Family activities Oahu

Best 20 Family friendly activities in Oahu to do now

There’s plenty of fantastic places to visit and activities in Oahu that is family friendly. If you are planning a trip to Oahu soon, check out these top activities, tips and places to visit that are kid friendly and won’t break the bank in terms of coasts especially if you are on a budget for your entire family visiting and vacation on the island.

Best 20 Family friendly activities in Oahu to do now

Hike up Diamond Head

One of the most popular hikes on the island is to hike up to the rim and observation areas of Diamond Head state park. The hike is a work out but not too bad with kids at different age groups on some paved, gravel and dirt trails to the top and also a set of stairs to get to the observation decks.

You’ll enjoy all the views and return through the downhill rim trail to see some of the beautiful eastern side of Oahu and some gorgeous views of the areas below. There’s plenty of parking but you can also take Uber, bus or the Waikiki trolley that goes right into the park entrance.

To find out more information on visiting and hiking up Diamond head, check out the state website here for more details to exploring the park area.

Hike up Diamond Head

Here’s a fun video tour of what to see and do at Diamond Head

Family friendly beaches

There are plenty of fun and kid friendly beaches to enjoy around the island. Many are protected from the main ocean waves and currents with barriers which create safe zones and lagoons that make it relatively shallow and safe for kids of various age ranges.

Check out these top family beaches below for your fun beach day with the entire family.

Ala Moana Beach Park

Magic Island

Kailua beach

Lanikai Beach

Waimea Bay

Waimanalo

Turtle Beach

Waikiki Beach

Family friendly beaches

Hanauma Bay

One of the most popular snorkeling spots to enjoy on the island, Hanauma Bay is fabulous and also a great beach to enjoy on the Hawaii Kai side of Honolulu. You have to make reservations to get to Hanauma which is restricting daily traffic numbers to maintain the quality of the marine life and coral at this ocean preserve. Aim for visiting early morning with a reservation to avoid crowds and ease of parking in the area.

Here’s a quick video tour experience of visiting Hanauma bay below and the main attractions to see and do in the beach area.

You can enjoy a wonderful beach and snorkeling day at Hanauma bay and really see the extensive topical marine life, coral and tropical fish to see in the area.

Check out more details to visiting Hanauma Bay here for information to visiting and other requirements.

Atlantis Submarine

A fun way to see the underworld areas without getting wet, you take a boat tender to the loading area to the submarine and then cruise underwater 100 feet to where artificial reefs are with marine life, coral and tropical can be seen from your own porthole. It’s a fun and different experience, educational and an easy way to explore the waters around Honolulu area.

To do a Waikiki Atlantis Discovery tour experience, check out the website here for more details and information on doing this fun submarine experience.

Atlantis Submarine

Wet and Wild Water Park

So much fun and family friendly to boot, Wet and Wild is the fun kid friendly park to enjoy being on the water with safety in mind and a lot of cool water features and rides to enjoy with water fun. You’ll love spending a day on on all the exciting attractions at this water park in Oahu.

To enjoy your own Wet and Wild experience at the park, check out their website here for more details, current prices and information.

Polynesian Cultural Center

A fantastic experience for the family to travel to 6 islands of Polynesia including: Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti, Hawaii, New Zealand and Tonga. While exploring the various miniature locations, locals with their native ancestry from those islands share their music, dance, culture, story tell and other fascinating aspects of traveling to their island. It’s an immersive learning opportunity to throw spears, learn to cook the native way, easy crafts, canoe paddling to even starting a fire from scratch.

It’s a fun family friendly venue and the additional luau experience is also worth staying later for this wonderful activity. You can check more details to visiting the Polynesian cultural center, the luau and other activities to experience here for more information to enjoy on the east side of Oahu.

Sea Life Park

You can have a fun day on the eastern side of Oahu and spend some time with family at Sea Life Park which is a perfect way to get children to enjoy all the marine life from the island with a variety of shows, immersion experiences in an educational, playful and interactive environment.

Sea Life Park offers free entrance to park activities if you book their luau experience here for more details to doing both experiences on the eastern side of Oahu.

Sea Life Park

Here’s a quick video tour of visiting Sea Life Park below

Honolulu Zoo

Located at Kapiolani park in Waikiki, the Honolulu Zoo feels like an intimate tropical garden that you are walking through and housing over 1200 animals in a 42 acre zoo that is compact and easy to walk and enjoy the displays, tropical gardens and of course the animals in this zoo. You’ll find the displays and housing of the animals well done and incorporate a beautiful tropical environment.

To find out more details on visiting the Honolulu Zoo, check out their website here for more information to visiting, hours and other special activities on site.

Honolulu Zoo

Here’s a visit to the Honolulu Zoo, what’s open and see and do in the grounds below.

Pearl Harbor

A visit to Pearl Harbor is but fun and educational with children to show them how important the base was at Pearl Harbor and the attack from the Japanese naval fleet that created the start of World War II with Japan. You’ll see some fascinating movies, visit museums and tour some of the vessels docked at Pearl Harbor and also take a short boat cruise to the USS Arizona that is sunk at the bottom of the bay.

If you want to do an arranged tour that avoids all of the headache to visiting Pearl Harbor and other attractions, check out this website and tour operator here for more details and current prices.

Check out this video to an updated visit to Pearl Harbor now and what areas are open for the public to enjoy.

