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
Tugs
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

BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
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

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.

mountain view family hike old Pali highway oahu hawaii travel kids

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.

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

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

Favorite Family Adventures | Oahu Hawaii | Hikes, Beaches, Activities, And More

Oahu Hawaii has a multitude of fun stuff for families. When we moved here for military PCS orders I knew our family was in for a treat. I have gathered my favorite family activities in one giant list to come back to for inspiration and to share our favorite island adventure spots.

Waikiki

We spent 60 days in 5 different Hotels in Waikiki and were smitten with the diverse city. Beyond the infamous Waikiki Beach you will find high rise hotels, designer fashion stores, high-end and hole-in-the-wall eats side by side. There is so much to explore and do here and is a great place for families to sight see and adventure.

Beware you will find a large dose of homeless wandering EVERYWHERE. Just keep track of each other and your belongings as in any large city area.

The Zoo

Always a fun place for the kids is the zoo. The Waikiki zoo is small but offers a beautiful place for the kids to let out some energy with a large field, park, a fun interactive koi pond, and is home to a large Komodo dragon. We didn’t stay long either times we came and a good number of habitats were empty. The Waikiki Aquarium is across the street and we enjoyed it after the zoo both times.

The Aquarium

Very small but well kept aquarium. They are home to the only public view tank of the rare peppermint angle fish. You will also find monk seals, jellyfish, coral, and other Hawaiian reef fish. Our favorite part was the outdoor hands-on exhibit where you get to hold sea slugs, starfish, and more.

Waikiki Wall / Queens Beach / Sans Souci State Recreational Park / War Memorial Natatorium

Across the street from the Waikiki zoo and next to the Waikiki Aquarium you find a multitude of great spots. All directly next to each other, these locations make for perfect morning or evening stroll. You will find a little beach cafe for yummy eats, large banyan trees on the sand for the kids to play in, and a great beach walk for a casual stroll.

Kapi’olani Regional Park

park with diamond head mountain views with kids Oahu hawaii travel family must see and do guide and tips
Beautiful Walk at Kapi’olani Regional Park

This is a lovely park with an awesome view of Diamond Head. We would walk over here for morning picnics and were always finding fun scenes taking place. Brides getting pictures taken, newbie surfers practicing on boards, and intense workouts on the fitness equipment.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Lagoon and Beach Walk

Diamond Head Views from Hilton Hawaiian Village Lagoon in Waikiki

We spent a good portion of out time in this wonderful lagoon during our 60 days stay in Waikiki. The lagoon is perfect for small children and they offer tons of fun activities. Rent paddle boards, water bikes, paddle boats and more. The Beach walk is perfect for a sunset stroll and you will find lots of good eats, parks and drink shacks. Plus every Friday night there is a free firework show above the lagoon!

Atlantis Underwater Adventure Submarine

Dive 100 ft into the deep blue in premium submarines. Witness how remnants of hurricane-swept airliners, pyramid structures, and other objects have combined with Mother Nature to attract green sea turtles, sharks, yellow tangs, eels, and other underwater marine life. Children must be 36″ in height.

Town

Once you cross over the little bridge past the marina you are technically outside of Waikiki and what the locals call simply. Town.

Magic Island

tourist attraction in Waikiki Oahu hawaii magic island offers great views of diamond head and the surrounding city

Across the water from the Hilton Hawaiian Village and marina, you will find Magic Island. With its own lagoon and a beach on both sides it offers a perfect place to picnic, sight see, or take a sunset walk. Sunsets are very busy and you better come early for parking if you want to see an epic sunset from this popular vantage. This is also a popular spot to watch the Friday night free fireworks show.

Ala Moana Beach Park

This is a beautiful large beach park full of large trees, canals, cute bridges, and homeless. Seriously they are everywhere out here. The park is also across the street from Ala Moana shopping center full of high-end shopping, movie theaters and more. We would often grab a burrito bowl from one of our favorite Waikiki hole in the walls, Surf n Turf Tacos, and bring it here to eat and let the kids roam.

