some virtual flight simulation games in their IMAX Theater (which also has movies). You can also get an exciting tour of the USS Arizona Memorial at this museum and learn more about how it all happened in 1941, with stories about each ship involved at Pearl Harbor during those fateful days leading up to that tragic event which led directly into WWII.

  1. Matsumoto Shave Ice

Matsumoto Shave Ice is a fun Japanese restaurant that serves shaved ice in an old-fashioned style. The store is open for visits every day except Tuesdays and offers other food items like ramen and pizza.

This busy place can get very crowded on the weekends because it’s in the Ala Moana Center near many shops and restaurants. There are usually lines outside when you arrive at 11:00 am or noon, so you ought to wait for your turn if you don’t plan on eating here until later in the afternoon or evening hours (they close at 5:00 pm).

There are wide varieties of shaved ice and most people like the original flavor. However, you can also get strawberries or mango if you want something different. If you’re feeling adventurous, try one specialty flavor like green tea or red bean. The ice is shaved very finely, so it melts in your mouth quickly and doesn’t overpower the taste of your drink.

  1. Attend a Hawaiian Luau

A Hawaiian Luau is set to be a once-in-lifetime experience featuring a great way to celebrate the culture of Hawaii and its traditions. You’ll enjoy an authentic Hawaiian meal, dance, and sing with your family in a fun atmosphere. If you’re interested in something more than just the food and entertainment, check out some of these other recommendations:

  • The Polynesian Cultural Center (located in Waikiki) has an annual festival where they host traditional Hawaiian performances that include hula dancing, singing, and lei-making. They also have a museum where you can learn about Polynesian culture through interactive exhibits.
  • On Oahu’s North Shore, there’s Waipio Valley State Recreation Area which features two waterfalls and hiking trails where you can see native plants & animals such as goats & sheep, among other things!
  1. Hanauma Bay State Park

Hanauma Bay State Park is a marine life conservation district popularly known as a tourist destination. It is in Oahu, Hawaii, and it is home to many tropical fish such as parrotfish, damselfish, and surgeonfish. The bay was created by an underwater explosion that formed the crater around 100 years ago.

Hanauma means beautiful view in the Hawaiian language, while the name Hanauma Bay comes from another Hawaiian word, “Hanielu,” meaning “place where you can see turtles.”

This beach is one of the only few beaches in Hawaii accessible to swimmers and divers. Hanauma Bay is primarily a marine life conservation district, meaning swimming or snorkeling there is not allowed. However, visitors can enjoy many activities like hiking through rainforest trails and watching sea turtles lay eggs during nesting season.

  1. Bishop Museum

The Bishop Museum is a vast and impressive museum with a massive collection of artifacts from Hawaii. The exciting thing about the attraction is that it’s free! There are also some great special exhibits if you want to spend some money on something fun.

If your kids are old enough to get into some of the exhibits, I highly recommend taking them here because it’s so much fun! They’ll love seeing all these cool things from ancient times like:

  • Artifacts from the Hawaiian Kingdom era (600-1819)
  • Native Hawaiian cultural objects from past centuries

It’s also worth mentioning about this attraction that this place offers plenty of activities for kids at the museum, like making their Polynesian tattoos or learning how Hawaiians made fishhooks out of bone or bamboo. You can also opt for guided tours with an expert guide who will teach you more about Polynesian culture while showing off some incredible artifacts along the way!

  1. Children’s Discovery Center

The Children’s Discovery Center Oahu is a great place to visit with kids. It is a hands-on museum that teaches children about science, technology, and engineering through interactive exhibits. The center is in Kakaako on Kalakaua Avenue and is open daily from 10 am-5 pm until new exhibits were installed in 2020.

The current exhibit, “Ancient Hawaii: From Ancient Times to Today,” features artifacts from ancient times, including traditional Hawaiian clothing; tools used by early Hawaiians; weapons used during battles; musical instruments made from natural materials such as coconut shells or coral; food prepared by early Hawaiians; weapons used during battles (war clubs).

