Top Things to Do in Honolulu With Kids

by Amanda Svachula
Originally Published: 
things to do in honolulu with kids, things to do in honolulu

Traveling to Honolulu, Hawaii? The city, located on the island of Oahu, is full of kid-friendly attractions and activities. Here are a few ideas for things to do with family in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Kids Attractions in Honolulu, Hawaii

One of the best family-friendly activities on the island is the Honolulu Zoo. The zoo is 42 acres and home to over 1,000 mammals, reptiles and birds. It’s open seven days a week, except for some holidays.

If your kids are curious about the underwater environments they have been exploring at the beach, visiting the Waikiki Aquarium is another fun thing to do. The aquarium, which also serves as the University of Hawaii’s research and educational facility for aquatic life, has colorful coral reefs, sharks and jellyfish. Kids can even play with hermit crabs and other small aquatic creatures in an interactive area.

If you are stuck with a rainy day, head a few minutes out of Honolulu to the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, the newest attraction among the Pearl Harbor historic sites. If history isn’t your family’s thing, another great option is the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center where your kids can learn about Hawaiian culture. There’s also the Bishop Museum which has dazzling planetarium shows.

Best Kid-Friendly Resorts in Honolulu

Kahla Resorts

There are many resorts in Honolulu, Hawaii, with a ton of kid-friendly activities. The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is 22 acres and right on the beach. During the day, you can go snorkeling and sailing. At night, you can bring your family to a starlit luau before bedtime.

The Sheraton Waikiki is another mega-resort with a fantastic playground pool complete with a water slide, fountains and whirlpools. The Hyatt Place Waikiki has a modern style and has activities like lei-making.

The Kahala Hotel & Resort is known for its huge ocean water lagoon filled with dolphins. Your family can watch and observe them interact with each other, or jump in as part of one of the resort’s activities.

Best Restaurants in Honolulu

There are many kid-friendly restaurants in Honolulu, Hawaii, with something for everyone in the family on the menu. For Hawaiian food on the beach, you should dine at the Hula Grill. The restaurant has its own “keiki” menu (“keiki” is Hawaiian for child) featuring Teri Chicken Kebobs for the more adventurous young ones, along with classic grilled cheese — both served with a side of fresh pineapple.

Café Kaila is a great pit stop for breakfast before a long day of activities. Go big and order the Cinnamon French Toast, made with sweet bread, for the whole table.

A great fast food option is Hula Dog Kuhio, a funky food stand that serves hot dogs made the Hawaiian way.

You can’t leave the island of Oahu without trying Hawaiian shave ice! The place to go is Waiola Shave Ice. Your kids will love to eat (and look at) the Rainbow Ice Cream Bowl, which you can customize with any of the shop’s fruity flavors.

Outdoor Activities in Honolulu, HI

Along with its beautiful beaches, Honolulu, Hawaii, has its fair share of outdoor activities. You can hike up to the Diamond Head State Monument, which has breathtaking views of the city and the Pacific Ocean. You might have to carry your toddler for part of the way, but it’s otherwise doable.

If you want to journey out onto the water, embark on an excursion with Dolphins and You, suitable for kids age 2 and up. From the boat, you can use the inflatable slide to enter the ocean and swim alongside pods of dolphins. The Kualoa Ranch, located about 24 miles outside of Honolulu, Hawaii, is a “Jurassic Park” lover’s dream. There are activities for visitors of all ages on the private estate, from a trolley tour of a tropical farm (with fruit samples) to a bus tour of the valley where over 50 movies have been filmed.

Formed within a volcanic cone, Hanauma Bay State Park has stunning views, along with snorkeling and turtle tours.

Best Beaches in Honolulu

Waikiki Beach is by far the most popular beach in Honolulu, Hawaii. The resort you stay in will likely be on this beach. It hosts plenty of opportunities for water sports and other aquatic activities.

For a change of scene, Ala Moana Beach Park is a free public park favored by locals. It’s not usually as crowded as Waikiki, which is great when you need to keep an eye on your young ones in the water. There’s plenty of swimming space here! Near the aquarium and zoo, you can check out the Queen’s Surf Beach. Kids will love watching the surfers camped out there, or walking out on it its pier.

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