Lyon Arboretum

Lyon arboretum why children hike with kids Oahu hawaii travel family must see and do guide and tips
Hawaiian History at Lyon Arboretum

At the trailhead to Manoa Falls you will find  Lyon Arboretum. A 200-acre arboretum and botanical garden. I personally like it better than the falls with small children. There is plenty of well marked paths, amazing foliage, trees, and historical structures. Be sure to grab a map at the visitiors center because it is large and there is so much beauty to see. It is free but a donations are greatly appreciated.

Manoa Falls

Manoa falls hike is one of the most well known hikes on Oahu. To get to the famous 150 ft waterfall only takes about 30 minutes. The walk is through a lush trail that will make you feel like your in Jurassic Park or a Lost Episode. Partly because you kinda will be. Both were filmed on this beautiful trail. It does get slippery and there is a 90% chance you will come out muddy. Manoa falls gets the most rain fall on the island of Oahu but thats what keeps it so gorgeous!

Bishop Museum

bishop museum Hawaiian hall family attraction Oahu hawaii must do
Hawaiian Hall at Bishop Museum

Bishop Museum is an awesome place to take the family. There is plenty of Hawaiian and Polynesian culture and the grounds and buildings are stunning. There is a science center, art shows, and lots of hands on activities for the kids. Our favorite part is the science center that showcases a large volcano and had lots of bugs and odd stuff that completely fascinated my kids. Read My Full Post on Bishop Museum Here.

Pearl Harbor Memorial

The emotional history at the Pearl Harbor Memorial is intense. I am not one for history but being as my husband is in the navy, and his father before him was also military, we visited as a family during one of his visits. You will watch a short video that will most likely make you cry, I sure did, (both times) and then, while you are filled with emotion, you will take a short boat ride to the memorial. It is a stunning site to behold and will make for an enriching, educational day.

USS Missouri

A perfect stop after the Pearl Harbor Memorial is the USS Missouri. An old naval war ship turned museum makes for an impressive showcase of ship life. The battle ship is adorned with massive turret guns, and you have the opportunity to see all parts of the ship, from the engine rooms, surrender deck, and sleeping quarters. Find more information and tours here.

Naval Air Museum

naval air museum with kids Oahu hawaii travel family must see and do guide and tips
Showroom at Naval Air Museum

A day of naval history wouldn’t be complete without a quick stop at the naval air museum at barbers point. The kids loved they can get hands on with the aircraft. In the showroom you can see the old aircraft they have reclaimed and are working on, along with the bullet holes adorning the windows from the Pearl Harbor attack.

Childrens Discovery Center

Our favorite rainy day activity on Oahu. It is pricey but there is so much to do and offers a complete interactive, educational day for the whole family. My husband even loves coming just to play with the massive bubbles. There are multiple rooms throughout that offer dress up for real world scenarios. Your kids can be pilots, cooks, store clerks, firemen, mechanics, clim bridges, pick pineapples, and interact with so many different cultural set ups. It is pretty amazing.

East Coast of Oahu

Maka’pu’u Light House Trail

makapuu lighthouse trail easy with family Oahu hawaii travel blog adventure family hike
Mountain and Ocean Views at Maka’puu Lighthouse Trail

A short stroller-friendly hike that is perfect for all ages. Perfect for a sunrise hike with the family. We often do this hike along with a day of snorkeling at Hanauma bay that is right around the coast. See more pictures and read about the whole trail here!

Pele’s Chair / Lower Maka’pu’u

peles chair easy hike with Mountain and ocean Views with kids Oahu hawaii travel family must see and do guide and tips
Peles Chair

At the bottom of the paved trail leading up to Maka’puu Lighthouse you will see another gravel trail that leads out towards the beach. You will just be able to make out a large rock that goes by Peles Chair. The beach at the end of this trail offers great tide pools for the kids to play, snorkeling in pools of fish, amazing views, and a perfect place for lunch.

