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Hawaii for Visitors
 Hawaii Travel Guide by Kathie Fry

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Family Fun on Oahu

Oahu activities and adventures for families and kids.

Looking for a one-stop destination for families? Look no further, because Oahu is the place to be. The island of Oahu offers a wealth of unique and affordable options to choose from. From kid-friendly family fun activities to culturally enriching experiences, Oahu is the ideal vacation spot for families.

ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES

Atlantis Submarine Adventures On Atlantis Submarines, visitors explore the mysterious undersea world without getting wet. On an unforgettable 45-minute journey, visitors see sunken ships and hundreds of exotic fish. Toll-free Phone: 1-800-548-6262

Battleship Missouri Memorial
Affectionately known as "Mighty Mo," the USS Missouri represents the end of World War II with the signing of the peace treaty on her deck. The Missouri invites guests to see a glimpse of history as well as modern technology aboard a battleship.
Phone: (808) 973-2494

Children's Discovery Center
Children's Discovery Center features 37,000-square-feet of exhibits including a variety of galleries and five hands-on exhibits where children can actively participate in discovery experiences. Interactive exhibits are "Fantastic You" -provides an inside look at the wonders of the human body; "Your Town" - allows children to be a grown-up for a day and it shows them how a community functions; and "Hawaiian Rainbows" - gives children the opportunity to learn what makes living in Hawaii so special.
Phone: (808) 522-8910

Dole Pineapple Plantation
Dole Plantation welcomes nearly one million visitors a year. Guests of Dole Plantation enjoy a variety of attractions and activities including the Pineapple Express, the Plantation Garden Tour, the Pineapple Garden Maze, the Guinness Book of World Records 2001 World's Largest Maze, informational displays and presentations about pineapple and the history of Dole, and the plantation center, offering hundreds of unique pineapple-related and Dole brand items.
Phone: (808) 621-8408

Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park
The beautifully landscaped 25-acre tropical water theme park is designed to appeal to all ages and features a unique variety of age-appropriate rides and amenities. It’s the perfect place to enjoy safe, secure and extreme fun under the sun with your family and friends. Experience the many thrilling rides including the "Cliffhanger"- a six-story free-fall down; "The Shaka" - a four story half-pipe; "Typhoon" - a four and a half story storm ride; "Lava Tube" a tube ride simulating the ultimate volcanic eruption and "Hurricane Bay"- a great place to catch waves. "Keiki Kove" is an interactive children’s fun pool, full of waterfalls, mini-slides and animal floaties.
Phone: (808) 674-9283

Hans Hedemann Surf School
Hans Hedemann Surf School is geared to introduce students to the fundamentals of surfing and water safety. Students will learn about waves, currents, winds and tides. All the information provided is backed by over 17 years of Hans Hedemann's professional surfing career - both in Hawaii and around the world. A surfing camp and hourly lessons are available.
Phone: (808) 924-7778

Hawaiian Fire Surf School
Based on the dream of three firefighters, the Hawaiian Fire Surf School takes you out of Waikiki Beach and brings you to a secluded sandy beach on the west side of the island. Perfect for beginners, the school is equipped with everything you need to learn how to surf in a day by instructors that are safety professionals.
Phone: (808) 384-8855

Honolulu Zoo
This 43-acre zoo is a place the whole family can enjoy. Attractions include the African Savannah, a 10-acre wildlife preserve exhibit of more than 40 species of uncaged African birds and mammals including the komoda dragon. For a relaxing family outing, the zoo hosts free weekly concerts in the summertime.
Phone: (808) 971-7174

Kualoa Ranch & Secret Island Activity Club
Set on 4,000 acres of paradise on the windward side oh Oahu, Kualoa Ranch offers a wide variety of outdoor activities, educational programs and scenic tours. Activities include helicopter tours, horse rides, ATV’s, ranch and movie set bus tours, pasture ball, scuba diving, jet ski rides and snorkel tours.
Phone: (808) 237-8529

