14 Best Things To Do In Oahu With Kids | Ultimate List

Published On: March 22, 2024Last Updated: March 22, 2024
Things To Do In Oahu With Kids

Explore Oahu’s rich diversity, from the laid-back North Shore to bustling Honolulu. The island’s Hawaiian food, activities, and attractions showcase its varied population. We are frequent Hawaiian visitors and we have compiled a unique list of the best things to do in Oahu with kids. If luxury travel options appeal to you, you will enjoy our favorite family activities in Oahu.

About Oahu, Hawaii: Oahu is the third-largest Hawaiian island and one of the best places to stay in Hawaii. Overall, the best Hawaiian island for families, it hosts over a million residents, including the state capital, Honolulu. Spanning 600 square miles, it’s dubbed “The Gathering Place,” rich in history with Pearl Harbor Naval Base and Schofield Barracks. Ideal for family trips, Oahu offers Hawaiian culture immersion through local cuisine and traditions. It’s a marine life hub featuring humuhumunukunukuapua’a fish and green sea turtles, alongside thriving ecosystems and stunning beaches. You can experience the thriving ecosystems and the best beaches on Oahu and make your family vacations memorable.

Amazing Things To Do In Oahu With Kids | 14 Stunning Kid-Friendly Activities

1. Go to Waimea Valley Waterfall and Cultural Park

North Shore Oahu offers fantastic family-friendly attractions. Waimea Valley boasts a botanical garden and various programs ensuring parents’ peace of mind while kids explore culture, swim at waterfall bases, or enjoy easy hiking trails. Moreover, booking Toa Luau grants free admission.

2. Snorkel in Hanauma Bay

Snorkel in Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay State Park offers the best snorkeling in Oahu within a volcanic cone, boasting protected marine life. Admission is $25/person, free for kids under 12. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays to offer the fish a rest. Limited parking (300 spots, $3 cash only) urges early arrival. Open 6:45 am to 1:30 pm; late entries are not permitted. New reservation procedures include a mandatory 9-minute marine life protection video. Only 1400 daily tickets are available, open for reservation two days in advance at 7:00 am Hawaii time. Act swiftly, as spots can sell out in just five minutes.

3. Visit Honolulu Zoo

Visit Honolulu Zoo

Explore 42 acres of native Hawaiian plants and animals at Honolulu Zoo in Waikiki. Encounter mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles, alongside stunning local flora. Enjoy interactive programs like Twilight Tours and Snooze at the Zoo. Kids delight in feeding giraffes and watching elephants bathe. Bring your snacks for a picnic but remember not to feed the animals. A visit to this zoo is one of the best things to do in Honolulu with kids.

4. Stop at Sea Life Park

Sea Life Park in Hawaii offers top-tier wild animal exhibits and marine experiences. Dive into interactive programs, swim with dolphins and sharks, or encounter seals and Hawaiian reef creatures. Kids can explore touch reefs. Plus, enjoy a lavish Oahu luau with Polynesian tributes and traditional dinners. It’s a family adventure blending education with entertainment in stunning surroundings.

Additional Tip: If you love to experience the water world, you can explore the best honeymoon cruises in Hawaii to get a memorable aloha trip in its truest sense.

5. Go to see Ka’ena Point, State Park

Families visiting Oahu can enjoy a family hike at Ka’ena Point State Park. The 2.7-mile trail offers views of the volcanic coast, tide pools, and Makua coastline. Spot dolphins in the morning and Kaneana Sea cave. Beware: there is limited shade and no water, so pack essentials and wear sunblock. It is Ideal for older kids due to the terrain’s difficulty.

6. Check out Hukilau Marketplace

Hukilau Marketplace

Visit this place for a taste of 1958 Hawaii, offering local delights like pineapple ice cream and Huli Huli Chicken. The center offers immersive shows and events, showcasing Polynesian cultures. Though ticket prices are high, the experience is invaluable for families visiting Oahu.

7. Experience the North Shore Zipline Adventure

North Shore Zipline Adventure

Oahu offers numerous thrilling zipline experiences for a breathtaking perspective of the island’s beauty. Opt for the North Shore Zipline Adventure to enjoy unparalleled views and access to renowned beaches like Waimea Bay, Banzai Pipeline, and Paumalū Beach. Distinguished for its extensive zipline, this tour stands out as one of Oahu’s finest, ensuring an exceptional birds-eye adventure. Here you can experience real travel moments adventure and luxury travel.

8. Visit Byodo-In Temple

Visit Byodo-In Temple

The Byodo-In Temple offers an enriching experience for children, showcasing various religions and promoting global harmony. With its serene ambiance, adorned by peacocks and Japanese koi fish, it’s an ideal spot for memorable family outings and stunning photo opportunities on Oahu.