Hanauma Bay

Hanauma bay snorkeling easy with kids Oahu hawaii travel family must see and do guide and tips
View of Hanauma Bay Snorkeling Spot

A perfect spot to take the kids for their first snorkel experience. It is one of the most famous snorkel spots for good reason and advanced snorkelers and beginners alike will swim here. There is a hike along the rim and the beach is a serene and scenic spot for laying in the sun or building sand castles. They only let in so many visitors a day though so be sure to come early. Read More about Hanauma Bay and our kids first time Snorkeling Here!

Sea Life Park

Right across from Maka’puu Lighthouse is Sea Life Park. We scored annual passes here during Black Friday for less than the price of normal tickets and go often. Swim with the dolphins, watch shows, feed sea turtles, watch performing monk seals and more. Sea Life Park is home to only rescued marine animals and birds and they go through a high rotation of animals as they are rescued and released. A highly educational, and entertaining experience you can feel good about.

Lanikai Pillboxes

A famous sunrise hiking spot, Lanikai Pillboxes is one of the most picturesque trails on Oahu. An intermediate hike that takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half depending on how far you go. This is a great hike to get you out of your comfort zone and see why Oahu is known for its hikes.

Waimanalo Sunflower Farms

Waimanalo Sunflower fields are a great spot to take the kids for a fun summer day. Hitch a ride on the back of a trailer out to pick sunflowers and learn about Waimanlo Country Farms. When you get back in enjoy a mason jar full of ‘nalo made pineapple, mango, or li hing mui lemonade! The fields are only in bloom a few times a year, so check their FB events page for good dates.

Waimanalo Beach

gorgeous beach with kids Oahu hawaii travel family must see and do guide and tips
Perfect Water at Waimanalo Beach

Close to Makapuʻu Beach and Sea Life Park, Waimanalo Beach offers some the prettiest, turquoise water on the island. Backed by ironwoods for shade, this 3 mile stretch of white sand is the longest on the island. Perfect for a casual stroll or letting the kids run wild.

Bellows Beach

bellow Air Force base beach mountain views with kids Oahu hawaii travel family must see and do guide and tips
Mountain Views From Bellows Beach

You will need a military i.d. to get base access to part of this beach but on the weekends their is plenty of beautiful spots on Bellows open to the public. One of my favorite beaches on the island due to the amazing mountain views, forests of ironwoods, and azure water. This is also a great camping spot and we spend 2 weeks a year camping in their cabins, and ocean front tent spots.

Drive The Scenic East Coast

Click For Google Map Directions

If you are overwhelmed with choices or can’t think of a specific spot you want to experience I suggest a drive along the coast. Taking the scenic route from Waikiki to North Shore lets you really enjoy the island on a different level. This is an absolute Must Do and something I recommend to every one who comes to the island.

Kahana Bay

Kahana Bay

Kahana Bay is a beautiful beach and great for the family. The water is almost always calm, there are rope swings in the trees, and a grove of ironwood trees for shade and play. This is the bay that one of my favorite hikes looks out over. I wouldn’t recommend Crouching Lion Hike for children, though I have seen some wild baby wearing mommas on this dangerous hike.

Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens

Ho’omahulia Botanical Gardens offer the greatest views of any of the gardens. You can easily spend an entire day here if you wanted. They even offer little wooden fishing sticks to the kids for the large pond on Saturdays. The pond is great for littles to feed ducks and the fish, and you can explore endlessly on all the trails the lush park has to offer.

Kualoa Ranch Tours

Discover Jurassic Valley in the scenic 4000 acre park. They offer everything from jungle tours on mountain bikes, jeeps, horseback, and even offer private atv tours. You can also go on ocean adventures and ziplines. This park offers a world of possibilities for your family to explore. Not to mention your kids get to take pictures with a life size T Rex and you can tell them you are in Jurassic Park. I mean, C’mon.

Kualoa Regional Beach Park

Kualoa beach hidden gems with kids Oahu hawaii travel family must see and do guide and tips
Hidden Gem Beach Swing Oahu

If your not into the tours there is still plenty of reason to go by the ranch. Across the street is an amazing park with stunning views of the mountains and the is closest you can get to china mans hat island. If you walk the beach from here you will find all kinds of hidden gems. I’m very tempted to tell you all the good stuff, but that would spoil the fun. If you are lucky then along the road when you drive by the ranch you may see the horses grazing at the fence. People often stop here to feed the horses and it makes for a great spur of the moment experience.

