Unschooling | Why I Avoid Homeschooling and Public Schools

I always knew I would never send my children to public school. Schools have a way of making people lazy. And stupid.

Maybe that rubbed you the wrong way or maybe you agree whole heartedly. Let me start off again by saying this.

A child is already a natural learner. The entirety of their days are spent questioning, exploring, and learning how to interact in their environments.  They have a self propelled need to understand how to communicate with those around them and figure out what works, and what doesn’t.

The moment you send them off to school that will all fade away.

boy disheartened by life, no motivation or fulfillment

For by putting someone else in charge of their learning you are telling them they are incapable of learning on their own. You are instilling a reverse effect of a great characteristic we all seek in others. To be self starters, to think for yourself.

What is the first thing children learn from school?

First, that learning is separate from living. “You come to school to learn,” we tell him, as if the child hadn’t been learning before, as if living were out there and learning were in here, and there were no connection between the two. Secondly, that he cannot be trusted to learn and is no good at it. Everything we teach about reading, a task far simpler than many that the child has already mastered, says to him, “If we don’t make you read, you won’t, and if you don’t do it exactly the way we tell you, you can’t”. In short, he comes to feel that learning is a passive process, something that someone else does to you, instead of something you do for yourself.

School is Bad for Children by John Holt

This is not what I intend for my children. I believe in them and I want them to believe in themselves.

Why Homeschooling Didn’t Work

I spent hours a day for months at a time figuring out curriculums. Researching all the websites, I was filled with passion and hope for our families learning endeavors.

But there was a big problem.

My kids weren’t interested in what I was teaching them. After a few minutes they were bored. And I was frustrated. There were growing conflicts in the family after just a few weeks of our miserable homeschooling experience.

The big flaw in this, I started to realize, was that I was just bringing school into my home. Didn’t I want better for my children? Didn’t I trust in their learning capability?

I wanted to validate their interest, not force my ingrained ways on them.

Hadn’t I myself, spent years unlearning self sabotaging habits from my childhood and early adulthood?

So why was I replacing their natural curiosity with a curriculum, their own beautiful creativity with an art lesson plan, and their own wired instinct to learn with memorization?!

So back to researching. And I found Unschooling. Instantly I was hooked. Enthralled, I couldn’t stop reading accounts of children who were in different stages and parents who had gone through it and were living in it. After, I felt a great pressure release from my chest.

I also found through my research that there were so many former teachers who were going down this path. It was amazing to hear their input and reasoning. I was especially inspired by Nicole from Unschoolers.org and her story.

So What Is Unschooling?

For us it is simple. It is interest-based learning. Child led interest with parental guidance on how to go about it in the most fun and successful way possible. I have found my children are already interested in most of the things other children “have” to learn.

By finding activities that activate this “learning mode” we spend most of our days playing, exploring, and learning their newfound interest together. On any given day I will encounter a storm of Why’s, How’s, What’s and Can I’s. How I approach and answer these questions leads us down amazing paths of discovery.

unschooling kids, playful learning, teach children at home
The kids cleaning their treasures from a beach exploration day. After cleaning them we identified them by searching on the phone and comparing pictures in Childrens Sea Life books. They even went on to create a multi medium painting of the ocean for me that included sand, shells, sea grass and paint. Talk about playful learning.

Let me make this clear. Unschooling is not Unparenting.

In fact, I would say it is more along the lines of hardcore parenting. Starting Unschooling is TOUGH. You don’t get to rely on courses to tell you what to do (though I do get guidance from quite a few), and it takes an immense amount of patience, trust, and dedication.

Now every single part of our day is a learning experience. I find teaching moments in every part of our day. And our days have become full of adventure and exploration.

You may like my post on How we use the beach to Unschool

Through this Unschooling Life, I have found hard rules now seem very limiting and encumbering. Especially when it comes to how we naturally learn. So instead, we are living by a new rule: Principles over Discipline. I love how Pam at LivingJoyfully describes it.

This was and still can be very challenging. At first it was a maze and quite uncomfortable. But that is all for a different blog post.

One thing I will say now is, it is a constant learning experience for everyone involved.

This way of Unschooling is teaching me to live intentionally and purposefully. To think about Why I am asking something of them, or for them to act a certain way. And most of the time when I take the time to answer all these Whys, I find that it is not something I need to be worried about or try to control at all.

