So, you’re moving to Oahu? While we’re sure you’re excited (because… Hawaii), you might be worried about whether or not the island is kid friendly. Well, we’re thrilled to tell you that not only are there loads of activities to do with your kiddos here in Oahu, many of them are free! Yes, FREE. And the best part, you’ll have fun too!
Here are nine, kid-friendly things to do in Oahu.
1) Go to the Beach
This may seem obvious, but did you know that Oahu has 112-miles of coastline. That means there are plenty of options when finding the perfect one for your beach day. Some that we recommend are Kailua, Waikiki (a great place for kids to learn to surf), and the lagoons at Ko Olina.
2) Take a Hike
Oahu has over 200 hiking trails. While some hikes are extremely difficult and require experience, there are tons that are easy and perfect for getting your kids outside and active. We love Manoa Falls (bring hiking boots, it can get slippery), Diamond Head, and Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail.
3) Spend the Day at Kualoa Ranch
Kualoa Ranch is a 4000-acre adventure haven. From zip lining to UTVing, kayaking to horseback riding — Kualoa Ranch has got you covered. Not all activities are suitable for children, so make sure to check out the ranch’s website. Interested in booking an excursion? You can get great military discounts at the MWR!
4) Go to a Luau
Dance, sing, and eat galore at one of Oahu’s luaus. Some consider these dinners “touristy” but we think they’re a fun way to learn about Polynesian culture while entertaining the kids! Most luaus have lei making and hula lessons. Not to mention the buffet dinners — yum. Get your tickets at the MWR for discounted rates!
5) Play at the Children’s Discovery Center
Great for a rainy day, the Children’s Discovery Center is an interactive playground. Kids can explore at one of the center’s exhibits which encourage hands-on learning and imagination. Entry to the Children’s Discovery Center is $10 with your military I.D.
OK, so we know this might fall under the beach category, but we think it deserves an honorary mention. There are certain spots that are great for snorkeling, specifically Hanauma Bay. Not only will you see native fish and colorful coral, your kids can develop an appreciation for the ocean. Added bonus: entry to Hanauma Bay is free for active military with an I.D. (you do have to pay to rent gear). Make sure to arrive early — or later in the afternoon — as the parking lot fills up fast! If you plan on snorkeling a lot while you’re here, we recommend buying some gear. It’s pretty affordable and will cost you less in the long term.
7) Visit the Honolulu Zoo
Learn about animals from Hawaii and beyond! The Honolulu Zoo has a variety of species from baboons to zebras, and even offers twilight tours where you can learn about the animals after the zoo has closed it doors. Don’t forget to bring your military I.D. for discounted admission!
8) Go to the Waikiki Aquarium
While our oceans are an ideal place to learn about marine life, the Waikiki Aquarium is great for a rainy day. While you’re there, check out the Hawaiian monk seal habitat. The animal is native to Hawaii and is seriously endangered. This is a great opportunity for the kids to learn about the mammal and why it’s so important to the islands!
9) Conquer the Maze at Dole Plantation
The Dole Plantation is a great stop on a day out on the North Shore of Oahu. Start your visit with a train ride on the Pineapple Express for a history lesson of the plantation, then, find your way through the pineapple maze. Be sure to save some room for a Dole Whip, aka pineapple soft serve!