You think Hawaii is for romantic vacations only? Think again. Hawaii is actually a great place for a family vacation, especially the main Island of Oahu and the Waikiki Beach area. There are many cool and fun things to do, nature and marine life to see, and great places for rest and relaxation. More than likely, your greatest worry is going to be how to squeeze in so many great places into your short vacation time…

Here are some cool places that you can enjoy with your kids:

Atlantis Submarine

This popular adventure takes you more than 100 feet below the surface for a 45 minutes underwater tour of Marine life in Waikiki. The submarine passes by coral riffs, sunken shipwrecks and airplanes, sea turtles, and countless fish and other sea creatures. The 64-passenger submarine is air-conditioned and has large view ports and comfortable seating.

Bishop Museum

The new Science Adventure Center feature Over 16,000 square feet of interactive exhibits and high-tech displays that let kids discover the volcanoes, oceans and diverse environment of Hawaii and the Pacific. Other exhibits of the museum include live hula performances, planetarium shows, garden tours, dramatic storytelling, Hawai’i Sports Hall of Fame and exciting traveling exhibits in the Castle Memorial Building.

Cirque Hawaii

Cirque Hawaii is a multi million dollar state of the art theatrical extravaganza in the heart of Waikiki. The show is an exotic blend of strength, balance, humor, skill, beauty and grace, and features aerial, dance and acrobatic acts, including Trapeze, Flying Silk, Skip Rope, Bungee, Clown, and Polynesian Warriors. This awe-inspiring 1 hour and 15 minutes show is a great entertainment for the whole family, and can be combined with dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Dole Plantation

Dole Plantation is a popular Hawaii attraction. It has “The world’s largest maze” (2001 Guinness Book of World Records), two-mile, 20-minute “Pineapple Express” train ride, and a Plantation Garden tour.

Hawaii’s Children’s Discovery Center

The Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center is a world-class interactive center. Kids are invited to explore, experiment and play with interactive exhibits, using their senses of touch, sight, hearing, and smell to better understand themselves and the world around them.

Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park

Hawaii’s only water park offers many fun rides and adventures, including inner tube rides, free-fall six stories down speed slides, mega wavepool, body surf or inner tube ride on 2 to 4 foot waves, tube cruise down an 800-foot long continuous river, interactive children’s playground filled with waterfalls, mini-slides and water cannons, multi-level activity pool with seven family slides, lily pad walks and other water attractions.

Honolulu Zoo

The Honolulu Zoo features over 1,230 animals in specially designed habitats. You can get a glimpse of the endangered nene which is the Hawai’i state bird, visit the African Savanna, native Hawaiian forest birds, Pacific Islands and the Children’s Zoo. The zoo also features family programs such as Twilight tours, Snooze in the Zoo, Breakfast with a keeper, birthday Parties, and day camps.


A luau is a Hawaiian party and feast. Most Luaus feature native Hawaiian food and entertainment, such as Hawaiian music and hula dancing. Many Luaus greet you with the traditional lei, and feature the traditional imu ceremony, in which the roast Kalua Pig will be dug up from the rock-filled underground oven (imu) where it has been slow-roasting all day. Dinner buffet usually includes multi-course Polynesian delicacies as well as American favorites. After dinner it’s show time – a Polynesian revue featuring songs and dances from Hawaii and other Polynesian islands.

Polynesian Cultural Center

This popular attraction is located about an hour from Waikiki. This 42-acre open-air park has seven native villages that are designed to immerse the visitors in the Hawaiian and other South Pacific cultures. Natives will be demonstrating the arts of dancing with fire, making jewelry from plants, and climbing 50-foot trees in bare feet. There are also native arts and crafts demonstrations such as carving tiki statues, canoe pageant, reenactment of war dances and wedding ceremonies, an IMAX theater, an authentic luau and a Polynesian night show.

Sea Life Park

Sea Life Park is a world-class marine attraction located 15 miles from Waikiki on Oahu’s beautiful and scenic Makapuu Point. The park features a 300,000-gallon aquarium, housing sea lions, dolphins, sharks, stingrays, turtles and other marine mammals in a variety of entertaining and educational attractions such as dolphins dancing, sea lions singing, and penguins performing. Other attractions are the Sea Lion Feeding Pool, Sea Turtle Lagoon, Sea Bird Sanctuary, Hawaiian Reef Exhibit and Pirate’s Lagoon. There are also some interactive programs for swimming with dolphins and snorkeling by the stingray’s side.

Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay is located along the East Oahu coastline, and is a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park. This bay, which is all that remains from an ancient volcano, is one of Hawaii’s favorite places for snorkeling, scuba diving, or swimming among turtles and tropical fish. There are over 450 species of colorful tropical fish in Hanauma Bay, many of them are indigenous to Hawaii.

Waikiki Aquarium

This great family attraction features an amazing variety of marine life from the tropical Pacific and Hawaii. It has a wonderful collection of bright and colorful exotic tropical fish, as well as sharks, living corals, endangered Hawaiian monk seals, graceful sea jellies, and many more unique and fascinating marine creatures.

Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach is one of the best known beaches in the world. It is usually crowded but is a very nice area for swimming, surfing, snorkeling, surfboarding, sun tanning, sand castle building, and outrigger canoe riding.

Waikiki Trolley

The Waikiki Trolley is a popular means of transportation in Oahu, and is fun and convenient. The Trolley’s four lines routes cover almost all tourist attractions and stops at most major shopping malls in Oahu.

For more details and photo gallery please visit the Kids Vacations section of our web site:

Dee Adams