  1. Honolulu Zoo

The Honolulu Zoo, located in Kapiolani Park, is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission is free, and more than 200 animals are displayed at the zoo. A concession stand and gift shop are also available for your convenience if you need something to eat or drink.

Guided zoo tours are available by reservation; call 808-866-3111 for details about pricing, dates, and times.

The zoo is in Kapiolani Park, just off of Diamond Head Road. Kapiolani Park is also famously known as home to the Honolulu Botanical Gardens, with many beautiful plants on its grounds. The Waikiki Aquarium, located on Kalakaua Avenue near Ala Moana Center, is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission is free, and more than 200 animals are displayed at the aquarium.

  1. Waikiki Aquarium

The Waikiki Aquarium Oahu is a great place to visit with your family. It’s in Waikiki, a Honolulu area known as the most visited place on earth.

The aquarium was built to be a fish market, and it still has many old tanks filled with live fish! The building was also used as an aircraft hangar during World War II (which explains why they have planes on display).

The aquarium has many interactive exhibits for kids, including touch pools and tunnels through which people can crawl.

The aquarium also has an outdoor section, home to some of the most exotic animals in the world. Sharks and rays are swimming around in huge tanks, and you can even touch them! The aquarium also has a small theater where they show educational films about Hawaii’s marine life.

  1. Relax at a Beach

The best beaches in Oahu are all located on the North Shore. These include Waikiki Beach, Ala Moana Center, and Laniakea Beach. If you’re looking for more of a family-friendly experience, you’ll want to visit Kailua Beach Park or Ko Olina Lagoons.

They’re all great places to relax with your kids while they explore the water and sand!

Here’s what we recommend doing:

  • Waikiki Beach – This is perhaps one of the most famous beaches on Oahu—it’s where everyone goes when visiting Hawaii! But if you’re longing for something less crowded than Kapiolani Park (which can get crowded), this ought to be your best bet since it has its parking lot nearby. Also worth noting: there are many restaurants along this stretch; some even offer discounts if you book online beforehand, so make sure not to miss out!
  1. Visit a Park

If you’re looking for a place to relax, Oahu has plenty of parks that are ideal for families. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Waimea Valley State Park is located in the heart of Waimea Valley and offers excellent views of the Pacific Ocean and hiking trails through lush forested hillsides.
  • Kualoa Regional Park has an impressive array of activities, including mountain biking, horseback riding, and more! There’s also plenty of space to enjoy picnics or just play around on this beautiful island paradise!
  • Kuilima Cove State Recreation Area offers swimming beaches with gentle waves perfect for young children learning how to swim safely at home before taking them out into deeper waters later.
  • Plus, there are lots below sea level where kids can explore caves filled with crystal clear water. The water here is filled with fish they might not be able to catch but are interested in looking at them from afar instead. No fishing is allowed here; otherwise, everything else should work fine.
  1. Sea Life Park

Sea Life Park is an oceanarium located in Oahu, Hawaii. It is the only marine park in the continental United States and was formerly owned by Parques Reunidos. The park opened in 2011 and was designed by Merlin Entertainments as a family-friendly attraction that would give visitors an up-close look at marine creatures like sharks and stingrays without traveling far from home.

The park has several different exhibits:

  • You can visit their underwater tunnel where you’ll see dolphins swim past you
  • or explore their shark tank, where they have brightly colored sharks swimming around large acrylic balls while other fish swim around them
  • or even ride on a submarine through an underwater cave!
  • There are also plenty of places for kids to climb around (and parents, too), including rock walls covered with algae, making it look like moss growing on top instead of smooth stones underneath!
  1. Hawaiian Railway Society Train Rides

The Hawaiian Railway Society (HRS) is a non-profit organization that operates a fleet of vintage passenger trains in Hawaii. The HRS offers three types of train rides:

  • Modern Steam, which travels between Waikiki and Honolulu (1 hour)
  • Vintage Steam, which travels between Waikiki and Kualoa Ranch (2 hours)
  • Heritage Steam Train explores the island’s railroading history by traveling along historic tracks throughout Oahu.

