A trip to Oahu with kids can be a fantastic way to make memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime. Packed full of family-friendly activities, it’s an easy destination to visit if you’re building an itinerary with little ones in mind. From infants to teens, there are plenty of ways to keep your kids entertained and happy throughout your trip.
If you’re on the hunt for ways to keep your kids in Oahu, this article has got you covered. Madison and I had a list of ideas and stuff that we wanted to do but ended up not going with our schedule, but guess what? We still had a ton of fun. While Madison and I didn’t get to do it all, here are some of our favorite kid-friendly attractions to experience while you’re on the island:
HAVE SOME FUN AT DISNEY’S AULANI
Does your family love Disney? You can’t afford to miss a stop at Aulani, Disney’s Hawaiian resort. Even if you aren’t staying here, it’s worth a visit to admire the incredible detail that went into the property, which combined a healthy dose of Disney Magic with the traditional culture of Hawaii.
You’ll find a lazy river, water slides, and a water play area for little ones, as well as a private beach perfect for paddleboarding, kayaking, and swimming. And, of course, your kiddos will get the chance to meet their favorite Disney characters decked out in their vacation attire – and you won’t have to fight the lines you encounter at the theme parks to do it.
MAKE A SPLASH AT WET ‘N’ WILD WATER PARK
If your little one is tired of touring attractions like the Pearl Harbor memorial, let them burn off some energy at the Wet ‘n’ Wild Water Park. This 29-acre park is home to over 25 attractions ranging from kiddie pools and lazy rivers to thrill-inducing water slides like the Volcano Express. You can easily spend the better part of a day checking out the different slides and rides. Don’t forget to bring a waterproof camera to snap some fun photos!
EXPERIENCE A LUAU
If you’re on a mission to experience Hawaiian culture while you’re in Oahu, you can’t leave without taking the family to a luau. You’ll get an opportunity to watch some authentic Hawaiian hula dancing and participate in fun family-friendly activities, like Hawaiian games and crafts, before indulging in some traditional Hawaiian cuisine. Typical menu offering include roast pig, long rice, huli-huli chicken, and other Hawaiian specialties.
There are lots of different options for luaus across Oahu, but Paradise Cove is known for its exceptional family-friendly experience. Another great choice? The luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Included in the price of admission for many of the options offered, kids and adults alike will have a blast as you enjoy traditional Hawaiian song and dance and indulge in delicious food.
SPEND TIME ON THE BEACH
You can’t visit Oahu without spending a fair amount of time on the beach, soaking up the sun. After all, the beach is one of the island’s main attractions, and there are lots of different ways to enjoy it:
- Take a long stroll and search for seashells and shark teeth.
- Buy or rent some gear and see what lies beneath the water’s surface on a snorkeling adventure.
- Sign the family up for surf or scuba lessons to make the most of your time on the water.
- Toss a frisbee, build a sandcastle, or bury each other in the sand.
- Rent kayaks or canoes and cruise along the shoreline.
PLAN A DAY AT KUALOA RANCH
Kids and adults alike will love spending time at Kualoa Ranch. Some of the coolest things you can do while you’re there include:
- The Hollywood Movie Sites Tour, which gives a history of the ranch as a favorite spot for filming television shows and movies. Well-loved movies like Jurassic Park, Godzilla, and 50 First Dates, and even television shows like LOST were filmed here, and fans will appreciate the chance to get up close to the famous sets where these scenes unfolded on camera.
- The Kayak Adventure Tour, which takes you on a journey through the Kane’ohe Bay. As long as your kiddos can swim, this is a great option for those who love the water. Aside from getting to paddle around in your own kayak, you’ll get the chance to check out some of the island’s most famous spots for photos.
- The Horseback Adventure Tour, which lets you experience the lush Hawaiian scenery on a relaxing horseback stroll. This tour is limited to guests 10 and older, but if your little one loves to ride horses, this makes for a once-in-a-lifetime experience they won’t soon forget.
TOUR THE DOLE PLANTATION
Even if you don’t love pineapples, the Dole Plantation can be a great way to have a blast with kiddos. Take a ride on the Pineapple Express Train Tour to learn a bit about the plantation and their prized pineapples, or spend some time feeding the massive koi fish in the Fish Feeding Pond. If you’re touring with an older kid, plan to spend some time in the Pineapple Garden Maze. This maze holds the title of the world’s largest maze, and it’s a blast for families who love to explore and solve puzzles together.
And, of course, you can’t leave without indulging in a Dole Whip. This delicious concoction has taken Disney World by storm to become one of the park’s most-loved treats, and it’s the perfect way to cool down on a warm day on Oahu.
SNACK ON SHAVE ICE
Shave ice – not shaved ice – is a hugely popular treat in Hawaii. You can’t leave Oahu without visiting at least one shave ice stand and indulging in this sticky-sweet dessert. You’ll find flavored syrups ranging from well-loved classics like cherry, grape, and mango to more exotic options, including yuzu, ramune, and mizore at stands like Matsumo. Grab a cup when you need to take a break from sightseeing and cool off!
OR INDULGE IN A SMOOTHIE IN A PINEAPPLE
If you visited the Dole Plantation, then you’ll understand the love of pineapples. Not only can you get pineapple candy and gummies, but you can also get your very own smoothie in an actual pineapple, complete with umbrellas. It’s a treat that not to be missed, as it’s not only delicious but makes for great conversation as well.
A vacation to Oahu can be a great experience for the whole family – even the littlest members. From luaus to water parks and guided tours, there are plenty of kid-friendly activities that the entire crew is guaranteed to enjoy.