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My family and I just returned from an extended trip in Hawaii. We spent about a week in Maui, where we stayed at a Vacasa vacation rental right on the beach.

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My son and I also took one day to fly 5 intra-island flights in one day, in an attempt to visit every county in Hawaii, including Kalawao County, the most difficult county in the United States to visit. But after a week on the island of Maui, we took a quick Southwest flight over to Honolulu, where we spent 4 nights at the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach. I thought I’d share some of my top things to do in Honolulu and Oahu for kids and families. I’m not saying these are necessarily the only or BEST things to do in Oahu and Honolulu, but these are some of the things that our family did or considered doing. I would like to note that Toa Luau and the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum did provide complimentary tickets for our family, but neither of them reviewed this article or provided input on its content.

a beach with a rocky cliff and a body of water

7 Things To Do in Honolulu and Oahu For Families

Here are 7 things to do in Honolulu and Oahu for kids and families. If you’re going to be in Honolulu or in Oahu, here are a few things to consider doing. Of course, a lot of this will depend on where exactly you are staying and whether you have a car. In this list, I am assuming that you’re based in Honolulu and do have a car. If you’re staying somewhere else and/or reliant on walking or public transportation, your list may be different:

  • Kuhio Beach Hula Show – every Wednesday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m., there is a free hula show put on on Waikiki Beach, near the Duke Kahanamoku statue, depending on the weather. We went our first evening and it was a fun and laidback way to get into the Waikiki scene. It gets crowded, so go early if you want to get a spot.
  • Pearl Harbor Historical Sites / USS Arizona – This was a must see and about a 20 minute drive from Waikiki. Admission is free to the memorial but you do need tickets to go to the USS Arizona (which is a short boat ride away). Those are $1 / person if you buy them in advance, which you’ll probably want to do. You should also make sure you’re there in plenty of time for your timed ticket to the Arizona. We arrived late and had to wait in the standby line. It wasn’t too long on the day we went but I’m told it can be hours if you don’t have or don’t show up on time for your ticket.
  • Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum – In addition to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial and USS Arizona, there are a few other Pearl Harbor-related sites in the area, including the USS Bowfin submarine, the USS Missouri and the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, all of which cost extra. We were given tickets to the Aviation Museum, and it was quite interesting. We all enjoyed doing the flight simulator where you could simulate fighting off a Japanese airplane attack.

a group of people in a vehicle with a shark fin

  • Dole Plantation – The Dole Plantation is another great option for something to do on Oahu – they have a pineapple garden tour, garden maze and of course, Dole whip!
  • Toa Luau – There are a variety of different luaus and other cultural celebrations on Oahu. We went to the Toa Luau which includes tickets to the Waimea Valley hiking trail and waterfall, and had a great time. You can read our full Toa Luau review here.

a group of people sitting on a stage

  • Polynesian Cultural Center – If you’re looking for more about Hawaiian and Polynesian culture, you can also visit the PCC, which is on the North Shore of Oahu, in Laie. I got the impression that many of the participants in the Toa Luau also worked wt the Polynesian Cultural Center.
  • Swim and surf – relaxing and just hanging out on the beach was probably the kids’ favorite thing to do during our time in Hawaii. There are also plenty of surfers out and about that you can watch, especially at Waikiki Beach.

a group of people in the water

There are plenty of other things to do in and around Honolulu and the island of Oahu – probably too many to reasonably list in just one article. But hopefully this can give you a few ideas of some of the things that we did and help you build your own list.

The Bottom Line

There are so many things to do in Honolulu and Oahu for families and kids, and a lot of it will depend on where exactly on the island you’re staying and whether you have a car or other transportation to get to some of these things to do. I hope you enjoyed our suggestion of the best things to do in Oahu – I know we had a blast during our time in Oahu, and I hope that you do too.

What are your favorite things to do in Honolulu and Oahu? Leave your suggestions in the comments

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