And I love every time my children impose these “why moments”. For they force me to expand my mind and teach me something.

That’s right my children are teaching me.

Teaching me to live with wild abandon again.

To live without societies judgements holding me back from doing things that bring me joy. And thus enabling me to set out on a path of A Life I Believe In.

These children of mine are full of life and wonder. And all day they set out to share that light with others, and are learning how to make it fit in with the ways of the world.

My biggest hope for them is to stay this alive. Not to live as someone else (even me) has told them to. To live boldly, freely, with full hearts and minds.

Welcome to Our Unschooling Journey

adventure family travel with kids

Want to Follow along? Make sure to subscribe to watch our story unfold and get helpful Unschooling Tips and Real Life Experiences.

Family Hike | Hamama Falls | Oahu Hawaii

An easy family friendly hike, with stunning mountain views, that leads to one of the best waterfalls on Oahu, Hamama Falls.

The trail is owned and maintained by The Board of Water Supply, and they do ask that you obtain a permit to go to the falls. Though most don’t go through the hassle, it is a hike at your own risk if you decide not to.

When we got to the trail head my husband was surprisingly surprised and asked “its gated?”

Yeah baby, you know all the best hikes on Oahu are behind a fence.

The good thing about this one though is the trail goes right around it.

family hike hamama falls trail oahu hawaii, kids in nature, unschooling, world schooling

The hike to Hamama falls is only a 2 mile out and back trail that shouldn’t take but 30 to 45 minutes. It took us over 2 hours. But we like to explore and there are lots of paths for side adventures that we couldn’t resist.

waterfall hamama falls hike oahu hawaii, family activity, playful learning

Right when you start off there are pretty mountain views and beautiful wild foliage. The greenery here is astounding and I was oohing and ahhing every few minutes. I have lived on Oahu for over 2 years and I still can’t get enough of the all the beauty this island offers.

Though we did see one family with a stroller I Do Not suggest it.

The trail stays gravel and dirt most of the way, but there are a few spots towards the end that would make it quite difficult.

Even the nature found along the trails was different and beautiful. My kids loved finding it all and playing with it while we tried to figure out the names, and where it came from or belonged in our surroundings.

This was another reason it took is 5 times longer than it should have to reach the waterfall.
waterfall hamama falls hike oahu hawaii, family activity, learning in nature

We loved finding all the little paths through the walls of foliage and always took them when we could hear water. Doing this, we found a multitude of gorgeous little streams.

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I may or may not have a million pictures of my little Willow girl holding her daddies hand following him along the path. Its my favorite.

landscape photography, waterfall hamama falls trail oahu hawaii, family hikes, world schooling
One of the first paths we took off the main trail ended up being this little hidden gem of a stream.

It was a perfect spot for daddy to whip out the go pro and the kids to throw rocks. What little boy doesn’t love throwing rocks in a river? Too bad his sister kept beating him to all the good ones!

Even the main trail is absolutely stunning though. The great thing about family hikes in Oahu. Your not missing out on the beauty or the views.

waterfall hamama falls oahu hawaii, family hikes, unschooling
landscape photography, waterfall hamama falls trail oahu hawaii, family hikes, world schooling

We read there was a swimming hole about 10 minutes in to Hamama Falls before we hit the trail. Since it took us about an hour, I was wishing we had brought our swimsuits.

It seemed the locals had the spot for the day anyway as there was a large crowd taking turns jumping in the clear waters.

waterfall hamama falls hike oahu hawaii, family activity, unschooling

It was still enjoyable watching the fun. Cooper decided we have to come back so he can jump in too.

waterfall hamama falls hike oahu hawaii, family activity, unschooling

After the swimming hole, you cross over a quaint little bridge with more beautiful views of the stream on either side.

Once you pass the bridge there is a hard way up and an easy way up. You can follow the trail to the right and go around to continue on the maintained road, or climb up a steep hill with a bunch of logs on it.

Guess which way we took.
waterfall hamama falls trail oahu hawaii, family hikes, kids in nature, homeschooling

The path stays decently steep after this point and you will start to get a little workout in. This is also where you start to get stunning peek-a-boo views of the mountain range.

family activity to waterfall hamama falls trail oahu hawaii, kids in nature, unschooling
I was in photographers heaven most of the way up here and wanted to snap a picture at every turn.
waterfall hamama falls trail oahu hawaii, family hikes, kids in nature, unschooling

You can see here what my husband thought of that. He’s a good sport but we were all ready to finally see a waterfall. Good thing for him it was right around the corner at this point.

waterfall hamama falls trail oahu hawaii, family hikes, kids in nature, world schooling

When we got to the falls my mouth hung open for a few minutes. It was amazing. It was instantly our favorite waterfall on the island.