9. Go to see Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

Explore the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden, a wonderful Oahu activity for kids. It’s an incredibly serene and beautiful place boasting a top-notch global plant collection. Discover rare Hawaiian plants here. Engage in weekly arts and crafts lessons—a delightful and child-friendly experience.

10. Surf in Waikiki and the North Shore

Surf in Waikiki and the North Shore

Surfing is one of the top things to do on Oahu with kids, deeply ingrained in Hawaiian culture. Experience it with a surf school while staying at the best resorts in Hawaii, offering lessons in Waikiki and the North Shore.

On the North Shore, witness skilled surfers tackling waves at Waimea Bay, Banzai Pipeline, and Sunset Beach, while in summer, Waimea Bay Beach Park is ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving.

11. Check out the Pearl Harbor National Memorial

Check out the Pearl Harbor National Memorial

Pearl Harbor, located west of Honolulu (which is the best Hawaiian island for hiking as well), witnessed the pivotal 1941 WWII bombing. Home to the USS Arizona Memorial, it’s a significant historical site. Explore independently or book a tour, but secure tickets online well in advance due to high demand.

Arrive by 7:00 am for the self-guided tour, as this popular attraction sells out quickly. Free tickets for the 75-minute USS Arizona Memorial program are limited and released daily at 3:00 pm Hawaiian time, covering both 24 hours and 8 weeks in advance.

Note that strollers are not allowed on the boat ride to the memorial.

12. Hike at Diamond Head State Monument

Where else can you find a path leading to a crater aged 300,000 years? If you decide to go, allocate around two hours for the 1.6-mile round-trip hike to Diamond Head. Though not overly challenging, the trail can be uneven in places. Additionally, you’ll pass through a tunnel and ascend 99 steps toward the end! Nevertheless, the journey rewards you with sweeping vistas of the Pacific Ocean and Honolulu. It is also one of the best honeymoon destinations for many people.

Diamond Head represents just one of the hiking options on Oahu. Interested in exploring more trails? The Manoa Falls trail culminates in a 150-foot waterfall. However, swimming in the water is not advisable due to a recent rock slide filling the swimming area. For safety reasons, visitors are encouraged to appreciate the best waterfall hikes in Oahu from a distance.

For tourists, parking and entry reservations are mandatory. Reservations become available 30 days prior and can be secured online. The fee is $5 per person, with parking costing $10 per vehicle.

13. Visit Ala Moana Center

Ala Moana Center stands as a vast open-air shopping destination, hosting eight main retailers, accommodating 11,000 parking spots, and boasting a selection of over 350 stores, amenities, and eateries.

  • Indulge in retail therapy and savor a meal at diverse dining spots offering local and international cuisines.
  • Experience live entertainment options including orchestras, hula performances, Hawaiian music, dance exhibitions, and more.
  • Additionally, discover the Children’s Play Area situated on the third level of the Mauka Wing.
  • This secure environment provides vibrant platforms for children to enjoy exploration and climbing activities.
  • Visiting this place is one of the best things to do in Oahu at night.

14. Go to Nu‘uanu Pali

Conclude your memorable trip with a visit to Nu‘uanu Pali, a top activity in Oahu for families, renowned for its breathtaking vistas of the northeast coast. This iconic landmark boasts picturesque trails set against stunning natural scenery. Embark on a unique outdoor adventure with your children as you trek to the lookout, capturing countless photos and experiencing the powerful gusts of wind.

Wrapping up

Oahu offers diverse activities for families, from beach relaxation to exploring hidden gems and attractions. With seven days and a car rental, you can enjoy a luxury trip. Plan for an unforgettable family adventure in Hawaii this year, and create lasting memories.


Which Island Is Superior For Children Maui Or Oahu?

Maui and Oahu cater to families with different preferences, offering distinct atmospheres. Maui boasts serene beauty, pristine beaches, and outdoor escapades, ideal for those craving tranquility. You can also pick from the best waterfalls in Maui to plan your trip destination. In contrast, Oahu blends urban allure, cultural richness, and family-centric beach amenities, appealing to those desiring a lively and multifaceted island ambiance.

What are a few secret things to do on Oahu?

Oahu offers numerous hidden spots unknown to most tourists, like Mermaid Cove, Kahuku Farms, and the Byodo-In Temple. For a thrilling experience, venture out at night to glimpse the mysterious Hawaiian Night Marchers.

About the Author: Mujahid Khan Jatera

Mujahid, a lifestyle blogger, is a passionate explorer who loves to travel. With a keen interest in luxury automobiles, he exemplifies a strong business mindset and entrepreneurial drive.

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