Are you longing to be on a warm beach right about now but afraid to dream that big because you have kids? January is a great time to begin planning your family Summer vacation because it gives you a good six months lead time to save up for your dream vacation and the cold dreary winter days allow for lots of dreaming ammunition.
Hawaii is often overlooked as a family vacation spot because it is seen as more of a honeymoon destination for relaxation in paradise rather than a fun-filled action packed place to take the kids. If you plan it right, it can be a nice mix of both.
We have been to Hawaii three times as a family, twice to Oahu and once to Maui. My favorite is Oahu because of all of the activities you can do with your kids from Waikiki to the NorthShore. We've gone when our kids were teens, toddlers and elementary age. This roundup of our favorite adventures includes a mix of things you can do with your kids at each stage.
WHERE TO STAY WITH KIDS
The Hilton Hawaiian Village is an excellent family friendly hotel right on the beach in Waikiki. It offers everything from breathtaking views of Diamond Head and the beach to onsite shops and restaurants, to a waterfall pool, to beautiful landscaping with koi fish, parrots and other wildlife throughout the property.
My favorite thing about this hotel is the convenience it offers. It is in a prime location where you can walk to many of the amazing excursions, such as the Pearl Factory located right on the property. Kids can choose their own oyster from a bucket and the Pearl Factory will open it for them to see what size pearl is inside. Kids get to keep the solitary pearl or choose to have it set in a ring or necklace for an additional fee. Now on to the magnificent 7.
7 AMAZING ADVENTURES YOU CAN HAVE IN HAWAII WITH YOUR KIDS
Traditional Hawaiian Luau
We went to Paradise Cove for our Luau experience and it was great family entertainment. Enjoy a Traditional Hawaiian Luau experience complete with Hawaiian games, Hula dancing and a Hawaiian buffet. Prices range from $97 to $177 per Adult depending on your seating choice. You can find more info here: https://www.paradisecove.com/
If you’ve always wanted to surf, Waikiki is the place to try it. The slow, rolling waves make it much easier to stand up without falling off the surfboard and when you take a lesson from Beach Boy Hale, you’re guaranteed to surf. We booked a lesson for our son and surfed together as a family. One of the best things about it, other than the expert instructors, is the photographer they send out with you. It allows you to choose from a host of great shots you can take home as a digital file. Standard lesson times are at 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm. If you want a different time, you must book a reservation. Prices start at $60 per person. You can call or make reservations online at http://www.beachboyhale.com/
Ride an Outrigger Canoe
Outrigger Canoe is known as the original rollercoaster in Hawaii. You are an active participant in this ride as you paddle under the instruction of the Canoe Captains and catch a wave or two on your way back into shore. Depending on the wave conditions, you can usually ride with little ones at no risk. I actually had my toddler on my lap in this photo. Rides are 20-40 minutes long depending on wave conditions. Canoes leave from the Royal Hawaiian Resort on Waikiki. You reserve a canoe online (48 hrs in advance) or walk up to check availability. Pricing is $25 per person. You can find more info here: http://www.waikikibeachservices.com/outrigger-canoe-ride/
Rent Giant Sea Toys
Koa Beach Service provides a whole host of rental activities to choose from. We rented an Aqua Cycle and Stand-Up Paddleboard for the three of us. They even provide lockers for your stuff while you go out on your excursion, which is fantastic. Just don’t lose your key in the ocean like we did. Aqua cycle rentals are priced at $30 an hour and Stand Up Paddleboards at $25 an hour. They are conveniently located right on the beach of Waikiki. You can find more info here: http://www.koabeachservice.com/
Tour U.S.S. Arizona // Pearl Harbor
It is a sobering experience to visit the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor but an important one. Seeing the names engraved on the wall of those we lost that grave day and witnessing the U.S.S. Arizona there just below the surface brings this historical event to life and will leave a lasting impact on you and your kids. 1,300 free Tickets are given out each day but you need to arrive by 7am to score them. I would recommend planning your visit in advance and making reservations for your tickets at recreation.gov but you must pick your tickets up one hour in advance of your tour time. Bags and purses and backpacks are not permitted. You can store them at the visitor center for a fee or just leave them in the car. More info here: http://www.pearlharborhistoricsites.org/pearl-harbor/arizona-memorial
Hanauma Bay Snorkeling
Hanauma Bay is a protected marine life conservation. They offer roundtrip shuttle services to Waikiki that run daily for $25 and that includes fins, mask and snorkel. It is closed on Tuesdays. Admission to the park is $7.50 per adult and kids 12 and under are free. More info here: https://hanaumabaystatepark.com/
Drive to North Shore
Oahu’s North Shore is a completely different experience from the Southside of the island. Just an hour’s drive from Honolulu, the town of Haleiwa offers a laid-back Hawaiian village vibe. You’ll see the beautiful countryside along with agriculture, such as the Dole Pineapple Plantation, where you can get lost in the world's largest maze. The price is $8 for adults and $6 for kids. When you reach the Northshore, you’ll find the famous big wave surf spot, Pipeline. It’s a nice change from the fast-pace of the city.
BONUS #8: Jurassic Park Zipline in Kualoa Ranch
One thing I hope to do next time we go to Hawaii is zipline in Kualoa Ranch. This zipline takes place where the Jurassic Park movies were filmed. They provide roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Waikiki for $15.95. Throughout the tour you will enjoy 3 5-minute hikes and walk across two suspension bridges. There are no handbrakes on this zipline so it’s much easier for kids. Note that children must be at least 7 years old to zipline though. Cost is $159.95 per person. More info here: https://oahuzipline.com/product/jurassic-zipline-tours/
Hawaii is more than just a honeymoon spot, it's actually a great place for a family vacation. Oahu is the place to go if you have kids and the most convenient place to stay is the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Here are 7 amazing adventures you can have in Hawaii with your kids that you will always remember.
Welcome to Honey & Figs! I'm Lisa. I love helping people with practical ways to live more abundant lives based on my own experience. You can click here to find out more about me.
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