The power of the water made a gust of wind and the roar of the water made it feel even more intense.

We took turns climbing up with the kids for pics and eventually climbed in the icy waters underneath the 40ft waterfall.

We even got to witness some rock climbers climbing down through the falls. It looked absolutely thrilling and was added to my ever growing bucket list.

waterfall hamama falls trail oahu hawaii, family hikes, kids in nature, unschooling
The kids were amazed and we were beyond happy with the outcome of our 2.5 hour adventure through the forest.

The one downside to Hamama Falls was that it seemed a bit touristy. There were quite a few people along the trail and at the waterfall.

We also came across quite a few people and their loose dogs. It was never a problem though and we would still count Hamama Falls as one of our top family hikes on the island.

waterfall hamama falls trail oahu hawaii, family hikes, kids in nature, unschooling

And here I will leave you with my favorite picture as of the moment I am typing this. My son reaching up with a huge smile on face, waterfall wind in his hair, to lovingly give me a boop on the nose.

Nothing better than a waterfall love boop.
waterfall hamama falls trail oahu hawaii, family hikes, kids in nature, unschooling

Have you enjoyed one of the waterfall hikes on Oahu?

Sea Life Park | Great Family Activity for Young Kids | Oahu Hawaii

We have been to Sea Life Park a few times now. We were lucky enough to snag an annual membership for the entire family, less than the price of normal tickets, for Black Friday. Since the park is supposed to focus on educational and interactive programs, I figured it would be a great unschooling adventure for the family.  

When you first get to the park, you walk down a paved area that spirals down around a large tank. Here you will find Shark, Manta Ray, and other large native Hawaiian fish.

We take our time in this area as the park is small and the kids could sit and watch the sharks swim by all day. Most of the sharks in here are quite beat up and have noticeable deformities. As you will find with most of the animals through Sea Life Park.

unschooling field trip to sea life park, girl looking at shark, oahu hawaii family activity with children, bold image
“Mano” is the Hawaiian word for shark, and they are considered one of the protectors of the islands. 
During our visit we learned that the park is an animal rescue and rehabilitation center, and that most of the animals are on a quick heal and release rotation. That changed my outlook entirely and made me feel much better about the park.

The tanks are small and seem a bit run down for the price of the park and extra exhibits. But during both of my visits the animals seemed well- loved and cared for.

penguin and trainer at sea life park, family activities with young kids, travel oahu hawaii, unschooling, world schooling
Aloha can mean both hello, goodbye and love, but can also be used to convey kindness, mercy, and compassion.

After you leave the shark area you come to the turtle tank. At certain times of the day you can purchase a small cup of vegetables to feed the large honu. There seem to be a lot of turtles in such a small area, but the tank seemed maintained and it was a thrill for the children to feed them.

sea turtle honu at sea life park, family activities with young kids, travel oahu hawaii, unschooling, world schooling
The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle, known as “Honu,” symbolizes good luck, endurance and long life.

I would recommend snorkeling along the islands for a natural experience with these amazing creatures. You can read my post about our favorite snorkeling spot for children at Hanauma Bay here.

sea turtle honu at sea life park, family activities with young kids, travel oahu hawaii, unschooling, world schooling
The Honu can show its form in that of a guardian spirit, or Amakua

The Bird Sanctuary is The Best Spot in Sea Life Park

My kids absolutely loved the bird sanctuary here at Sea Life Park. It is a medium size enclosure that has hundreds of different kinds of birds (mainly lovebirds ands cockatiels) flying free. They have honey and bird feed sticks you can hold so they will eat, quite literally, right out of your hands.

bird sanctuary at sea life park, family activities with young kids, travel oahu hawaii, unschooling, world schooling
 E ʻai kākou or Let’s eat! in the Hawaiian Language

As someone who has been bit by one of these little rascals (right on the nose!!) I was super nervous to go in here with the kids. But that is why I love being a mother and adventuring with my children. They get me out of my comfort zone. We can start small with bird sanctuaries. I am sure it will only get worse as they get older!

