Family Stay at Alohilani Resort | Waikiki Hawaii

When my family had the opportunity to stay at Alohilani Resort in Waikiki we were thrilled. The luxury resort is in the perfect location steps from the beach and surprisingly very kid friendly. That is a big deal for my young family of 5.

concierge at alohilani resort waikiki oahu hawaii

When we arrived at Alohilani Resort we knew we were in for a special treat right away. The lobby is stunning and the staff were polite and super sweet to the kids, offering them flowers and jokes. My shy daughter was even smiling. Another big thing to note here was no matter how many people were in the lobby I never had to wait long to get help.

family at concierge at alohilani resort waikiki oahu hawaii

Another great feature of Alohilani is the insanely awesome (as the kids said) 280,000 Oceanarium. Located right out of the lobby with a convenient sitting area and bar we naturally stopped here first.

oceanarium aquarium activities for kids oahu

It’s an imaginatively designed space that invites you to be mesmerized by magnificence of our undersea world, while enjoying a bite or drink, for an experience unavailable at other hotels in Waikiki.

Alohilani Resort Oceanarium

The kids absolutely were mesmerized watching the diver swim through the fish and feeding them with her hands. My daughter squealed with delight when she waved at her through the window and by the time we made it up to our room we were all smiles and laughter. Not an easy feat for a family checking into a hotel/resort!

alohilani resort room with ocean and mountain view hawaii

When we got to the room we were in awe with the view. The city spread out before us and Diamond head stood proud and center competing with the bright blue ocean at its side. It was seriously beautiful.

vacation with kids best views alohilani resort

Snacks on the patio was a perfect way to break in our stay and get comfortable. The kids ate most of the fresh fruit provided in the mini fridge but I did get to sneak a piece or two and can confirm it was Delicious!

family vacation with young kids oahu waikiki

After filling our bellies and letting the kids blow off some steam on the beds (sorry Alohilani but they were to big and cushy to resist a bounce or two) we made our way down to Swell Pool.

diamond head view from alohilani resort family

Relax and unwind at Swell Pool & Bar, the trendsetting destination at our Waikiki resort. It’s a poolside experience unlike any other. The stunning and expansive 5th-floor pool deck defines Aloha Chic, with its saltwater infinity pool that overlooks fabled Waikiki Beach.

Alohilani Resort Swell Pool
family vacation waikiki hawaii oahu

We didn’t do much relaxing but it was easy to see why Swell Pool was named one of “The Top 10 Instagram Worthy Pools in America”. This pool was amazing. And though it looks like my children are about to fall out of the pool and off the rooftop it is actually leveled to make us seem much cooler and braver than we are.

family playing at swell pool alohilani waikiki

With chairs right in the pool ( yes in the pool ) you can sit and chill and watch the kids play or sit in the elevated hot tub that connects to the pool area. There are private cabanas you can rent for a more luxurious and private stay (in case you want to get away from wild families like mine ) and even a private pool tucked away for toddlers if they get to loud or you want a more secure place for them to play.

sunset from rooftop pool at alohilani resort

We stuck with the main pool and for good reason. Watching the sunset was magical and there is nothing better to wear the kids out. Besides maybe the beach which we snuck in a different day.

Overall we were extremely happy with our stay at Alohilani Resort and would by far recommend it to families of all ages. We will miss this view but always treasure the memories made. Read on to see what Amenities the resort offers and tips to make visiting Waikiki a blast!

ocean and city view of waikiki from alohilani resort

Alohilani Resort Extensive Resort Amenities

  • Swell Pool
  • Morimoto Asia Dining
  • Longboard Club
    This experience offers a private setting at a Waikiki club level for guests to unwind and take part in curated offerings designed to further enrich their stay at the club room hotel.
  • O Bar
    An open, relaxed gathering place and one of the most distinctive Waikiki Beach bars.
  • Lychee
    Signature Buffet and family favorites
  • Kids Club
    With the Monkeypod Kids Club, Alohilani Resort surpasses the offerings of other kid-friendly hotels in Honolulu. Through play, games and activities, kids will learn about Hawaiian culture, history, environment and traditions. Activities vary each day, so your children can participate as often as they wish.
  • Oceanarium
  • Island Club And Spa
    Your Destination For Workouts, Yoga, Spa Treatments And Massage
  • Workspace
    Whether you need dedicated time for work, or quick access to a printer, ‘Alohilani fresh, well designed work space awaits, allowing you to take care of business
  • Concierge
  • Shops at Alohilani

Waikiki Tips for Family Fun

Waikiki is filled with an incredible array of fun for the family and since Alohilani is in the prime spot you won’t have to walk far to enjoy it all!