Polynesian Cultural Center

The Polynesian Cultural Center is a Polynesian-themed theme park and living museum located in Laie. Set on 42 acres along Oahu’s Scenic Shore, the Polynesian Cultural Center has a lagoon that hosts daily canoe tours and an exciting cultural Canoe Pageant. Learn about Hawaii’s royalty while enjoying traditional Polynesian food and entertainment.

The park is expensive but offers an unparalleled Hawaiian experience. Visit Their Site For More Info And Ticket Prices

North Shore Oahu

Kawela Bay / Turtle Bay

A favorite spot to spend the day is Kawela Bay, by Turtle Bay Resort. At the entrance, there is a fantastic fruit stand with cold cut local fruit and fresh cold coconut. There is a gorgeous banyan tree and a multitude of hiking trails. You can horse back ride on the beach trails, or spot turtles lazing in the sand. We can spend any where from an hour to a full day here.

Pipeline and Sunset Beach

Photographer at Eddie aikua shootout at ehukai beach pipeline Oahu hawaii
Eddie Aikua Shootout

The legendary bonzai pipeline, at Ehukai Beach, is a perfect place to see barreling waves and world famous surfers. A stretch of surf reef break causes some of the biggest waves around the island, and brings surfers from all over the world. On any given day you can see a multitude of surfers, and photographers catching and capturing waves.

Waimea Falls

Waimea falls waterfall garden hike with kids Oahu hawaii travel family must see and do guide and tips
Waimea Falls Swimming Hole

Fun Fact | This famous waterfall starred in all kinds of movies and shows, including the hit tv show Lost. Want to see more famous movie locations? Check out These Romantic Movie Locations That Will Inspire You To See The World.

Waimea Beach

Across the street from the entrance to Waimea Falls is Waimea Beach. This little stretch of sand offers great fun for the day. Known best for Waimea rock, people flock here to jump into the clear waters. There is even a hole under the rock you can swim through, if your brave enough. The beach gets crowded quickly and the parking can be tough so plan on coming early during a weekday.

Sharks Cove

Sharks Cove is known for 2 things. Snorkeling and food trucks. Enjoy famous shave ice, or fish tacos after a day of adventuring the cove. While a good portion is shallow, and for the most part it is a fun safe place for families, it can be dangerous, especially in the winter months. Bring snorkel gear and water shoes!

Haleiwa Beach Park

This was one of the first stops when we got to Oahu and we go back All. The. Time. It is my go-to for an easy, relaxing day with lots of choices for fun, in a beautiful setting. The beach, mountains, playgrounds, tide pools, palm tree groves, sea turtles, food trucks, surfing. Our whole family loves this little spot for good reason.

Macadamia Nut Farm

Across from Haleiwa Beach Park is Tropical Farms Macadamia Nut Farm Outlet. A cute little gift shop on a farm that offers the yummiest of treats and souvenirs, in a beautifully landscaped setting. From chocolate covered nuts to coffee, gift baskets, and handmade keepsakes. This is a great place to stop for an authentic Hawaiian experience.

Ka’ena Point North Shore

mountains and beach path at kaena point peak bird sanctuary Oahu hawaii
West Side Peek at K Point

At the very tip of the island, away from all the maddening hustle of Waikiki you will find Kaena Point. You can get to this point from either the West side or the North side, but it is only accessible by trail. There is no driving around this part of the Oahu. The 5 mile trail is perfect for families and offers, beaches and paths galore. See my family Hike K Point and lots of beautiful pictures and Info Here.

Central Oahu

Dole Plantation

For being such a tourist spot, Dole Plantation is actually pretty cool. The pineapple whip is worth the trip if you like sweet eats. There is a nice educational train ride that tells the history of Dole and Hawaii and cute little picture worthy spots all over the plantation.