Luckily for me these guys were very relaxed and used to people roaming their environment, sticking there hands in their little bird faces.

Cooper even got lucky and had a lovebird become his BFF for the day. Willow was extremely jealous, but try as she might, she couldn’t get a bird to ride on her head.

bird sanctuary at sea life park, family activities with young kids, travel oahu hawaii, unschooling, world schooling
Just call this guy Hei Hei !!
Heihei” in Hawaiian means ‘disturbance’ or an ‘interruption from the norm.’

Another great spot in Sea Life Park is the Discovery Reef Touch Pool

unschooling children at sea life park, family activities with young kids, travel oahu hawaii

Here the kids can touch and feed a number of fish and even watch a shark feeding. Just walk up and grab a piece of lettuce to get the fish to come over!

It can get a little crowded as this part is only open a few times through the day. It is a worthwhile spot to visit though. My husband may have enjoyed this part of Sea Life Park the best. But he’s a fish lover.

The Dolphin Show

We enjoyed seeing the dolphins and the kids loved how smart they were. Seeing them talk and wave were a joy but the real fun was when they would throw their trainers out of the water and take them around the tank.

dolphin show at sea life park, family activities with young kids, travel oahu hawaii
The Hawaiian name for dolphin is nai’a

They even introduced a one of a kind dolphin and whale hybrid, what they called a Wholphin! I really wish I would have paid more attention to this as it was fascinating. As intrigued as I was, I only caught about half of her presentation. Kids always pick the perfect time to need something.

The only thing that threw me off about this was how lonely she seemed. She was kept separate from the other dolphins and when we walked by her tank she swam in circles peeking her head up at the other tanks every time she went by.

dolphin swimming at sea life park, family activities with young kids, travel oahu hawaii
Nai’a at Sea Life Park

Did I depress you? Sorry about that. Zoo’s and Aquariums always seem to do that to me too.

But nevertheless, we had a great experience with the kids here. They were able to learn quite a bit about the animals and we loved the interactive parts. We watched seal shows, learned about the native marine life and I got to talk to the kids about animal treatment, what they thought of how Sea Life Park handled it, and how they would do it differently. Deep stuff.

There is even a little playground in the center of the park. And You Know the kids gravitated to it off and on and over and over again.

There is so much more you can do here for additional charges that we haven’t done yet. You can swim with and feed the dolphins in their tanks. Feed the monk seals, and more.

For food their is a little outdoor restaurant called Pinky’s that seems to have hosted a multitude of a famous people, as their pictures adorn all the walls. They serve the typical eats like burgers and hot dogs, beer and other beverages.

We pack a lunch most times or go to one of our favorite spots down the road BYO Bowls.

If you haven’t subscribed yet, then make sure to add your email below to keep up with our adventures!

Have you been to Sea Life Park? What is a favorite marine animal experience you have had?

Exploring North Shore | Family Adventures | Oahu Hawaii

Living on the North Shore makes for great family adventures. This day we went on the hunt for the #plasticfreewave, and found horses, art, and delicious smoothies n’ fruit bowls.

My mom had been dying to see the plastic free wave for a while. The day we tried to find it at Bonzai Pipeline all we found were surfers, and tournaments. Which was cool, but we were now on the hunt.

After a little searching, we found our next day trip with the kids taking us to Turtle Bay Resort.

But along the way…

horses north shore oahu hawaii family adventures travel with kids

We found horses!

What do you do when you see horses waiting for lovin’ on the side of the road? You freaking pull your car over and give them horses some lovin’!!

I was a little bit of a nervous wreck. Once when I was a kid, I heard that horses can tell if your anxious or scared, and will mess with you for it… I wish I would have never heard that one!!! Guess what it made me…

But, the kids were all estatic to say Hi. And those babes can get momma to do just about anything. So pet horses we did. Even Faye Baby got in on the action.

mama holding baby petting horse ranch north shore Oahu hawaii travel family explore with kids

Once we hit the road again, we went exploring at Turtle Bay Resort. And there we found it.

kids on the plastic free pipeline, travel family, oahu hawaii kid-friendly activities

The plastic free wave.

Of course, the kids liked it as much as their suckers, which is a lot!

I absolutely love how Ethan Estess was able to bring such a devastating situation to light in such a beautiful way. Change is so needed when it comes to the ocean. Not to mention our plastic waste in general. The plastic free wave will continue to travel the islands to raise awareness and inspire people to Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle plastic.