Kualoa Ranch

A fun family-oriented attraction that is part cattle ranch and the original filming of Jurrasic Park. You can do a variety of activities from horseback riding, ATV touring to ziplining activities for the whole family. Located on the east side of the island at Kaneohe, Kualoa Ranch is a very popular attraction that kids will enjoy doing with so many cool choices of activities to try at the ranch.

To book the popular UTV Kualoa ranch tour and checking out Jurassic Park, check out the tour operator here for more details and current prices.

Dole Pineapple Plantation

A fantastic visit to the Dole Pineapple Plantation both educational and fun with children, taking a train through the growing fields, exploring a large-scale maze and some cool gardens to explore along with an information area/welcome area to shop and enjoy some pineapple inspired foods like their delicious Dole Whip, a pineapple dairy free ice cream.

Here’s a quick video tour of exploring the Dole Plantation in Wahiawa

Luau in Oahu

Luaus are perfect for families with interactive activities, delicious food, educational talk story and cultural lessons along with a fabulous entertainment to include live music, hula dance, singing and other traditional story telling and activities. You can check out the Luau that is offered at the Polynesian cultural center in East Hawaii or this fantastic luau still operating and located in the Honolulu area for booking a luau activity for your entire family.

Check out the details to doing this classic Germaine’s Luau here for current information and prices for participating.

Outside Honolulu at Waianae is the Classic Paradise Cove Luau, you can check out the details to this traditional luau here for more information, activities and prices.

Sea Life Park includes a free visit to the park with their Luau experience called Ka Moana Luau here for more details and information to this experience.

Luau in Oahu

Bishop Museum

The Bishop Museum in Honolulu is the best museum to learn about Polynesian culture, history and traditions with immersive displays and signage and other learning tools that are easy for children to understand. You can take a docent tour or explore the museum on your own to find out all the fascinating artifacts, arts and crafts and other collections. Visiting the museum will give you an insight and appreciation of important Hawaiian and Polynesian, traditions through their collections, artifacts and dioramas, fun workshops when you visit in this fabulous museum. Also, check out the details to visiting here for more information, hours and current calendar of events.

Bishop Museum

Check out this quick video tour of visiting the Bishop Museum below.

Children’s Discovery Center

Located at Kaka’ako Waterfront Park outside of Honolulu, this children’s museum is both a museum, discovery, science and technology center aimed to educate, inspire and offer a kid friendly and safe environment to enjoy and explore he center. There are different sections to walk through to learn about Hawaiian culture, history, celebrations and also about the environment and the importance of the aina or land that we live in and taking care of it. Find out more details to visiting the Children’s Discovery Center here for more information.

Waikiki Aquarium

Located close to the Honolulu Zoo and Kapiolani park is the Waikiki Aquarium which is fun for children to explore the various aquariums and outdoor exhibits with local marine life, corals and tropical fish to visit. The second oldest operating aquarium in the USA, the Waikiki Aquarium is easy to explore, has great signage and fun staff to engage and ask questions while visiting. Check out more details to visiting the Waikiki Aquarium here for more information and current events.

Here’s a quick video tour experience to visiting the Waikiki Aquarium below

Haleiwa town

A fun North Shore destination, exploring the old western town of Haleiwa with converted buildings and storefronts filled with galleries, bake shops and shave ice stands, food truck courts and fun window shopping in this colorful town that is artsy and has a fun young vibe from the surfer scene in the area. While visiting Haleiwa, you can also explore the surrounding area and enjoy some time visiting the attractions in the North Shore area.

Haleiwa town
SAMSUNG CSC

Visit Chinatown area

Chinatown is a family friendly venue that is fun to explore, eat some delicious dim sum, check out the lei stands and explore the cool gift shops and mom and pop shops for cheap bargains to take home. You can even sign up for walking tours with the local Chamber of commerce to learn the history and cultural aspects of the Chinatown district in Honolulu.

Visit Chinatown area

Snorkeling at Shark’s cover in the North Shore

Snorkeling is a fun activity on the island and one of the most kid friendly locations is on the North Shore at Sharks Cove which is sheltered by some barrier rocks and makes the area safe to snorkel in and explore all the fantastic marine life, corals and tropical fish in the area. It is relatively shallow throughout the cove so it is very family friendly.

Snorkeling at Shark’s cover in the North Shore

Experience a fun waterfall hike and plunge at Waimea Waterfalls

Both a botanical garden and hiking area to a waterfall that you can actually swim in the pond area fronting the waterfalls, Waimea Falls is a non-profit educational facility that educates and inspires all visitors. They offer docent tours, cultural immersion, a luau after hours event and also some play time at the waterfalls after a nice and easy hike on paved trails up to the waterfall area. For more details, check out this post on visiting Waimea Canyon.

To visit Waimea Waterfalls and the botanical gardens, check out their website here for details and information on visiting the site.

Experience a fun waterfall hike and plunge at Waimea Waterfalls

Do a catamaran tour day tour

It’s fun to be out on the water on a boat and exploring the coastlines of Oahu on a day trip and snorkel experience.. A family friendly catamaran tour is fun to do along the eastern shores of Oahu and finding the cool snorkeling spots to explore on the island..

This tour outfitter offers a one of a kind snorkel and sail experience along with a fun picnic to enjoy along the way for this day cruise around Kaneohe. Check out Captain Bob’s snorkel experience here for more details and calendar.

Conclusion to Family friendly activities in Oahu

It’s a fantastic time to visit the islands with kids at all these wonderful kid friendly attractions and places to visit around the island that is safe, educational, historic or just plain fun to do exploring around Oahu.

If you know some other cool venues or activities to do Oahu, please share them in the comment section below.

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