Top 12 Exciting Family Adventures Across Oahu - Hawaii Parent (2024)

Discovering memorable family outings that can be enjoyed throughout the year is a rewarding pursuit. Whether you’re seeking thrilling underwater explorations, enriching cultural experiences, or exhilarating outdoor activities, Oahu offers a wealth of options to delight every member of the family. From exploring marine life aboard a high-tech submarine to immersing in Hawaiian history at renowned museums, these destinations promise fun and educational adventures that can be cherished anytime you visit.

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1. Atlantis Submarines

252 Paoa Pl, Honolulu, HI 96815, 808-973-9800

Atlantis Submarines Waikiki offers an exciting, one-of-a-kind undersea adventure using the world’s most technologically advanced passenger submarine, which tours the area off the coast of Waikiki and Diamond Head. The Coast Guard-approved submarines dive to depths well over 100 feet below the ocean’s surface. Families will learn about Oahu’s fish, coral and other marine life while visiting sunken ships, remnants of hurricane-swept airliners and other artificial reef systems, which all contribute to the growth of Waikiki’s underwater ecosystem.

Atlantis Submarines Waikiki is located at the Hilton Hawaiian Village ticket office in front of Ali’i Tower. Tours involve two boats, a shuttle boat to take you to the submarine, and the 64-passenger submarine itself. They also offer daily sunset co*cktail cruises and seasonal whale-watching cruises from December to March.

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2. Bishop Museum

1525 Bernice St, Honolulu, HI 96817, 808-847-3511

Home of the world’s largest collection of Hawaiian and Pacific artifacts, Bishop Museum is regarded as Hawaii’s premier natural and cultural arts museum. The 16,500-sq. ft. facility has more than 30 custom designed interactive exhibits and houses over 25 million historical, cultural, and natural treasures. The Science Adventure Center has become a favorite, especially for families with younger children.

Experience a show like no other under Hawaii’s night sky at the museum’s J. Watumull Planetarium theater as an add-on experience to daytime general admission, as a standalone Special Evening Planetarium Show, or during various programs and events. Check their website for a current schedule of daily planetarium shows and other exhibitions. The museum is open daily from 9am to 5 pm.

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3. Children’s Discovery Center

111 Ohe St, Honolulu, HI 96813, 808-524-5437

Located just beyond urban downtown Honolulu, Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center is a place where keiki imaginations can run wild as they experience all the various exhibits and programs offered. Children can participate in fun and educational activities to stimulate their creativity while learning about real-world topics relating to everyday life. Their interactive exhibits are designed to stimulate curiosity and to help children develop problem solving skills.

They also offer intersession Discovery Camps, field trips and holiday events, and party room and facility rental packages for your special occasions. The Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center provides a world-class, interactive, participatory learning environment designed to inspire the young and “young-at-heart” to new heights of learning and discovery. They are open Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays).

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4. Dave & Buster’s

1030 Auahi St, Honolulu, HI 96814, 808-589-2215

Are you ready for food, games, and an incredible family experience you won’t forget? Then stop by Dave & Busters, located at the Ward complex on Auahi Street. Adults as well as children will have a great time taking advantage of all Dave & Buster’s has to offer.

Enjoy hours of games without the hassle of coins or tokens, then indulge in a delicious meal from the restaurant that’s located on the first floor near the entrance. The only problem you’ll have is trying to tear the kids away from the games! There is a maximum limit of six children (under the age of 21) to one adult and the adult must be 25 or older. Dave & Buster’s is open until 12am on weekdays and 1am on weekends; however, the curfew for underage persons is 11pm. Play 1/2 price games every Wednesday from 11am to 10pm.

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5. Dole Plantation

64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy, Wahiawa, HI 96786, 808-621-8408

Originally operated as a fruit stand in 1950, Dole Plantation opened to the public as Hawaii’s “Pineapple Experience” in 1989. Today, it’s one of Oahu’s most popular tourist attractions and welcomes more than one million visitors a year. Spacious grounds, educational gardens, beautiful scenery, immaculate facilities and varied activities make for a perfect day the entire family can enjoy.

Ride the vintage-style train, make your way through the famous Pineapple Garden Maze, learn unique pineapple recipes, wander the gardens, feed the fish at the koi pond, and refresh yourself with delicious, creamy Dole Soft Serve and more at the Plantation Grille. Dole Plantation has something for everyone in the family!

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6. Honolulu Zoo

151 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, 808-971-7171

From pink flamingos to African giraffes, The Honolulu Zoo has a little bit of everything from the animal kingdom. It homes an animal population that includes over 64 reptiles, 38 mammals and 160 bird species. The 42-acre facility is organized into three tropical ecological zones – Tropical Rainforests, Pacific Islands and the African Savanna. There’s also a children’s petting zoo with donkeys, goats, llamas and more for your avid animal lover.