If you want to get involved when you are on island, 808 Cleanups is an amazing organization that inspires and empowers volunteers to take action, and care for the environment.

Plastic Free Pipeline artwork by Ethan Estess Oahu Hawaii travel, inspiration
Plastic Free Pipeline artwork by Ethan Estess

Hanging at the wave for a bit and getting some pics was fun. Then we explored Turtle Bay Resort. The walk around the grounds was pretty nice. I hadn’t seen this view of Kawela Bay and it was gorgeous.

Artwork @ Entrance to the Kinetic Spa in Turtle Bay Resort

After riding the wave we were all hungry so we were off to find pineapple smoothies. At first, we had it in mind to go to Kahuku Farm. But after seeing this treasure trove of colorful buildings, and fruit stands along the way, we decided this was the stop for us.

adventure family travel with kids north shore pineapple smoothie oahu bobs tropical fruit hut serving ice cold coconut
Oahu Bobs Tropical Fruit Hut

There was a fruit hut that offered cold coconut, smoothies, and fruit bowls, but my mom had her sights set on the bright colored building ahead.

To the Rainbow House Shave Ice we go

This Rainbow House Shave Ice had an impressive array of options from shave ice, ice cream, fruit bowls and smoothies.

The woman at the counter walked away with a pineapple with the top chopped off that was full of mango pineapple smoothie. It also was topped with skewers of pineapple and cherries. I knew I wanted something like that!

We ordered our Pineapple fruit bowl and all 4 of us were able to share it! Bananas, strawberries and chocolate topped ice cream sitting on top of fresh topped pineapple in the fruit. If only I would have had our eco friendly travel set of bamboo utensils on me. It would’ve been a completely waste free meal!

The fruit bowl was amazing and we were all happy and ready to check out the cute little north shore shops around us.

If you are looking for Unique Food in the North Shore you might also like my post about The Red Barn Farmstand.

north shore area, Rainbow House Shave Ice, oahu hawaii family activities, organic food smoothies and fruit bowls
Eating and Pick up area at the Rainbow House Shave Ice

I had my eye on all the wood carvings outside of the Ohana Island Creations.

wood carvings, sight seeing with family Oahu hawaii, north shore with kids, travel adventure
Off to see the wood statues @ Ohana Island Creations

These wood carvings were carved straight from the tree and were quite impressive! Right outside of the quaint little building they were a true showcase of the artists work.

Before heading inside we snuck a peak at the artist workshop. You can tell he leaves little room for distraction, and his heart is in the wood.

Wood in the Works, Artist Workspace

As we headed back to the car we passed along Full Fathom Five Hawaii Art Gallery. There is no photo taking inside to protect the artist creative concepts but it was full of unique beads, sea glass, wood work, and artwork.

Oahu Hawaii North Shore Art Gallery and family activities, unique destinations, hidden gems
Entrance to Full Fathom Five Hawaii Art Gallery

I was hesitant about taking the kids in some of these stores as they were a little wound up from the chocolate and fruit. The stores were packed with unique finds though, so my mom and I took turns going in to sight see. The kids didn’t mind as the outside was just as bright and fun. Plus there were chickens, and other fun animals to keep them entertained.

Oahu Hawaii North Shore Art Gallery and family unique destinations, hidden gems
The colorful stairs at Full Fathom Five Hawaii were amazing

After a great morning of exploring with the family in some different areas of the North Shore, the kids were nice and worn out. Now it was back home for one of my favorite parts of toddler life. Nap Time.

only show in town north shore oahu hawaii antiques and unique finds
Only Show in Town Antique Store and Unique Finds

Have you seen the plastic free wave around the islands? If so where was it for you?

Discovery Center | Fun Family Activities | Oahu Hawaii

As far as family activities, there are more than beaches and hiking when in Hawaii. If you find yourself on Oahu and craving a day of air conditioned fun, where the kids can be entertained, than let me show you a little slice of heaven.

What To Know

Tuesday through Friday…..9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday……10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Closed Mondays 

ADMISSION

The Discovery Center is a bit pricey with general admission running $12 for anyone over 1 year. If you are local or military it is $10. Is it worth it for the price? Look on and judge for yourself.