  • The Zoo + Waikiki Aquarium
    The zoo and aquarium are both a 10 minute walk from Alohilani and offer a great way to spend the morning with kids. I would suggest early morning to beat the heat and give you time to enjoy the nearby beach and banyan trees.
  • Surfing and Beaching
    Directly across from Alohilani Resort is an iconic surf spot and perfect lagoon area for the kids. You can watch the surfers or rent a board or lesson yourself from one of the many stands accessible from the beach.
  • Waikiki Beach Walk
    There is an awesome beach walk with parks and dining when you walk down towards the other side of Waikiki. We loved packing the kids in strollers and enjoying this walk for sunset. You can even catch fireworks on Friday and Monday Nights!
  • International Marketplace
    Only a few blocks from Alohilani Resort you will find the newly built International Marketplace. Here you can find shopping, people watching, and sight seeing galore. This stylish, modern mall gives every reason to walk around and check out the scene

I hope you find a reason to come and enjoy the incredible experience offered at Alohilani Resort! Let me know if it is on the list or if you too have enjoyed the stay, I would love to hear from you!

Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike | Oahu Hawaii

Hanauma Bay Ridge hike is a beautiful little trail that takes you along the edge of Koko Head Rim. You get sweeping views of the ocean, Hawaii Kai, and the beautiful reef in Hanauma Bay.

hanauma bay ridge hike landscape view

What To know

  • Moderate Hike With No Shade
  • Mostly Paved with Different Trails
  • Decent Hills for A Good Workout
  • Dog Friendly

There are a few different ways to find the entrance to the trail. You can park at Hanauma Bay and walk back up to the road to the paved trail by the guard shack. Or you can take the shorter easier way by parking on Nawiliwili St and taking the trail from the main road.

The trail from the road is short and you find yourself at the paved hike quickly. The views start right away and you find lots of little lookouts for pictures right of the main road.

When you get to the top of the incline you can veer off the road and take the path down the side of the mountain. This is the way we went both there and back.

While going down is only slightly intimidating there is a good incline at one point. But once you get past that it is smooth sailing to the end of the trail.

trail at hanauma bay ridge hike

I’d suggest doing the Hanauma Bay ridge hike early enough to catch the sunrise. It comes from the water magnificently and you beat the heat. Another great hike for sunset is Makapu’u Lighthouse.

sunrise from hanauma bay ridge hike
It won’t take long until you get to the end and can see views of the all Hanauma Bay, Hawaii Kai, and Koko Head.
happy girls from awesome hike oahu hawaii

From the end here you can keep walking even though it seems like it would be a drop off. Just face the open ocean and keep going. There is more beauty to behold.

views of koko head from hanauma bay ridge hike

Once you climb down the crazy rock formations you will find tide pools and a rock bridge. This spot is beautiful but I Do Not advise you to go on it. The water in Hawaii is very fickle and even if the water seems calm, Rogue Waves often come out of no where and will sweep you into the ocean.

If you do go near the ocean cliffs or attempt these insta famous shots make sure you know basic sea survival skills. This is quick read about How To Survive Being Swept Into The Ocean

The area is beautiful though and provides plenty of picturesque scenery to enjoy.

Once you start going back to the top you will find the hike a little more difficult. There are little steps built into the mountain though to help you up and back to the top to the trail.

But the terrain is wild here and you will find yourself on a multitude of different rock facings on the way.

guys climbing up rock face oahu  hanuama bay ridge hike
hanauma bay ridge hike steep incline

If you didn’t go down to the rock bridge you will still find the way back has a lot of incline to get back up to the paved road. But there plenty of ups and downs, and the hike is short. Besides the scenery of Hanauma Bay will have you forgetting how out of breath you are.

beautiful views and scenery of hanauma bay and koko head from ridge hike

Best Naval Air Museum Tour | Oahu Hawaii

The Naval Air Museum at Barbers Point is hands down one of the best little tours we have taken in Oahu Hawaii. Full of hands on experiences and interesting history, this museum is a great place to take the family!

