Tours and Activities that will Please the Whole Family
Hawaii is the perfect family destination, even though all the brochures tout it as a honeymoon destination. Truth is, there are plenty of activities that the whole family will enjoy, from ocean centers to planetariums.
Mokup?papa Discovery Center (MDC), Hilo:
Located at 76 Kamehameha Ave on the corner of Kamehameha and Waianuenue Ave, the MDC was created in 2013 to interpret the natural science, culture and history of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and marine environment. It’s nestled within the historic, century-old Koehnen Building, boasting a 3,500 gallon saltwater aquarium and immersive theater, along with interactive educational exhibits the kids are sure to love. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Maui Ocean Center, Maui:
Ever wonder what Hawaiian marine life looks like up close? Now you can with hands-on exploration and education at this state-of-the-art aquarium which just so happens to be one of the largest tropical aquariums in the United States. From ocean ecology to whale life to Hawaiian culture, soak in everything about Hawaii’s marine life all in one place. There’s a scenic guided walking path that leads to the Hawaiian Sea Turtle sanctuary and Hammerhead Shark pool. Check out a real Hawaiian Tako (otherwise known as an octopus!) along with a variety of strange and unique sea creatures we bet you never imagined existed.
Imiloa Astronomy Center, Hilo:
With many kid-friendly activities, hands-on exhibits and a beautiful planetarium, you’ll discover little known facts about Mauna Kea. This is where all the world’s best scientists are hard at work in astronomical observatories to find out what’s going on in our universe.
Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens, Hilo:
This zoo is very small but it’s free to get in and is a great way to pass a couple of hours. In addition to the botanical garden and zoo, there’s also a play area, petting zoo, and pavilion where you can bring a picnic lunch. It has the distinction of being the only natural tropical rainforest zoo in the whole country. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Bishop Museum, Honolulu:
Older children will enjoy learning about Hawaii’s natural and cultural history at the Bishop Museum, housing a vast a collection of Hawaiian artifacts and royal family heirlooms of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. You’ll find millions of artifacts, documents and photos about Hawaii here through displays and exhibits, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Get a fun history lesson on Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures via live, interactive presentations and exhibit tours, as well as planetarium shows and the Science Adventure Center.
Dole Plantation, Oahu:
No visit to Oahu is complete without a stop at the Dole plantation. Not only can you treat yourself to a cold DoleWhip for which this place is famous, you can also take a ride on the Pineapple Express Train, and make your way through the pineapple-shaped maze.
Hawaii is a family experience, so get out there and have some fun together. While you’re in Oahu, why not take a tour from Hoku Hawaii Tours for extra family fun?