Hawaii Family Vacation Activities

Hawaii is a beautiful island known not only for its crystal clear beaches, mountains, and mild climate but also for its traditions and culture. Traveling to this place is a great experience to enjoy with family. It’s an exceptionally family friendly destination, with lots of activities for all ages.

Paradise Cove Luau

It is an incredible visit that you cannot miss. It is a Hawaiian-style dinner at a beachfront estate. It offers a lot of Polynesian fun and entertainment. It begins with rain of flowers coming down from the palm trees, and continues to traditional arts and crafts. There is also a fishing activity for guests and a sunset ceremony to unearth the traditional Luau pig. 

You can sample the delicious cuisine of traditional dishes including pork and salmon, listen to traditional Hawaiian songs, and dances performed by renowned artists on a vibrant Hawaiian night.

Dole Plantation

It’s a great place to visit where you can explore the eight secret stations of the world’s largest labyrinth recognized in the Guinness Book of Records in 2008. The Pineapple Express train has a 20-minute train tour that tells the story of the pineapple, agriculture in Hawaii, and the life of James Dole in English, Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese. When visiting the plantation gardens, you can see up close the great variety of flowers, fruits, and native plants and learn a little about the ancient legends of Hawaii.

Pearl Harbor

It is the largest port in Hawaii, named Pearl Harbor in honor of the beautiful pearls that were harvested in its waters. Pearl Harbor is known throughout the world for the tragic attack by the Japanese on December 7, 1941, that propelled the United States into World War II

During your visit to Pearl Harbor, you can find five fantastic historical sites currently part of the World War 2 Valor in the Pacific Monument: the USS Arizona Memorial, Battleship Missouri Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, USS Oklahoma Memorial, and Pacific Aviation Museum.

USS Arizona Memorial

The explosion of an 800kg bomb was the catastrophe that sank the ship and took the lives of numerous crew. Today, this memorial is peaceful, with a permanent oil slick on the water reminding you of the tragedy..

The visitor center is the starting point of this tour, where you can see a film about the history of the attacks as well as a plaque commemorating the people who died in the explosion.  Continue to the floating memorial built on the sunken hull of Arizona, where in the meditation room there is a wall where you can see the names of the people who died. It is a very moving visit because it shows all of the effects of the war.

The USS Arizona Memorial is currently open after a renovation. Generally, admission is free and the site receives approximately 4,000 visitors each day from 7 a.m when the doors open. Narrated self-guided tours are available at an additional cost, boat tours also have a small fee and must be booked in advance online.

 Battleship Missouri Memorial

The Surrender Deck of the Battleship Missouri is the place where General MacArthur accepted the surrender of the Japanese and ended World War II in 1945. Today, the Mighty Mo museum on Battleship Row displays what spanned five decades during 3 wars.

It is an incredible place that has numerous objects and historical documents that put an end to the Second World War. You can see the imposing cannons of the ship that could be fired from several kilometers away, the huge decks of 60,000 tons with a length of approximately three soccer fields, and a height similar to a 20-story building.

USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park

It is one of the 288 U.S. submarines known as the Pearl Harbor Avenger that fought in the Pacific War. The tour starts at the submarine museum where you will learn more about the war under the seas, the tour goes to the Waterfront Memorial which honors the submariners who died during the war, and finally aboard the Bowfin to go below deck and tour the cabins, engine room, and torpedo room.

USS Oklahoma Memorial

This place was founded on December 7, 2007, in honor of the people who lost their lives in the attack. In just 12 minutes, the deck weighing 35,000 tons was brought down, resulting in the death of some of the crew members who were trapped underneath after the ship capsized. These people tried to call for help by making noises with hammers and keys as a signal to the crew members who were on the surface, only 32 men were rescued two days after this event.

The Oklahoma Memorial Tours are one hour long and can be done in conjunction with other tours such as the Pacific Aviation Museum or the Battleship Missouri Memorial. The monument is open daily and you can find tickets at the USS Bowfin ticket counter.