Since the museum is set on an active runway so you have to schedule a tour to enter. We found that out when we arrived but it was easy to schedule and we got in not long after.

The tour starts off in a fun vintage military jeep with a quick drive around the hangars. Here you learn about where old photographs were taken and you have the opportunity to take photos to match the Historical Images from the Museum’s Collection.

jeep tour of museum with family Oahu Hawaii

Once you reach the tarmac area where the vintage planes are kept the real fun starts.

You get to climb into the aircraft and have a fully immersive experience. No signs saying do not touch, the tour guide Brad was full of history and didn’t mind one bit the kids were jumping on everything and pushing all the buttons!

When another group came for a tour Brad left us to our own devices for a bit and we got to explore all the aircraft by ourselves for a bit and really take our time. It was amazing being able to freely walk the tarmac and explore the interior of the aircraft.

The Naval Air Museum Barbers Point collection includes the following aircraft:

Beechcraft AQM-137A Jayhawk
Beechcraft SNB-5/UC-45J, BuNo 44607
Bell UH-1 Iroquois, Serial No. 69-15708
Douglas A-4E Skyhawk, BuNo 150023
Douglas A-4E Skyhawk, BuNo 151030
Douglas A-4E Skyhawk, BuNo 152061
Douglas DC-8-62CF, Constr. No. 45922, Line No. 335
Lockheed UP-3A Orion, BuNo 152169
Lockheed P-3C Orion, BuNo 160770
McDonnell F-4N Phantom II
Sikorsky CH-53D Sea Stallion, BuNo 156964
Sikorsky UH-3H Sea King, BuNo 148043
Sikorsky UH-3H Sea King, BuNo 152701
Sikorsky SH-60B Seahawk, BuNo 162102
M60A3 Patton Main Battle Tank
M901 Improved TOW Vehicle
M113 Armored Personnel Carrier
M110 Self-Propelled 8-Inch Howitzer
M578 Light Recovery Vehicle
M998, M1025, and M1037 HMMWV
M35 2½-Ton Truck
M816 Wrecker
M926 and M926A1 5-Ton Trucks
M931 Tractor
Fire Trucks

hands on experience best family tour Oahu Hawaii military air museum with kids

It was a perfect spot to let the kids get out some energy and mom to explore with her camera while the men talked about military history and aircraft.

Being a military family there were a few heartfelt moments and a wonderful connection to the past.

One of my favorite parts was letting the kids explore the trucks. They loved climbing in and out of them and pretending to drive.

If you are interested in visiting you may find the following info helpful

Please call (808) 682-3982 to schedule

Tue-Fri 0800-1530
Sat-Sun 1000-1530
Closed to tours on Monday

If you are on Oahu, I highly recommend visiting the naval air museum with your family. It is away from tourist and an awesome experience for all ages.

kids playing and having fun at the naval air museum tour Oahu Hawaii

Top 10 Kid Friendly Hikes | Oahu Hawaii

Wanting to know safe kid friendly hikes on Oahu that still have big payoff? You don’t have to fore-go the good stuff when hiking with kids. Read on to find the best waterfalls, views, and mountain trails suitable for all ages!

Makapu’u Lighthouse

Oahu hawaii travel blog adventure family hike

This family hike is perfect for a sunrise with the kids. It is a stroller-friendly paved road, that switchbacks up the mountain. . You will be climbing uphill the entire time, but it doesn’t take long and the views are worth every step.

There are look outs all along the way and once a the top you get stunning views of the offshore islands and nearby mountain ranges. For more details and pictures of the entire trail see My Post on the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail Here.


Makapu’u Lower trails will lead you to a unique area called Peles Chair. Here you can climb a short distance to the large rock (a favorite lunch spot for our family) or you can hang out in the tide pools below.

This is a short easy trail and great place for swimming, cliff jumping, tide pooling, and exploring with the kids.