Wahiawa Botanical Garden

wahiawa botanical garden with kids Oahu hawaii travel family must see and do guide and tips
Pathway at Wahiawa Botanical Garden

A hidden little gem and favorite spot of ours is Wahiawa Botanical Gardens. This little garden has bamboo stalks, foliage galore, and plenty of running room for the littles. With an upper and lower level to explore, the surprisingly small area has so much to see.

West Side Oahu

Waianae gets a bad rep from locals and tourist alike. The crime here is very high but this side of the island is where you will find an Authentic, Raw Hawaii Vibe. We never had any trouble over here, and as long as you respect the people and the island, you will probably be just fine.

As with anywhere on the island, don’t leave valuables in your car, and lock your doors.

Ko’ Olina Lagoons

lagoon at ko'olina perfect scenic beach for families and children Oahu Hawaii
A Lagoon at Ko’olina

Ko’olina lagoons offer a perfect spot for families to enjoy the water. A lot of the beaches on Oahu have large surf break and can be scary for little ones. Each of the four lagoons offer unique qualities, such as snorkeling at lagoon 4 and paddle boarding at lagoon 1. If you follow lagoon 1 around you will also find a pathway that leads to a secret lagoon. This spot is abundant in sea life, turtles, and away from the crowds.

off the beaten path hidden gems with kids Oahu hawaii travel family must see and do guide and tips
Path to Secret Beach Lagoon

Pu’u O Hulu

Pu'u o Hulu pink pillbox hike maili with kids Oahu hawaii travel family must see and do guide and tips
Sunset View from Pink Pillbox
mountain views from Pu'u o Hulu pink pillbox hike Oahu hawaii

Pu’u O Hulu, or the pink pillboxes, is a great hike in Maili on the west side of the island. We lived in the community under this mountain for 2 years and hiked it often. It was my first hike on the island, and later my 3 year old sons first hike. This is probably the best bang for your buck mountain hike when it comes to views. It doesn’t take long to get to the top and the abundant views start almost instantly.

Pokai Beach Park

family at pokai beach park scenic destination Oahu hawaii hidden gem
Pokai Bay Mountain Views

My family frequented this spot often. It comes off a little rough at first glance, and there are homeless camped along some of the best spots. The bay has a stone wall local kids jump from and fishers take over, along with an absolutely beautiful vantage point at the end beyond the playground.

Makua Beach

makua beach pray for sex off the beaten path with kids Oahu hawaii travel family must see and do guide and tips
Favorite Beach on Oahu

Our favorite family beach on the whole of Oahu. Often called pray for sex beach (supposed to be pray for sets from the surfers name for it) this spot has it all. Tide pools, caves, hikes, hidden gems, ever changing landscape, and always stunning views.

Yokes Beach

huge amazing waves at yokes Yokohama beach mountain views with kids Oahu hawaii travel family must see and do guide and tips
Amazing Waves at Yokes Beach

When you’ve gone as far as you can and the road runs out, you will find yourself at Yokes. Yokahama Bay is another picturesque bay where you can stay away from the tourist and take in the raw beauty of Hawaii. This was the first beach that I saw waves that took my breath away. It holds a special spot in my heart and I highly recommend it to anyone who stays on Oahu and is up for a little adventure.

Ka’ Ena Point West Side

A long, hot trail, full of non-stop views that leads you to the tip of the island. Here you can bask in the sun with monk seals and observe large sea birds. There are lots of instagram famous spots on the trail and is well worth the hike.


I hope you found some inspiration for your trip or a new place to explore for your time on Oahu. Let me know your favorite place or which spot seems like a must for your family!

Bishop Museum Family Field Trip with Young Children

The Bishop Museum Is a great experience for the whole family. Immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture, History, Art, and Science with kid friendly hands on activities in a beautiful setting.

The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum located in the Kaliki district of Honolulu is quite impressive. The museum itself is stunning. Built in the Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style and is home to over 24 million natural history specimens and Polynesian cultural artifacts. 

