Top Oahu Kid-Friendly
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Despite Oahu’s reputation as a surf mecca and a honeymooners’ paradise, its year-round sunshine, non-stop activities, and dozens of white-sand beaches make this tropical outdoor playground well-suited for the whole family. Here are some ways to make the most of a trip to Oahu with the kids in tow.
- Check out marine life at the Waikiki Aquarium and Sea Life Park. Both offer different experiences—the aquarium, within walking distance of most Waikiki hotels, hosts a bevy of colorful reef residents, while Sea Life Park, further afield, focuses on larger creatures like dolphins and seals.
- Get out on the water to see some sea creatures in the wild—head to the protected Hanauma Bay for some of the best snorkeling on the island, or set sail on a whale-watching tour between November and April.
- Learn about local culture at the Polynesian Cultural Center on the North Shore. Living exhibits showcase different facets of life in cultures throughout Polynesia. Their elaborate nightly luau—complete with in-the-ground-steamed pig—is a must-see.
- Spend a day immersed in the outdoors of Kualoa Ranch, where you can go hiking, kayaking, and ziplining, or take an ATV-based movie tour to see filming locations from Jurassic Park, Hawaii Five-0, and 50 First Dates.
- Get lost at the Dole Plantation's huge hedge maze and discover the former pineapple plantation's history.
- Take a family surf lesson or rolling outrigger canoe ride at the gentle breaks in Waikiki.
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Set out from Oahu’s scenic North Shore to the depths of the big blue Pacific, where you have the chance to observe wild sharks from inside an underwater shark cage. Thanks to your professional, experienced crew, the Oahu shark dive is completely safe as they know the predators’ behavior, and the underwater cage provides proven safety against all different species of sharks. Whether you’re in the cage with sharks right in front of you or watching from up in the boat, Oahu shark diving is a Hawaii activity you’ll definitely never forget.
Visit the Bishop Museum, one of the most popular attractions in Oahu, with this prepaid admission ticket. Rated the number one museum attraction in Hawaii by TripAdvisor and founded in 1889, this venue contains informative exhibits on Hawaiian culture and traditions. Witness a fascinating live lava demonstration and recline in a comfortable seat to enjoy a celestial planetarium show. Learn about Hawaii's history and its relationship to the Pacific islands and the rest of the world.
Experience the thrill of meeting sharks face-to-face in the pristine waters of Oahu on this educational, 2-hour, cage-diving adventure. See Hawaii's majestic hunters — Galapagos and Sandbar sharks in their natural environment — surrounded by the deep blue of the Big Island’s popular North Shore. Observe from the safety of a floating cage. Stay on the surface, then using a mask and snorkel, look through large polyglass windows to watch the sharks as they gracefully glide by. No scuba experience is necessary. Hotel pickup and drop-off available.
Leave your preconceptions about sharks at the door and get up close to these sleek creatures on this unique ocean experience. Head out from Haleiwa, on the North Shore of O’ahu, and spend roughly half an hour swimming with the sharks living in the area. Don’t worry, though: even if you aren’t swimming in a cage, you’re still in safe hands, with a guide on board and a safety diver swimming with each group.
Give your keiki (kids) a Hawaiian experience to remember with a pont ride on a North Shore, Oahu ranch. Parents can also ride or just walk alongside and get a few great photos while taking in the scenery, filled with native Hawaiian plants and birds. Afterward, children will have a chance to feed and pet the horses.
Set sail on the Mo’o with “the original shark boat crew” and learn skills passed down through generations to interact responsibly and safely with sharks and other marine life. Swim and snorkel with native sharks on Oahu’s North Shore. Look out for White Tipped Reef Sharks, Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks, Tiger Sharks, Galapagos Sharks, Gray Reef Sharks, and Sandbar Sharks, and learn about the local culture of respect for native animals and the natural environment.
Whale Watch Guarantee :If our Naturalist does not sight a whale during the cruise, guests are given a complimentary return whale watch cruise. Pick a spot aboard the fresh air of the decks or by the indoor viewing windows as you glide past Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach. A naturalist joins you on board to provide informative commentary and point out any other spotted marine life, such as sea turtles, porpoises and Hawaii spinner dolphins.
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