Things to Do With Kids in Honolulu: A Parent's Guide

August 15, 2022

Wondering where to take the kids for fun in Honolulu? Here’s a Parent’s Guide to the best attractions to explore in Honolulu with kids!

The city of Honolulu is an ideal vacation destination for families! With miles of beaches, marine life encounters, unique cultural activities, and all kinds of opportunities for fun learning, there is no shortage of things to do in Honolulu with kids.

Explore battleships, submarines, and war aircraft in Pearl Harbor, experience one-of-a-kind Polynesian entertainment at the Polynesian Cultural Center, and snorkel with turtles and dolphins in the refreshing waters of Honolulu!

Best Things to Do in Honolulu with Kids

Explore Pearl Harbor

Touring Pearl Harbor with the kids can be immensely fun and educational! The Battleship Missouri Memorial is a sight to behold, including the ship's extensive decks, quarters, and many other spectacular displays. This is also an opportunity for the kids to see what daily life was like for the crew members while at sea, from the galley and sleeping cabins to recreation.

Related Post: 6 Oahu North Shore Attractions You Can't-Miss

We're positive that kids will have as much fun exploring the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park as the parents do! This is an opportunity to explore the USS Bowfin, which was built and put into service during WWII and destroyed 44 Japanese vessels in the war. Feel free to explore the submarine at your leisure, but please note that kids under four years are not allowed on or in the sub.

Battleships, submarines, and of course, war aircraft too! The Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum completes the trifecta of the must-visit Pearl Harbor attractions with kids. There are tons of photo opportunities at the two hangars with various WWII aircraft. And whether or not becoming a pilot is a lifelong dream, everyone will enjoy trying out the flight simulators to experience take-off and landing on an aircraft carrier.

There are separate tickets to the Battleship Missouri Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, and Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum. However, if you feel like the kids will have fun exploring all three, we recommend grabbing the Passport to Pearl Harbor! It includes admission to all three Pearl Harbor attractions. In addition, the following full-day guided tours are also available and recommended for families with kids in Honolulu:

View looking down on Pearl Harbor during the day and there appears to be some oil in the water in Oahu HawaiiDiscover Polynesian Cultural Center

You can easily spend a day with kids at the Polynesian Cultural Center. This living cultural museum features six villages, each dedicated to the unique culture of a different Polynesian island, and offers tons of activities for kids and family activities. 

Think over 42 acres of fun and learning for the family! Look forward to the most unforgettable attractions, including eight simulated tropical villages, IMAX® shows, canoe rides through a Tonga village, fishing with authentic Tahitian gear, parades, special events, daytime exhibits, and the Hā–Breath of Life evening show.

Related Post: Getting Around Oahu When You Don't Know What You're Doing

Simply put, Polynesian Cultural Center has the best package of Polynesian entertainment in Hawaii. Adults will love it, and kids will love it even more!

Looking for Polynesian Cultural Center discount tickets? Read our ultimate guide to uncover the best ways to save!

Polynesian man climbing a large palm tree to get yellow fruit in Oahu, Hawaii

photo credit: Polynesian Cultural Center via Facebook

Snorkel with the Turtles and Dolphins

Swimming in the refreshing waters of Honolulu, side-by-side and even nose-to-nose with a sea turtle. Ah, what a dream to look forward to!

Honolulu is filled with snorkeling and dives sites, but if you're not sure where are the best sites for guaranteed sightings of sea turtles, we recommend booking any of the following guided snorkeling tours:

Your underwater adventures in Honolulu will also consist of a variety of marine life! Aside from sea turtles, families will also get the opportunity to snorkel near dolphins, whales, and exotic fish. The Dolphin Snorkel Sail tour takes guests on a cruise to the stunning Leeward Oahu coast to see and snorkel for hours on end.

Check out our guide to the best snorkeling in Oahu! Feel like an expert as you navigate Oahu's North Shore's beautiful waters.

Close up of a sea turtle swimming over the reef in blue green water near Oahu, Hawaii, USA

photo credit: Sea Turtle Foundation via Facebook

Try Out Exhilarating Watersports

Looking for fun things to do with kids in Honolulu? Trying out different kinds of watersports is a must! Of course, you can always walk along the shore of Waikiki beach, but the thrilling water rides and activities offered by H20 Watersports are a fantastic way to pump up a family vacation.

Related Post: Ultimate Guide to Germaine's Luau: Discount Tickets and Coupons

Below are just some of the water rides that are fun for all ages. You can book all of them at discounted rates on Tripster!

So where do you meet? Your check-in takes place at H20 Watersports' Hawai'i Kai Shopping Center headquarters. You can search for the address, 377 Keahole St. E103, Honolulu, HI. 96825, on Waze and Google Maps. Once there, enjoy the free parking and head to a private marina with access to Maunalua Bay.

Two women parasailing with a chute that is a yellow smiley face at Parasailing Oahu in Oahu, Hawaii, USAFun Learning at the Bishop Museum and Planetarium

Engage with Hawaii's living culture, unwind with your ohana, and let the kids' imagination roam free at the Bishop Museum and Planetarium

The museum has over 25 million historical, cultural, and natural treasures–each with its special story. The kids will have fun tracing the history and cultures of the peoples of Hawai'i and the Pacific. This will also help them understand the unique island universe and appreciate Hawaii's extraordinary environment.

Related Post: Oahu on a Budget: How to Save BIG With a Go City Pass

The J. Watumull Planetarium at the Bishop Museum is Hawaii's gateway to the stars. Children will enjoy the program "Ngā Tohunga Whakatere: The Navigators," where they will travel with Moko, an intrepid teenager who follows the star paths of her ancestors, time travels between centuries and cultures to witness life onboard the waka hourua (sailing canoes) of her Māori forefathers, and uncovers the secrets of space and the largest ocean on Earth.

It takes about half a day to tour the Bishop Museum and Planetarium, leaving you the rest of the day to explore more attractions! Ala Moana Center, the world's largest open-air shopping center, is just 9 minutes from the Bishop Museum. Shop, dine, and enjoy live entertainment with the family!

inside of the bishop museum in honolulu

photo credit: Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum via Facebook

Experience Nutridge Luau

Luaus are family-friendly and are fantastic for kids of all ages! It's one of the best things to do in Honolulu with kids.

While there are more luaus in Honolulu, we recommend Experience Nutridge Luau because its limited group size guarantees an involved experience that the kids will remember for a lifetime.

Nutridge Luau is a very intimate backyard-style luau. It focuses on sharing the Hawaiian culture–from the Hawaiians' way of life to offering authentic local food. Fruits, vegetables, seafood, and dessert will fill your tummies, while the heartfelt displays of cultural traditions will fill your souls.

Three women in orange and red hula costumes and a man in a matching shirt playing a conch shell surrounded by greenery at the Experience Nutridge Luau on Oahu, Hawaii, USAPackage Your Honolulu Family Vacation

Ready for the most unforgettable vacation to the Hawaiian islands with the family? Package your Honolulu family vacation on Tripster for the best sun, sand, surf, and authentic Hawaiian culture!

There are more things to do with kids in Honolulu, all of which you can book and include in your itinerary in a single transaction. Include hotels, dining, and transportation to your Honolulu family adventure!

Have You Taken the Kids to Honolulu Before?

What would you add to the list? Share with us below!


Nicole sitting on rocks with waves in background

Written By Nicole

There are only two things that make Nicole really happy–books and travel! When her head’s not buried in a book, she’s most likely exploring the great o ...

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