Hawaii with Kids: 14 Things to Do in Hawaii

Feb 18, 2015 | 0 comments

Hawaii is very kid friendly, the locals love children and there are many family activities that is sure to fit everyone’s interests.  So if you’re visiting Hawaii with kids I’m sure you’ll find lots of things to do!

Granted some of the activities can be very costly such as a Dolphin Royal Swim at Sea Life Park for $249.99.  But there are many other options that are less costly and even free that will be just as memorable.

In this post I will list family activities that have admission charges.  Even as local residents we’ve done quite a few of them.  I’ll list free activities in a different post because there are so many.  When we take the kids on a family vacation we like to mix in a couple of paid “premium” activities with the less expensive or free ones.  Choosing the “premium” activities can be lots of fun and we allow the children to choose the ones they really want to do.

Hawaii with Kids

Everyone who visits Hawaii expects to see sea life.  One of the best places to see and experience sea life on Oahu is at Sea Life Park Hawaii.

The park has habitats, exhibits, shows, educational talks, interactive programs, and even a Luau for the whole family to enjoy.

Most activities are included in the admission ticket except for the interactive programs and Luau which are priced separately.

General admission is $29.99 per guest 13+, $19.99 for children 3-12, children under 3 are free.
Interactive programs range from  $19.99 per guest for the Hawaiian Ray Encounter to $249.99 for the Dolphin Royal Swim.  Some interactive programs include an admission ticket for the participant. The evening Luau starts at $99.99 to reserve call 808-259-2500.

We’ve done the Hawaiian Ray Encounter, the Dolphin Encounter ($119.99 for 3years and up, $49.99 for up to 2 years), and the Dolphin Swim ($184.99).  The children loved them!


Dolphin Quest also offers interactive programs at their locations at

The Kahala Hotel & Resort on Oahu and The Hilton Waikaloa Village on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Prices start at $99 for the Rays and Friends encounter.

Wet & Wild HawaiiHawaii with Kids on Oahu’s Leeward side is a great activity for the entire family they have water slides, pools, raft rides, and wave pools for every level.  Whether you just want to chill out on a lazy river or slide down the Tornado water slide, Wet & Wild Hawaii has it all.

We’ve taken the children here many times and it’s always been fun for all of us.

Admission starts at $37.99 for children under 42″ and $47.99 for above.  Children 2 and under are free.
Admission price includes all rides except Da’ Florider, the simulated surfing experience, and Island Adventure Golf. Both attractions require separate tickets.

Unfortunately there are no water parks on the other islands, however resorts on Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii have fantastic pools for their guests to enjoy.  To find out which are the best kid friendly resorts in Hawaii click here.

The adventure lasts an 1.5 hours and all young buccaneers receive pirate gear and a share of the booty!Sail on a pirate adventure aboard The Treasure Seeker, a US Coast Guard certified 83 foot black galleon pirate ship.  The crew entertains guests with interactive activities that teach kids about the pirate life as the sail the waters off Waikiki.  There’s even an epic sea battle where guests help save the ship!

Prices are $15 for children 2 and under,  $36 for children 3-12, and $42 for everyone else.
Check with Hawaii Pirate Ship Adventures for more info and to make reservations.

Hawaii with Kids

We took our grandson Dion Parasailing off the coast of Waikiki the other year.  He loved it, the captain even allowed him to go up twice, once we myself and another time with my son and daughter-in-law.

There are many companies that offer this adventure on 3 of the major islands, it is not offered on Kauai.
For Oahu click here.
For Maui and the Big Island click here.
For more info check out Island Water Sports Hawaii.  They offer many other water activities on Oahu.


Hawaii with KidsSubmarine Scooter Tour – explore the crystal clear waters of Oahu’s Maunalua Bay in your own eco-friendly electric underwater scooter.