Hamama Falls

family friendly hike with best waterfall on oahu

Our favorite waterfall and kid friendly hike on Oahu. The trail is maintained by the Board of Water Supply and is a quick, sometimes steep, trek to a powerful 40ft waterfall. There is a swimming hole along the way so make sure to bring your swimming clothes for a quick jump in the pools.

For all our pictures and details of the Gorgeous family hike visit my Hamama Falls With Kids post.

Pu’u O Hulu (Pink Pillboxes)

On the west side of the island you will find a multitude of hidden gems. This family hike is a bit more on the popular side and for good reason. It affords some of the greatest ocean and mountain views within a short amount of time. This is the first hike I took my son on to test him limits and it was a day I will always remember.

Though it can be steep and you will be scrambling over rocks at some points I often see children and baby wearing mommas on the hike. Be weary off the drop offs along the top and take your time on this stunning family hike.

Kaena Point

sunset hike with kids oahu hawaii family hike

You can hike this kid-friendly trail from the west side or the north side. I often hear that the west side offers better views of the ocean, with the stunning cliffs. But I enjoy the North side for all the exploring options. You can walk along the water, or along the dirt road nestled into the bottom of the mountain range, on the North side.

If you make it all the way to the end you will find a bird sanctuary with beautiful large albatross, and monk seals lazily sleeping on the sandy beach. Do not try to touch or get to to close the monk seals though, for they are endangered and that comes with a hefty fine and possible jail time.

Read my full post and see our video of the trail on the Hiking North Shore Kaena Point with Kids here.

Lanikai Pillboxes

One of the most famous sunrise hikes on the island. Though you will often find a multitude of people and tourist here it is beautiful and a short family friendly hike. You will find baby wearing mommas and kids often on this trail. Be aware though, there are some rock climbing areas and it can be a bit slippery so know you and your childs abilities before attempting.

Diamond Head

Diamond head is a fun kid-friendly hike for the whole family and affords you amazing views of Waikiki. With its close proximity to the city you will find it very touristy but quite fun. The lookouts are stunning and the family hike is easy for most ages and baby wearing.

Waimea Falls

Waimea falls is a great family activity that is more of a walk through a forest to a waterfall you can swim at. The only paid trail on the list, the walk is scenic, stroller friendly, and interactive. You can even take the trolley to skip straight to the waterfall or if you don’t want to walk back.

Once at the waterfall, you are able to use the lifejackets available, for no extra charge, and swim in the swimming pool under the waterfall. The whole family had an absolute blast swimming to waterfall and having it push us through the water.

There is even a little snack shack with hot dogs, water, and shave ice near the falls. If you are looking for a better lunch the restaurant at the entrance is a great place to eat where you can even watch peacocks roam freely.

Old Pali Road

old Pali road family hike scenic unique kid friendly trail oahu hawaiii

Though this hike is closed off by a gate it is still “accessible” and you will find many other adventure seekers on the trail. If you want a gorgeous kid friendly hike, on an old abandoned highway, hanging off the side of mountain, with hidden waterfalls and other gems, then this is your hike.

See our video and all the gorgeous pictures of the fun and intensely beautiful Hike at Old Pali Road Here.

Manoa Falls

Manoa Falls is touristy and always muddy and rainy. Part of the charm of the hike. A moderately easy trail you can go on to get all the fun pictures of a big adventure. With trees you can walk through, and near constant views it’s easy to see why the trail to this 50ft waterfall is so famous.


Lyon Arboretum shares the same trail head as Manoa Falls and is much less crowded. Though I am not sure why as I love this little area. If you don’t do the whole trail you can walk the gravel road for a bit to a stunning set of trees before you enter the jungle area or stay close to the entrance for a perfect spot to have a snack or lunch after seeing the Falls.

Turtle Bay Kahana Bay Trails

This is a fun little spot on the North Shore of Oahu. With a wonderful Fruit stand market sitting across the street it makes for an all around perfect spot for the day. Start off at the market and get a bag of assorted ready to eat local fruit like dragonfruit and apple bananas, and get a fresh cold coconut chopped for you on the spot.

When you head across the street you can find A large scenic banyan tree and a multitude of trails. Here you can find magic schoolhouses hiding in the woods, pillboxes, horses on the trails, or stop at the beach for turtle spotting.

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.

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

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 


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.