Tickets for all three types are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 3–11 on weekends; they’re accessible during school breaks.

  1. Byodo-In Temple

This place is a replica of a Buddhist temple in Uji, Japan. The original Byodo-In Temple was built in 688 CE and burned down in a fire during the Heian period. It was rebuilt and remodeled over the centuries until it became what you see today—a miniature replica of its former self. The Hawaii Prince Hotel currently owns the land surrounding this site. It has been converted into an outdoor garden with various statues and statues scattered throughout for your kids to enjoy!

Byodo-In Temple is at the U.H. Manoa campus near the edge of Campus Center Dr. If you are driving, it’s best to park in one of the nearby parking lots and walk over. There is a small admission fee for non-UH students, but if you are local or have children who attend U.H. Manoa, this fee is waived!

  1. Pearl Harbor National Memorial

The Pearl Harbor National Memorial is a U.S. National Memorial located in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It commemorates the Battle of Pearl Harbor and the men who died during the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941.

The memorial includes an interior reflecting pool with a four-story sculpture by Paul Manship titled “The Spirit of Valor,” which depicts grieving military personnel and civilians paying tribute to those who lost their lives that day in 1941. Several exhibits also include a gallery dedicated to preserving artifacts from that fateful day and interactive programs like “HISTORY OF PEARL HARBOR,” which gives visitors an inside look at what life was like during World War II through personal stories told by residents who lived through it firsthand!

  1. Diamond Head

This attraction is a volcanic tuff cone on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. It is one of many extinct volcanoes that formed the island.

The name “Diamond Head” comes from its shape, which resembles an inverted pyramid or a diamond with its sides sloping down to form a steep base.

The volcanic cone is a well-known landmark in Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii. It is also a famous tourist attraction with many hiking trails leading to its peak.

  1. Royal Hawaiian Center

The Royal Hawaiian Center, located in Waikiki, is a great place to relax and enjoy some retail therapy. The center contains over 100 shops and restaurants—enough to keep you occupied for hours. It includes a movie theater, live entertainment, and even a hotel!

The best thing about this mall? It has everything your kids will love: an ice skating rink (with live music) and an aquarium with sharks swimming around it. There is even a daycare center so that you can leave them behind while you go shopping without worrying about leaving them alone at home all day long!

  1. International Market Place

International Market Place is one of Oahu’s best places to go with kids. It’s open 24 hours a day, every day, and it is on Kuhio Highway in Waikiki.

International Market Place offers a variety of shops and restaurants that are perfect for exploring with your family or friends. There are also several children’s play areas where you can let your little ones run around while you shop at the mall! And if that doesn’t sound like enough fun for you, you can also visit the places like Hiking Hanauma Bay. This bay is for those who enjoy outdoor adventures while visiting Hawaii! This hike will take about two hours roundtrip; it’s easy enough for young children but offers excellent views along the way (and maybe even some dolphins).

  1. Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach is the most famous beach in the world. It’s a great place to relax, enjoy the sun, and watch surfers. You can also go whale watching if you’re into that sort of thing!

Waikiki Beach is between Diamond Head and Ala Moana Park on Oahu’s east coast in Honolulu. There are many hotels here, but if you don’t want to splurge on an expensive hotel room (or if your kids need some extra space), there are plenty of public beaches nearby that are free or low-cost!

  1. Ala Moana Center

The Ala Moana Center is a large shopping center located on the island of Oahu at the mouth of Honolulu Harbor. It was built by Kukui Development and opened on October 7, 1988, to replace a previous mall known as Ward Center (now called Ala Moana Shopping Center). The center features over two hundred stores and restaurants, including Nordstrom Rack, Macy’s Herald Square, JC Penney, Sears, and many others.