The only other part that is a total bummer is the outside of the building. There is a homeless encampment directly out the doors and across the street and it can make you feel a bit uneasy right off the bat. Sadly, you will find that through most of downtown and Oahu in general.

Once inside you will be transported to another world of magical discoveries.

The first room you come to in the center is one of my favorite. It offers an immersive water play area that also has a gated tot section. Here the kids get to learn about nature, rainforests, natural resources, and how to take care of our environment.

water play hands on science unschooling group educational learning childrens discovery center oahu hawaii

There are clouds that rain down the mountains and travel to the lower pond. Here kids can fish and play hands-on with ocean and water related toys.

water play hands on group educational learning childrens discovery center oahu hawaii

There are splash guard aprons to wear if you don’t want to worry about your littles getting to wet. There will be splashing. This is also a great environment to learn about sharing and cooperating with other children.

There is a tree house the kids can climb to look down on it all and tons of little interactive activities. We may have spent way too much time playing with the smoke dome. This room closes earlier than the rest of the center so make sure to come early and make it your first stop.

Once you leave this room there is a multitude of other rooms with hands on play to explore.

family fun hands on science unschooling kids educational learning childrens discovery center oahu hawaii

There is fun mirrors, magnetic play, hidden rooms, a room to play indoor baseball, a stage to dance on that gets shown on a big screen. And that is just the beginning of the kids activities.

family fun hands on science unschooling kids educational learning childrens discovery center oahu hawaii

This room held thousands of these blocks to build whatever you could imagine. There were bins full of humongous blocks, small blocks, magnetic blocks, and building blocks.

While the boys built and destroyed, my daughter and I took our turn at being a vet. This little room had clipboards with pictures of animals in the room. There was info showing what was wrong with them and how to treat them. We would find the animal and administer shots and medicine or give them a good teeth or ear cleaning. She loved it.

family fun hands on activities unschooling kids educational learning childrens discovery center oahu hawaii

There were many other rooms in this area where kids can be a grown-up for a day, and learn how a community functions. They can dress up and play a fireman, a banker, a mechanic, a doctor, and more.

The kids loved dressing up as little chefs and cooking for us. We sat down at the diner and ordered food from the menu. The menus showed pictures of what the meal consisted of and our chefs were able to go to the pantry and find all the ingredients. There was a stove for cooking and all the pots, pans and utensils needed for a kids kitchen.

In the doctors room, there were babies to take care of, beds for sick daddies to get shots, and even an x-ray machine.

The kids knew all about grocery shopping and were eager to show they could take care of the food picking. The cart was loaded with fish, ice cream, and chocolate milk. Apparently that is all you need.

Dressing up as a fireman is tough work. It may be a job in itself. Cooper loved putting on the whole outfit and running around pretending everything was on fire. There is also a big “truck” to sit in, drive, and climb around in the back. The area was even complete with a slide down pole. Though it is blocked from the top for obvious safety reasons. Dang.

Once fireman duty was over it was time to learn how to keep up a car as a mechanic. I had lots of experience with broken cars when I was young from driving my first beater. Where was my little mechanic then?!

When it is time to get out from under the cars they can go up in the sky! Cooper made the cutest pilot in the plane room, and willow pushed the beverage cart down the aisle to serve the seated guests.

The huge bubbles is the main attraction for our family. At one point during our second visit my husband actually said, can we just get to the bubbles already! Yes babe, lets go blow some bubbles!

In this area you can also learn about what makes living in Hawaii so special. From the plantation days to modern Hawaii, there is a lot to learn and discover.

Explore a rainbow of cultures, countries and celebrations from different parts of the world. Take a trip to far away places and experience how life is similar and different in other areas of the world.

A great family activity, there is so much to see and do here. I recommend making a day of it. We came the first time when rain cancelled some of our outdoor family plans and we couldn’t have been happier.

With rooms for all ages you can bring the whole family. Even mom and dad will have a blast here and I promise you will fill up your camera roll with all the cuteness.

family activities toddler fun hands on  unschooling kids educational learning childrens discovery center oahu hawaii

Have you been to the Discovery Center or one like it? We are always looking for childrens museums and family activities all around the world so don’t hesitate to share your favorites!

Old Pali Road Hike With Kids | Oahu Hawaii

Old Pali Road is a favorite family hike on Oahu. What’s not to love about an old abandoned and overgrown highway, hanging off the side of a mountain. There are even “secret” paths to hidden waterfalls and ancient ruins.

