Travelling in Hawaii with Kids
Updated: Aug 21, 2019
I've always wanted to go to Hawaii. My sister got married there and has been back for her anniversary several times. Sadly I never got to go. :-(
Then I found Priscilla from Adventure Somewhere on Instagram and I decided to connect with her to see if she wanted to write a guest post on my blog about travelling in Hawaii with kids, as she has recently been and has snapped some pretty cool pics of her family holiday there.
Read all about her trip to Hawaii below:
Travelling to Oahu Hawaii with Kids
Thought about visiting Hawaii but don’t know where even to start? That’s how we felt as we were dreaming up our trip to the Aloha State. And with more than enough islands to pick from, we were floored on which one to see; and which one would be the best to see with kids. As we narrowed it down, we decided no first trip to Hawaii would be complete without a visit to the most recognizable island, Oahu.
If the name of the island doesn’t ring a bell, you’ve likely heard of the capital city of Honolulu which is situated on the southwest coast of the island. You’ve also likely seen it, since the iconic dormant volcano Diamond head situated at the far end of the beautiful Waikiki Beach is adorned as the view of Hawaii. The island is also home to the famous North Shore, known for its massive waves that beckon the most skilled surfers.
But what else does it have? And what can you do with kids? We’ll give you a slight preview of our time there and the things our children loved, as well as other suggestions for kid appropriate attractions!
Where to Stay in Oahu Hawaii?
Let’s start with the basics – where to sleep. We stayed at both Aulani, a Disney Resort & Space and Hilton Hawaiian Village. Both resorts are highly revered by families with little and big ones alike because of its diversity in venues, array of amenities for all ages, and the convenience that each of these mega resorts provide to cater to all.
We equally enjoyed our time at both and both can cater to specific wants and needs for your family. Disney’s Aulani was situated in a resort strip on the island called Ko Olina, away from the hustle and traffic of Honolulu. Hilton Hawaiian Village was right on Waikiki Beach, for those looking to be in the middle of the action. Both resorts offered great pools, a variety of on-site restaurants, activities for adults and kids alike and on-site childcare services for a nice night out!
If neither is what you desire for a place to stay, you can always just visit either! Aulani offers a day pass you can purchase to utilize their pools. Hilton has a man-made lagoon that has public access and can rival any pool. Both resort’s beaches have public access so you can come enjoy the waves and sunbathe for a day.
What to Do at Oahu Hawaii?
There’s so much to do in Oahu, it’s difficult to even say where to start. Here are some of our top recommendations of things to do with kids, of all ages.
See Honolulu from Diamond Head. This climb is an easy one with kids with its paved pathways and flocks of tourists. But to climb this icon and see the capital city from above is exhilarating! Grab a Dole pineapple treat on the way up (or down) to reward them for their hard work.
Want more pineapple treats? Visit Dole Plantation to see where the farm started and engage your kids in a variety of activities from train rides, tours or even get lost in a pineapple maze.
Go see Waimea Falls in Waimea Valley. This sanctuary allows you to walk through beautiful botanical gardens and exotic animals, accented by Waimea Falls at the end.
Visit North Shore - and not for the waves we mentioned previously. Over the northern hemisphere’s summer months, the ocean is calm in these parts, which makes it great for snorkelling. We enjoyed seeing the tidal pools at Shark’s Cove, finding reef fish at Turtle Bay Beach, and seeing sea turtles graze the coast at Laniakea Beach.
Want some of the best snorkelling? Visit the conservation location of Hanauma Bay – swim in this bay full of coral and sea life to match. There will be a small fee to get in and a presentation to watch, but both are efforts to keep this natural wonder alive and protected.
Go for a hike. We particularly enjoyed the challenge of getting to the top at the Lanikai Pillbox Hike but will advise - this is not the place to start for amateur hikers!
Visit the Byodo-In Temple in the Valley of the Temples to see some of the spiritual influences that guide the people of this island and teach your kids about a religion they may not know.
Go to Kualoa Ranch to visit the set of Jurassic Park. Yes, Jurassic Park was filmed on these gorgeous mountains. You can visit by ATV, zipline, horseback or even on a just a traditional bus tour.
Spend a day at the beach. This is what you came for anyway! Make it Waikiki while you’re here, to say you stayed at one of the most famous beaches in the world!
The Best Places to Eat in Honolulu
There are some really unique island foods, so if eating your way through the island is on your agenda, here are some of our favorite places (all of which the kids will vouch for having LOVED too)!
Stop at Leonard’s Bakery in Honolulu for malasadas – delicious sugar coated donuts that are worth every bit of the wait in line. They must be eaten fresh!
Craving some more sweets? While in Honolulu, stop at Liliha Bakery for the Coco Puffs.
You can’t come to Hawaii without having shaved ice. The best on the island is said to be Matsumoto Shave Ice in North Shore – and we agree!
While in the North Shore, visit Giovanni Shrimp Truck. It’s one of a variety of food trucks on the side of the road, and so good for some no frills dining.
Want to have some iconic Hawaiian pork? Find a Kono’s location and order the Pork Plate Lunch with the P.O.G. to drink – the combination was great!
And you can’t come all the way to Hawaii and no do a luau! There are so many to choose from on the island, but we heard that Paradise Cove and Polynesian Cultural Center came most recommended. But either way, you can’t go wrong, the whole experience from the activities, food to the show itself is fantastic!
Want some more information or inspiration for Hawaii? Feel free to visit us at Adventure Somewhere for ideas or help planning your own trip!
Thank you so much Priscilla! You have provided some fantastic information about travelling to Hawaii. Please show Priscilla some love on Instagram to thank her for writing this awesome blog post about travelling to Hawaii with kids. :-)