The main attraction at this shopping center is the aquariums within its walls: Ocean Expo Park has three different tanks for visitors to enjoy: a volcanic one featuring live coral reef animals; an open ocean tank with sharks and sea turtles; another tank with tropical fish that includes clownfish like those found in their home habitats in Hawaii; finally there’s also another tank filled with giant moray eels who prefer hiding out under rocks rather than swimming freely through clear water!

  1. Polynesian Cultural Center

If you’re longing for a family-friendly vacation destination, consider the Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu. Located in Laie, Oahu, the Polynesian Cultural Center is a must-see for any visitor to Hawaii. The cultural center offers dance shows and other performances to get everyone involved in fun activities. This center is open daily from 9:00 am until 5:30 pm. For $58 per adult (ages 13+) and $28 per child (3-12), you can enjoy all sorts of things at this beautiful place!

The center offers many activities for kids to enjoy and explore.

The best one of these activities is the “Big Island Adventure” tour, where you can learn about Hawaiian culture through storytelling, dancing, hula lessons, and more. You’ll also get to experience Hawaiian food like makahiki (Feast of Makahiki), luau (feast) & Lomi salmon, in addition to seeing some special exhibits inside the museum building, including:

  • A children’s area with interactive displays
  • An exhibit about Polynesian Voyaging canoes which includes an explanation of how they were made
  1. Laniakea Beach

Laniakea Beach is a great place to visit with kids, especially if you’re looking for a beach that offers some privacy and seclusion. Due to the location on the North Shore of Oahu in Kahuku, this beach has a fantastic view of the Ko’olau Range, surrounded by trees that create an oasis of green amidst all of nature’s beauty.

This attraction is one of those places where it pays off to bring your snacks because there aren’t any restaurants nearby! However, suppose you are good at exploring and know how to look (or ask someone) when visiting some new place. In that case, numerous shops along Highway 19 near Laniakea Beach sell food and drinks—be sure not to buy anything too expensive since they might run out before too long! Also, make sure no one steals anything while they’re here either because we don’t want anyone getting hurt or stolen goods being lost forever

  1. North Shore Stables

North Shore Stables is a horseback riding experience located on the north shore of Oahu. It’s an ideal way to see the natural beauty of Oahu while you ride through the mountains and around the beach!

North Shore Stables offers several different ride options, including:

  • Beach Ride – This tour takes off from Waimea Bay Beach Park and winds through some of Oahu’s most beautiful settings. You’ll see cliffs, lava flows, waterfalls, and more along your journey as you follow along with your guide, who narrates this scenic route as we go!
  • Volcano Ride – A unique opportunity for those who want something more adventurous than just seeing sights on horseback! This tour includes an overland journey up Haleakala Crater to see its active volcano firsthand (and maybe even catch the eye of lava flowing into it!). There are also lots more things to see during this trip than just hiking around Waipio Valley National Wildlife Refuge. So whether or not you’ve ridden horses before, don’t worry about being left out because everyone will have fun together!
  1. Kailua Beach Park

Kailua Beach Park is a famous beach on the windward side of Oahu. It is near the city of Kailua, and it’s a great place to spend the day at the beach with your family. Lifeguards, showers, and restrooms are available if you want to swim or snorkel.

If you’re interested in getting into something more active than just lounging alone or playing in sand castles (that can get old), consider renting an umbrella or kayak from one of their vendors! They have everything from paddle boards to jet skis, so there will be something regardless of the next fishy adventure you’re going on!

  1. Kualoa Regional Park

Kualoa Regional Park is a popular place to visit in Oahu. It has a hiking trail, a waterfall, and a lagoon, making it an ideal location for picnics and relaxation, with great views of the coast from the top of the mountain! The park is in Kaneohe Bay, which means it’s not far from Kaneohe Bay Airport (KHN), which can be used as an alternative airport if you’re flying into Honolulu or Oahu while staying at one of our hotels in Waikiki Beach Hotel or Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa.