Rent some jetskis for an hour or so for an exciting good time.
Here are rental companies on 3 major islands
For Oahu click here
For Maui click here
For Big Island click here


Hawaii with kids

We’ve take the kids on jet skis many times and have even considered buying our own, Hawaii has many locations where you can jet ski.



Hawaii with kidsTrail rides and more on Kualoa Ranch.
This 4000 acre working ranch on Oahu’s windward coast is sometimes called Hollywood’s “Hawaii Back-lot”. Hollywood has used this beautiful setting for movies and TV show since the 1950s.  From Jurassic Park to Hawaii 5-O you’ll find scenes filmed here.

The ranch offers many activities from location tours to their new Zipline adventure, you’ll need more than a day to experience all Kualoa Ranch has to offer.

We took my kids and nieces on a trail ride here, it was awesome.  The ride goes up the ridge for some breathtaking views of Chinaman’s Hat located across the street.

Hawaii with kidsIf you prefer a ride on the beach then a trail ride or private rides from Turtle Bay Stables is the way to go.  We took the family on a private early morning ride on the beach the other year, it was wonderful!

We’ve also done trail rides on the Big Island’s Naalapa Stables, awesome!

Horseback rides are offered on all 4 major islands.
For Maui click here
For Kauai click here
For Big Island click here

To learn more about Hawaii’s culture and natural beauty a visit to the Bishop Museum is a must.  Their permanent exhibits house artifacts from Hawaii and other Pacific Islands.  There’s an interactive Science Center where kids can learn about our volcanoes, tides, and rain forests.  The museum also houses our Planetarium where they have informative shows about Hawaiian skies.

We have an annual pass so that the kids don’t miss out on any of the special exhibits they have during the year.  This year the Dinosaurs are back from February 28 – September 7, 2015.

Admissions are:
$19.95 for adults
$14.95 for kids 4-12
Kids 3 and under are free

Hawaii with kidsTo learn about Pacific Island cultures and enjoy a great luau a visit to The Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu’s northern shore is in order.  The center has 6 islands where shows and activities showcase Pacific Islanders’ daily life.  The day ends with a luau feast and Polynesian show featuring dances from Hawaii, Tahiti, and other Pacific islands.

Tickets start at $139.95 for adults, $111.95 for children 5-11. children under 5 are free.  Tickets include interactive village tours and demonstrations, luau, and  evening show.

We’ve done this several times when family and friends visit the island as also with school groups as our schools take kids here to learn about Polynesian culture.

Hawaii with kidsHawaii’s Children’s Discovery Center invites kids young and not so young to learn about different cultures, the environment, science,  and many more fun discoveries.  This interactive center is lots of fun.  My grandsons love making giant bubbles.

Admission is $10
Infants under 1 are free



Hawaii with kidsThe Atlantis Submarine adventures are available on Oahu, Maui, and The Big Island.
The kids loved this up close look at life under the ocean.



Hawaii with kids
Savvy Nana

Make your own chocolates at Menehune Mac, Yum!  This locally owned and operated chocolate factory makes small batches of chocolate covered macadamia nuts and more, this distinguishes them from the mass produced chocolates found at most tourist shops and discount stores.

They offer factory tours on Saturdays that ends with each participant making their own small box of chocolates.  Reservations are required and the cost is $10 per person, and there are age restrictions.  We did this last year and we all had a blast!  For reservations and more info call
call 808-841-3344 or email sales@menehunemac.com,

Hawaii with kids

The Living Art Marine Center located close to the Honolulu Airport is a fun and inexpensive way to learn about Marine Life thru their hands on tours, labs, and other craft activities.

We’ve taken the children there many times.  They’ve participated in science labs, made T-shirts, carved their name on shells, and made a shrimp habitat.  Whenever we go there’s always fun in store!

Reservations are required and prices vary per activity.

Click here for more info.

For a list of the best kid friendly hotels in Hawaii Click Here!

For family activities in Hawaii Click Here!

Free Dinner

Latest Articles

Chocolate of the Month Club
Home Chef