9 Fun Things To Do In Oahu With Kids For The Perfect Vacation

Things To Do In Oahu With Kids

The Hawaiian island of Oahu is an ideal destination for families. Surrounded by the blue water of the Pacific Ocean, you’ll find plenty of fun and sun to keep your family busy. From the calm water of Waikiki Beach to the adrenaline rush of the Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore, this island paradise calls to visitors.

Popular family resorts like Hilton Hawaiian Village, Turtle Bay Resort, and Aulani, the Disney resort, attract families looking for onsite activities. But adventurous travelers know that the fun starts once you venture outside the resort. Explore the island with our suggestions for fun things to do in Oahu.

1) Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Snorkeling is arguably one of the best things to do in Oahu with kids. Start your visit to the Hawaiian island with a visit to Hanauma Bay, where the water is relatively calm, with plenty of tropical fish to see. You may even get lucky with a sighting of Hawaii’s legendary sea turtles!

The bay was once overcrowded, and the wildlife was suffering. Through concerted efforts, this is now a protected nature preserve with strict limitations on the number of daily visitors. Make a park reservation two days in advance. Same-day walk-up tickets are offered, but they go very quickly. If you are hoping for a same-day ticket, show up when the park opens at 6:45 am.

Bring your own snorkel gear, life preservers, and reef-safe sunscreen.

Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay

2) Explore Oahu With A Local Guide

Let the local guides with Aloha Circle Island Tours show you the best sights on Oahu with a full-day island tour. Explore Oahu’s top sites, plus a few hidden spots you might otherwise miss.

You’ll circle the island in comfort and hear stories of Hawaiian culture, native traditions, and Hawaiian history. These guides love to talk stories, and most of them are even true!

Can’t-miss highlights include:

  • Diamond Head

  • Dole Plantation

  • Byodo-In Temple

  • Secret Beaches

  • Coffee & Macadamia Farms

  • North Shore

The Premium Circle Island Tour includes a chance to go swimming and snorkeling with the vibrant marine life. There will be plenty of opportunities to take excellent family photos.

Family Have Fun On Oahu At Sunset
Family Have Fun On Oahu At Sunset

3) Things To Do In Oahu With Kids Who Like Trains

The Hawaiian Railway Society Train is one of the lesser-known attractions on Oahu. This non-profit group runs train rides on restored rail cars along a historic stretch of tracks from Ewa to Nanakuli.

Train journeys are two hours long and narrated by a local guide. The line ends at Kahe Point, where the train stops for a few minutes so passengers can enjoy the view before returning to Ewa.

Train rides are offered Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday year-round.

4) Free Family Entertainment

A short walk from Waikiki Beach, the Royal Hawaiian Center offers shopping, food, and free live entertainment that’s good for the whole family. Local entertainment at the Royal Grove includes hula dancing, ukulele, and Hawaiian music.

Free lessons are offered in hula, lei making, and lauhala weaving, with classes for kids.

Dining at the Royal Hawaiian Center includes mainland favorites like the Cheesecake Factory and local specialties like the Honolulu Cookie Company, Hawaiian Cane Juice, Island Vintage Coffee, and more.

Hula Girls Dancing On A Beach
Hula Girls Dancing On A Beach

5) Enjoy Tropical Foliage

If you are looking for things to do with kids in Oahu where they can walk off some energy, spend a day visiting Honolulu’s gardens. Honolulu is home to not just one but five botanical gardens, and they are all within an hour’s drive of Waikiki.

The five gardens are:

  • Wahiawā Botanical Garden

  • Hoʻomaluhia

  • Koko Crater

  • Foster

  • Liliʻuokalani

Take a garden tour or sign up for classes in gardening, bracelet making, journaling, and meditation.

Things To Do With Kids In Oahu
Things To Do With Kids In Oahu

6) Best Oahu Beaches For Families

Sunset Beach State Park on Oahu’s North Shore, close to the Turtle Bay Resort, has good snorkeling and is close to the famous Banzai Pipeline, where you can watch the hard-core surfers.

Lanikai Beach, also called Turtle Beach, on the North Shore, is home to the giant Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. You’ll find the protected turtles sunning on the beach, but don’t touch them, as they are protected by federal law.

Kailua Beach, on the eastern side of the island, is great for beach activities. Rentals are available for bikes, snorkel gear, bodyboards, and surfboards.