There is something for everybody in the family here at the different buildings and immaculate grounds.  There is a Planetarium (the oldest in Polynesia), The Sports Hall of Fame, Art and History in the Hawaiian and Pacific Hall, Science Adventure Center, Libraries and Archives, and Native Hawaiian Gardens.  

Before we go any further though I would like to say maybe I am not accustomed to Museums because I thought it quite odd but intriguing all the creepy, morbid, and nude “gems” we found throughout our time here. The kids and I were fascinated around every corner to say the least. Be Forewarned.

The first part of the museum we explored was the planetarium. An educational and research facility devoted to astronomical sciences. They had great hands-on activities for the kids including a small sand bin to shape the earth and build mountains and ravines, that was even equipped with a water shower to fill the oceans you create. There was also small robot arms to control and gravity bowls to throw weighted balls in. Not to mention the planetarium itself!

After that we headed over to the Pacific and Hawaiian Complex Hall that starts off immediately impressive with large hanging marine life like a massive shark and even larger Complete sperm whale skeleton and life like mold. 

These structures were once dubbed “the noblest buildings of Honolulu” and it is easy to see why.  The walls are adorned with a multitude of gorgeous Koa wood display cases. Today this wood is worth more than the original Bishop Museum buildings! 

Each little divet showcases different aspects of Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders history. You will find hand carved statues, replicas of the old ways of living, and plenty of things to make your kids oooh and aahhh. 

My son especially loved seeing all the wayfarers, ships, and other water craft. The collection of tools, old photos, and showcases of expeditions uncovering the old boats was expansive and instilled a sense of wonder in my little ocean lovers. 

There was plenty to keep my touchy kids needs met here also with lots of interactive displays.  There were microscopes to look in, string to weave, ships to build, dress-up in native clothing, and pattern blocking. 

After you wind your way through the four stories you will find yourself on the top floor where you will finally get to come face to face with the behemoth of the sperm whale they pieced back together from the ocean floor. It was truly impressive to see and my kids couldn’t get enough.

When we made our way to the little building that housed the art exhibits things got a little odd but we laughed a lot and thoroughly enjoyed the little bit of time we spent in the dark rooms filled with odd little and big findings.  The art ranged from graphic photos and statues, to large pieces that made you ponder their existence. 

After all the excitement we settled down some in a breezy shaded pavilion in the Native Hawaiian Garden. We were the only ones there so I didn’t mind my kids running about like crazies after all the quiet observing they had just underwent. I decided to skip the cafe and instead we chowed on our favorite quick fuel. The Perfect Bar, oranges, and bottles of water. This is not an ad. I am just seriously in love with these organic protein bars. 

And finally we made it to our favorite part of the day.  The science adventure center.  Designed as a learning center for children, it includes tons of interactive exhibits focused on marine science, volcanology and other related sciences. 

Right when you walk in you are greeted with a large wall covered in shiny disc that show you the impact of air by turning the windmill and  beating on a drum. The kids Loved it. 

You will also find all kinds of creepy crawlies like beetles, insects, birds, and butterflies. This was one of the oddest encounters but my children were quite fascinated.  The hands presenting dead birds. I was happy to get on to the Volcano play room right ahead. 

The volcano had caves, a small slide and when you made you way to the top it was interactive when you pushed buttons to see the effects of gases and geysers.  This was definitely geared to the younger crowd though. I can’t imagine older children being nearly as excited as we were. 

We also got to walk through tunnels of black light painted walls that seemed other worldly that led to a cavern seeming room that made you feel as if you were under the ocean.  Here we met at the “hot spot” and got to watch a live showcase of pouring hot lava.  I learned that my Leo Gemstone Peridot, is actually gem grade lava crystals! Fits right in with my fiery nature…

All-in-all, it was an incredible learning adventure for my children and I.  There was so much to do and see and the kids had a blast exploring the beautiful museum as much as I did. I can see why this is at the top of the must do lists of things to do on Oahu with kids! 

Visit their website for up to date hours, prices, and exhibits.

Have you been to the Museum? If not, I hope this post made you want to go! Let us know if you enjoyed it as much as we did!