If your kids love nature activities like hiking or exploring caves, then Kualoa Regional Park might be just what you’ve been looking for – especially if they have their bikes because there are lots of paths through this area, so this will keep them busy all day long!

  1. Ko Olina Lagoons

Ko Olina Lagoons is a great place to visit. It’s an outdoor aquatic park that provides a unique experience for all ages. The lagoon itself is surrounded by lush vegetation and the sound of birds singing in the trees above your head, creating a fantastic atmosphere for kids and adults alike!

The lagoon also features several other attractions that are fun for everyone:

  • Swimming areas – you can either swim at one of two pools or go kayaking through one of three channels; they also have plenty of seating available, so you don’t have to worry about getting wet during peak hours (usually around noon).
  • Water slides – two different slides are available here: one resembling a wave pool; this slide will take you down into deeper water, making it more thrilling than many others I’ve seen around town! The other one looks like something out of Lord Of The Rings but has no real difference from any other water slide I’ve encountered elsewhere besides its size (which makes sense considering how small-ish Oahu is).
  1. Kuilima Cove

If you’re planning a vacation to a secluded beach to enjoy some time with your family, Kuilima Cove is the perfect place. It’s located in Kapolei and can easily be accessed by car or public transportation. Once there, you’ll find an idyllic stretch of white sand with palm trees surrounding it on three sides. The fourth side offers shade from the sun and cool breezes off Oahu’s eastern coast.

If you’ve never been snorkeling before or have little kids who aren’t interested in getting wet, this might not be their favorite place (although it certainly wouldn’t hurt). But if they are old enough to swim or play in the water without any problems, this will be great fun! You’ll also find plenty of other things for them to do: sunbathing on their towels; playing volleyball; fishing offshore using bait provided by staff members at Kuilima Cove; exploring caves underwater created by lava flows thousands of years ago, which now make up part of its shoreline!

  1. North Shore

North Shore Oahu is a great place to visit with kids. There are many things to do and see, so you can be sure that your whole family will have fun!

North Shore Oahu has plenty of activities for children, including surfing lessons and visits to the Honolulu Zoo. You can also take in some of the beautiful beaches that line its shores or go hiking in one of its parks. If you’re longing for something more active than walking around on the sand, try zip lining or kayaking—and don’t forget about all those amusement parks! If you are excited about an even bigger adrenaline rush, then check out Oahu’s only water park, where there are slides galore! You’ll find plenty of restaurants where parents can bring their hungry little ones too!

  1. Waimea Valley

Waimea Valley Oahu is a botanical garden and arboretum located in the town of Waimea on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. It was established in 1922 by Alexander & Baldwin to provide fruit trees and other plants to the island’s farmers. The gardens are open daily from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm (5 pm on weekends) from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend; they are closed Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day.

The site is vast and includes more than 100 acres of botanical gardens with walking trails throughout its grounds and several ponds for bird watching. In addition to Hawaiian native plants like banyan trees, there are also wide varieties from around the world, including Chinese flowering cherries that have been planted here since 1958!

  1. Nu’uanu Pali

Nu’uanu Pali is a mountain on Oahu that has many hiking trails. It’s the northernmost mountain in the state, so that you can see it from Waikiki Beach and other places around Honolulu.

Nu’uanu Pali State Park has a paved road to the top of this 60-foot-high peak, where you’ll find an observation deck with views of Honolulu and out to sea! There are also several hiking trails at this park that allow you to explore all different ecosystems in one place: dry forests, wet forests (Huawei), grasslands/savannas/scrubland habitats, and more!

We hope this list has inspired & urged you to visit some of Oahu’s most fun and family-friendly attractions and given you some good ideas for your next trip.

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