In the works is a new $6.35-million Asian elephant tropical forest exhibit that will create a spacious, natural environment for the zoo’s elephant population and a larger viewing area for visitors. If you’re in the neighborhood on the weekend, be sure to enjoy the works of local contemporary artists and crafts people at the Honolulu Zoo Art Mart.

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7. Ice Palace

4510 Salt Lake Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96818, 808-487-9921

Head on over to Ice Palace, known as the “coolest place in town”, as you have an icy adventure with the kids. During public skating hours you can rent some skates and hit the ice at your own leisure. There is even a roped-off beginner area, giving first timers space to learn without pressure. Skating, hockey and figure skating lessons are available as well as intersession skating and hockey camps. The Ice Skating Program is designed for skaters to learn in a fun and stress-free environment.

After working up an appetite, a conveniently located snack bar will do just the trick. In addition to public skating, hockey, and lessons, party packages and facility rental options are also available. There is no charge for non-skating parents chaperoning their children.

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8. Kualoa Ranch & Private Nature Reserve

49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744, 808-202-2245

Encompassing 4,000 acres from the mountains to the ocean, Kualoa Ranch is Oahu’s most famous private nature reserve and a premier authentically Hawaiian attraction for tourists and kamaaina alike. Kualoa guests can enjoy an adrenaline rush on their zipline tour, ATV tours, horseback riding, eco-jungle expeditions, ocean-voyage tours, the popular Hollywood Movie Sites tour and so much more.

Their farm-to-table tasting experience, Taste of Kualoa tour, features delicious food products grown, harvested, and available only at Kualoa Private Nature Reserve. Don’t forget to ask about their kamaaina rates!

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9. Touch Grass Oahu

41-741 Mahailua St, Waimanalo, HI 96795, 808-688-3714

With three keiki-friendly activities that can be enjoyed on Touch Grass Oahu’s Waimanalo Farm, families, friends, and colleagues can enjoy hours of outdoor fun! Experience the exhilaration of riding an off-road quad/dune buggy, enjoy a game of Gelly Ball, and then cool off on the refreshing waterslide. Package rentals on the farm include 4 hours of use on their private oval off-road track, 2 acres of land, riding and/or Gelly gear, picnic pavilion, 50 lbs. of ice, gas grill and staff support.

Touch Grass Oahu offers an alternative, fun outdoor experience that your keiki will be talking about for months. They can even drop off and pick up equipment, depending on accessibility and availability. Powered by Windward Equipment Rentals.

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10. Waikiki Aquarium

2777 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, 808-923-9741

By aquarium standards, this one is modest, but the setting is hard to beat. Opening in 1904 with 35 tanks and 400 marine organisms, the Waikiki Aquarium today has expanded to showcase more than 500 marine species, and maintains more than 3,500 marine specimens, including Hawaii’s famous state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa.

The Waikiki Aquarium’s Northwestern Hawaiian Islands exhibit offers visitors a nearly once-in-a-lifetime experience to see a living reef ecosystem representative of that found in the world’s most isolated islands. Organisms featured in the exhibit include table corals, masked angelfish, yellow barbel goatfish and Japanese pygmy angelfish. The beautiful fish will mesmerize you and your children as you also learn about the importance of preserving our ecosystems.

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11. Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawaii

400 Farrington Hwy, Kapolei, HI 96707, 808-674-9283

Nestled on 29-acres of lush tropical landscape and natural cliffs, Wet ‘n’ Wild is Hawaii’s only water-themed amusem*nt park, offering more than 25 exhilarating rides and attractions ideal for families and thrill seekers. While adrenaline addicts can enjoy slides such as Tornado, which catapults riders into a 130-foot-tall funnel and drops them into a swirling splashdown pool, the park also features tamer attractions.

The relaxing Kapolei Kooler, a winding lazy river; the Lil’ Kahuna Beach, an interactive children’s area filled with fountains, mini-slides and a dumping water bucket; and Hawaiian Waters, a 400,000-gallon wave pool with two to four foot swells. Open year round, it will be sure to appeal to both parents and children alike. Ask about their kamaaina deals!

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12. YMCA Camp Erdman

69-385 Farrington Hwy, Waialua, HI 96791, 808-637-4615

Your happy place awaits at YMCA Camp Erdman, which offers opportunities for all ages to explore from the mountains to the ocean, find new talents, try new activities, make lasting memories, and experience the Hawaiian culture and values connected to this special place. Nestled between the Waianae Mountains and beaches of Mokuleia, Camp Erdman’s 20-acre sanctuary near Kaena Point is a place where big smiles abound, and kids, families, and groups enjoy beachfront camping, a variety of programs and amenities, connecting with nature and their fellow campers.

With all meals, accommodations, and their most popular camp activities included, all you need to do is relax and enjoy quality time together in the great outdoors! Enjoy swimming in the pool and exciting adventure activities like the high ropes challenge (must be 13 years or older), Alpine Tower Climb, archery, the Gaga Pit game and more. Check out their website for more info.

Top 12 Exciting Family Adventures Across Oahu - Hawaii Parent (2024)
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