You can hike from the bottom starting at Ko’olau Golf Course, or the top from Nu’uanu Pali Lookout. We started from the top and worked our way down for the immediate views.

When you get to the entrance of the hike you will notice it is closed off. A bit of bravery and resourcefulness will set you on your chosen path.

This hike is gated and has potential dangers, such as falling rock, so hike at your own risk!
mountain view family hike old Pali highway oahu hawaii entrance adventure with kids

There is quite a bit of fallen rock in piles at the beginning and seems to be the most affected part for this danger. Once around the first bend, it is more overgrown and you are a bit out from the mountain.

mountain view family hike old Pali highway oahu hawaii travel with kids

We let our 2 small children walk with us and I wore the baby on my back. We never felt unsafe and had a blast. Cooper lead the way most of the time as he our little explorer.

It doesn’t take long until you get to the first amazing vantage point. The growth clears out and you are awarded with stunning views of the East Side of the island. You will be able to make out Kaneohe, and have an unobstructed view of the Ko’olau Mountains.

mountain view family hike old Pali highway oahu hawaii travel kids

From this area you get mountain views on either side. Here, there is a nice little wall for sitting and enjoying a snack, or to just take in the views.

mountain view family hike old Pali highway oahu hawaii
Music in the Mountains

Then it is time to head back into the brush.

It is wild here and hard to believe this ever used to be a highway!

The overgrowth is spectacular and really showcases the power of Mother Nature.

mountain view best family hike old Pali highway oahu hawaii

There are a few trails off the highway. You can find Likeke falls near the bottom and even the old Kaniakapupu Ruins. We didn’t make it to either place this day and still had a great time just exploring the road for our family hike.

mountain view family hike old Pali highway oahu hawaii adventure kids

The vegetation runs rampant in parts and it can get quite dark and even a bit spooky. Especially if you read up on the history of the hike. There are ghost stories galore surrounding this place making you wonder what kind of family hike this really is!

mountain view family hike old Pali highway oahu hawaii forest adventure kids

Although there were no ghosts, or spooky happenings for our family adventure, we still enjoyed the beautiful vegetation, flowers, and unique scenery.

This time we didn’t make our way under the overpass to highway 61, and instead turned back. The hike was short though and easy to do with this kids. It is def one you can spend a little or a lot of time on.

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The way back was full of nothing but views and we even caught sight of some dare devils climbing the Pali notches. One of the most dangerous spots on the island.

We decided we don’t need all that for a fulfilling day. Our walk was full of beauty and our adventure on Old Pali Road was one of the best family hikes on Oahu.

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Have you hiked Old Pali Road? What are some of your favorite family adventures on Oahu?

Red Barn | Unique Local Food | Oahu Hawaii

Organic Local Food in a unique setting and beautiful environment.

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The View From The Road

I had passed this cute little barn style market and local food stop many times since moving to the North Shore. I knew I wanted to stop by so naturally I picked the worst time to finally do it. It was still worth it.

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View From The Car

We pulled up and parked right next to the stairs for easy access since I had all 3 babes with me, they were all tired and it was way past nap time, plus I had forgotten my magical baby soothing device. The Tula.

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Oh Yeah, I love It

It didn’t matter though. When I pulled in and saw the quaint little barn, set up all trendy yet rustic I knew there was no turning back.

The little farm is right outside of the Barn and offers a true Farm to Table experience. The barn and farm sit together side by side, nestled in the mountains.

Simply put. It is Stunning.

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Farm to Barn

Inside they offer a little farmers market with pineapple, potatoes, and other fruit and veggies. I was most impressed with largest, prettiest avocados I had ever seen. They also offer a little variety and sell a few handmade bits from local vendors.

They have cute beeswax sheets for a natural, sustainable way to keep your fruit and veggies. beeswax candles, jewelry, and even a bit of art.

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The Farmers Market

The menu is small but offers a nice variety of vegan and hearty meat meals, snacks, and cold pressed juices. They also sell kombucha in a nice sortment of flavors and don’t skimp on it! Score.

With my wild and tired crew in tow I knew we wouldn’t be enjoying the view from the barn for our meal. No problem. They had little Turkish blankets perfect for a picnic on the lawn.

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Grab a Blanket and Have a Picnic

It was perfect for my babes. We had a nice meal at the picnic table, while my babes ate on the blanket and got to run freely.