Best Oahu Beaches For Families
Best Oahu Beaches For Families

7) Experience The Culture Of The Hawaiian Islands

The 42-acre Polynesian Cultural Center is a fantastic trip through the Polynesian islands. Wander through the grounds and explore the villages of Tonga, Tahiti, Fiji, Samoa, and all the Hawaiian islands. Displays are interactive and include games, dances, cooking, and fishing without a net.

Experience the Hawaiian culture through food at the authentic luau. Enjoy local favorites like kalua pork, huli chicken, pike, teriyaki chicken, and much more.

Polynesian Cultural Center
Polynesian Cultural Center, Oahu

8) Things To Do In Oahu With Kids Who Love Animals

The small Honolulu Zoo has animals from the African savanna, the tropical forests of Asia and America, and the Pacific Islands.

With a visit to the Waikiki Aquarium, kids can see giant clams, a living coral reef, seahorses, tropical fish, sharks, and other marine predators.

Sea Life Park Hawaii gives kids a chance to get up close to sea lions, reef sharks, sea turtles, dolphins, and more. Explore the habitats and watch the dolphin and sea lion shows. Sea Life also offers a dolphin encounter program where guests can get into the water with the dolphins.

Sea Turtle At The Honolulu Zoo
Sea Turtle At The Honolulu Zoo

9) Pearl Harbor National Memorial Junior Ranger

Traveling with kids to Hawaii, you may not have considered adding the Pearl Harbor National Memorial to your itinerary for fear that they would not appreciate it. However, we can assure you this is one of the top things to do with kids in Oahu.

The memorial is part of the US National Park Service and includes the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Oklahoma, USS Utah Memorials, and the visitor center.

Admission to the National Memorial is free, and no ticket is required. However, in order to take the boat to the USS Arizona Memorial, you will need a timed ticket.

Get tickets in one of three ways:

  • Online reservation eight weeks in advance or 24 hours prior

  • Stand by line

  • An approved tour operator like Aloha Circle Island Tours will provide your timed tickets.

The boat ride out to the USS Arizona will be the highlight of your visit. Audio guides are available for touring the gallery displays. Kids can complete a Junior Ranger Scavenger Hunt booklet and receive a badge.

Additional Pearl Harbor historic sites are available for a fee, and they include:

  • Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum

  • USS Bowfin submarine

  • Battleship Missouri

USS Arizona Memorial In Pearl Harbor
USS Arizona Memorial In Pearl Harbor

A Memorable Family Vacation In Oahu

Explore Oahu, the great gathering place, with your family. You’ll find more than the usual sand, sea, and fruity little umbrella drinks. Bring back more than pictures. Bring back great memories as your lifelong souvenirs.

Book your next memorable adventures with us in Oahu today!

 

 


Duration
10 hours
Group Size
no limit

Premium Oahu Circle Island - North Shore Snorkeling Tour (With Dole & Byodo Temple)

We invite you to join us for the ultimate full-day, action-packed tour that will guide you to the finest sights on Oahu, and leave you in total amazement. Featuring 16 Points of Interest, it is our talented tour guides that will show you the best that Oahu has to offer. Diamond Head, Dole Plantation, Byodo-In Temple, Secret Beaches, Coffee & Macadamia Farms, Incredible Views & Photo Opportunities, and Swimming and Snorkeling with Turtles are just a few highlights that you will experience with us!

It’s our Tour Guides that will make all the difference in this action-packed day! They will spoil you rotten by telling funny stories, giving their knowledge of Hawaii, singing songs (Kanikapila), and sharing with you the precious culture of Hawaii. This tour will bring you relaxation, excitement, and all the emotions in between. We are ready to show you some major fun and give you the lay of the land. Aloha & E Komo Mai!

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Duration
6 hours
Group Size
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Pearl Harbor - USS Arizona Memorial & Honolulu City Tour

With around 2 million visitors per year, Pearl Harbor is the #1 visitor attraction in the Aloha State. Drawing people from all corners of the globe, the Pearl Harbor experience is fun, educational, and impactful. We invite you to come experience history and appreciate the importance that Hawaii played during a significant time in global history.

The most iconic monument at Pearl Harbor is the USS Arizona Memorial pictured above, and it’s the focal point of this tour. If you are looking for a half-day activity with lots of ‘bang for the buck,’ this tour is the perfect option.

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