There are many things to do with kids in Waikiki, Hawaii that parents will also enjoy. Grab your snorkel and sunscreen and get ready for some island fun.
Obviously the famous beach will provide hours of fun in the sun, but there are plenty of additional kid-friendly outings that the entire family will be thrilled to partake in. From snorkeling with fish to watching hula dancers sway to the music, kids will enjoy the beauty and culture of the Hawaiian Islands.
Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
Kids will be delighted to get up close and personal with tropical fish in ankle-deep water. Just a short drive from Waikiki, a visit to Hanauma Bay begins with a short video at the Marine Education Center that educates visitors on how to preserve and protect the bay and its inhabitants. It’s a short stroll (or trolley ride) down to the bay from the parking lot. The Bay is sheltered from the waves, which makes it perfect for kids to frolic in the calm, clear ocean waters. At the beach, families can rent snorkel gear or buy snacks. Restrooms, showers, and locker rentals are also available. Keep your eyes open for the state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a.
Hiking Diamond Head
Older kids will enjoy the adventure of hiking iconic Diamond Head Crater, or Le’ahi in Hawaiian. Located just minutes from Waikiki beach, the moderate hike up the dormant volcano is 0.8 miles one-way. As you approach the peak, you will encounter a set of steep stairs enclosed in a tunnel. Upon exiting the tunnel, you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the South Shore of Oahu. The trail opens at 6 a.m. and the last hike is allowed at 4:30 p.m. Go early to avoid crowds and heat.
Free Hula Shows in Waikiki
A must-do while visiting Hawaii is to see a hula show. Both kids and adults will be entertained by watching the traditional dance. Shows usually include various outfits from different parts of Polynesia and from different times in Hawaiian history, from the authentic grass and tealeaf skirts to the conservative muumuus from the missionary days. Here are just some of the free hula shows in Waikiki:
- Kuhio Beach Park, at 6 or 6:30 p.m. depending on the season
- Sheraton Waikiki at 6:30 p.m. Come early to get a seat.
- Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, Monday through Friday, 6 p.m.
- Moana Surfrider Hotel, live Hawaiian music with an ocean view and luxurious accommodations.
Eating With the Fish at Pacific Beach Hotel
This well-kept secret in Waikiki is bound to be a hit with the kids. The Oceanarium Restaurant at the Pacific Beach Hotel boasts a huge aquarium with tables practically pressed up against the glass. The tank holds more than 400 fish and other marine life. Celebrating a special occasion? Have a scuba diver deliver a hand-written message for your table through the glass. The plethora of activity in the aquarium is a great way to keep fidgety kids occupied during a meal.
With so many exciting and inexpensive kids’ activities in Waikiki, be sure to get out and explore the city. You won’t be disappointed.