Pacific Aviation Museum

The museum still preserves two of the hangars that survived the war. The marks of the attack can be seen in bullet holes, machine guns, and bombs. The visit to the hangars includes a movie that takes you on a journey through the history of the survivors in a 200-seat movie theater. Then, we saw the 50 aircraft on display including propeller planes and those used in the Vietnam and Korean War. This place keeps the history of different aircrafts that were used at that time.

Swim With Dolphins

It is an activity for the whole family that is offered by different cruise companies and water parks in Hawaii. Using a catamaran, you’re brought on a trip that allows you to admire the scenery, swim with dolphins, discover marine life up close, snorkel with the equipment provided by the boat for the activity, and photograph the beautiful sea turtles, starfish, and many other species. The time of the tours vary between 1 and 4 hours, the excursions depart in the morning and in the afternoon to adapt to the schedule and preferences of the visitors.

Hike Hawaii

The island has several state parks to allow visitors to take on hiking challenges on Hawaii’s many trails of varying levels of difficulty. The trails are beautiful, with incredible views of the ocean, waterfalls, lush rainforest, and many other fantastic sceneries. The hikes are an excellent option to enjoy with the family. Before visiting the park though, it’s absolutely necessary to check a map to know the marked routes.

Enjoy Beach Activities

Hawaii’s beautiful blue beaches have many activities to enjoy during your trip. You can practice or take surfing lessons at Waikiki beach, take an outrigger canoe ride on the same beach, swim and snorkel at Oahu beaches, enjoy a sunset cruise to see the beautiful humpback whales in the season from December to May. Practice sport fishing by renting a boat to go fishing or simply choose from some of the water sports such as kayaking, windsurfing, wakeboarding, kite surfing, parasailing, bodyboarding, jet-skiing, and wakeboarding.

Family Friendly Attractions

Wet’n’Wild Hawaii

It is the only and most-visited water park in Hawaii, with 29 acres of fun, ideal for a family vacation. The park has more than 25 attractions that include water slides and lifeguards, natural cliffs, and tropical landscapes to enjoy adventure rides. There are nightly events such as watching movies under the stars or floating in the inner tube in the wave pool. You can also book birthday parties, the park has food and beverage service, cabanas, and stores to buy surfing gear, towels, sunscreen, and much more. 

Sea Life Park

It is the main park for marine experiences on the islands, focused on educational but fun activities. It offers shows, programs that allow you to interact with marine life such as swimming with dolphins or sharks, excursions, special events, and nightly events where you can enjoy the Ka Moana Lu’au that represents the Hawaiian tradition. While you’re there you can have family dinners, there are also stores to buy what you need to live an incredible experience during your visit as well as fantastic spaces to celebrate birthdays.

Kilohana

It is an incredible place that gives visitors a glimpse into Kauai’s past. On the tour you can see the architecture of the Kauai plantation era, then continue to the mansion that was restored and today houses Gaylord’s restaurant, which has a large selection of boutiques, Mahiko Lounge, and interesting galleries. The property’s spaces can be rented for events such as weddings, conferences, and special events, the team is prepared and specializes in events or theme parties.

And More…

On this wonderful island, there are many tours that you can do and if they are guided it is much better to learn more about these interesting places. Hawaii has a delicious gastronomy and dynamic agriculture where you can take farm tours, visit coffee plantations to indulge yourself with freshly brewed Kona coffee.

You can also make other trips to more natural places like traveling by helicopter to see the fierce volcanoes and lava flows of Hawaii, the Napali Coast in Kauai over the summit of the Haleakala Crater.

The cultural and historical tours are also a lot of fun like visiting the Polynesian cultural center, Iolani place, the Polynesian villages, Puuhonua or Honaunau, paddling in a fantastic Polynesian canoe, and enjoying the fire dance show. 

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