Outrigger Catamaran Rides
The 45-foot boat affords dramatic views of the skyline of Waikiki, the Koolau Mountain Range, Diamond Head lighthouse and the Kahala coast, as well as spectacular green flash sunsets. Spinner and bottlenose dolphins are often sighted, along with Humpback Whales during the winter months.
Phone: (808) 923-3111

Paradise Cove Luau
Set on 12 beachfront acres, Paradise Cove Luau relives the magic of the islands through interactive games, song, dance and food. Guests share in Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage in the beautiful setting on the west side with the sun dropping into the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop.
Phone: (808) 842-5911

Polynesian Cultural Center
Polynesian Cultural Center is Hawaii's number one paid visitor attraction. Located on Oahu's north shore, the center features seven Pacific Island villages on 42 acres with hands-on cultural experiences and interaction. In addition to the villages, visitors can enjoy the new canoe pageant, the hula show at the luau and the spectacular evening show, "Horizons!"
Toll-free Phone: 1-800-367-7060

Sea Life Park Hawaii
Always looking for new ways to bring the ocean world to visitors, Sea Life Park Hawaii added several new attractions to its already fascinating 62-acre marine park on Oau's south shore. Visitors can get up close and personal with the interactive dolphin adventures or swim face-to-face with stingrays. Other activities include an underwater Sea Trek photo safari in a 300,000-gallon tank and exhibits of sea lions, penguins, seals, turtles and sharks. At Pirates' Lagoon, visitors compete in games in Dead Man's Cove. Children also can wander through a pirate ship maze and play pirates in an activity area complete with slides, balance beam, a sandbox with hidden treasures and an area to test climbing skills.
Phone: (808) 259-7933

U.S.S. Arizona Memorial
The National Park Service offers a free 75-minute guided tour, including documentary film depicting the Pearl Harbor attack, a short boat trip and a self-guided exploration of the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial.
Phone: (808) 422-0561

U.S.S. Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park
Visitors explore this historic World War II submarine making it easy to imagine what life on board was like for her 80-man crew. USS Bowfin was launched on December 7, 1942 and completed nine successful war patrols.
Phone: (808) 423-1341

Waimea Valley Audubon Center
Located on Oahu’s scenic North Shore, the 1,800-acre Audubon Center features botanical gardens, wandering peafowl and a 60-foot waterfall, giving visitors direct interaction with the natural environment.
Phone: (808) 638-9199

Waikiki Aquarium
World-famous for its collection of tropical fish, the Waikiki Aquarium features a hands-on exhibit about sharks, an interactive exhibit on the origins of Hawaii's marine life and a giant exhibit with sharks and other reef predators. A $150,000 Coral and Reef Interactive Exhibit opened at the Waikiki Aquarium on Thanksgiving Day in 1998. The exhibit includes films, live presentations, touch-screen interactive displays and samples of coral species that live in waters around Hawaii and the South Pacific. The objective of the Waikiki Aquarium is to continue to educate people about the importance of corals and reefs through this new display.
Phone: (808) 923-9741

Wild Side Specialty Tours
The leeward coast of Oahu is like a journey to the land time forgot. Experience miles of uninhabited beaches, the most extensive coral systems in the state and pristine areas far off the beaten path. For the past 6 years, the husband and wife crew of Island Spirit have been taking researchers, students, naturalists, families, photographers, and small intimate groups of travelers to encounter the coastal marine life. This unique experience features one of a few known areas in the world that free-roaming dolphins interact with humans in the water.
Phone: (808) 306-7273

GUIDED TOURS AND CRUISES

Discover Hidden Hawaii Tours
Since 1995, Discovering Hidden Hawaii Tours has been a leader in personalized island tours of Oahu, including scenic tours to popular activities and attractions as well as eco-tours for the adventurous types. Selection of tours include over 20 island tours, giving visitors a variety of itinerary options to choose from.
Phone: (808) 737-3700

Duck Tours
Duck Tours are held aboard refurbished World War II amphibious transport vehicles and visit sites via land and sea such as the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, the city of Honolulu, Diamond Head, H?nauma and Manalua Bay.
Phone: (808) 988-3825

KoAloha Ukulele Factory Tour
KoAloha Ukulele factory tour showcases the meticulous processes of the master craftsmen as they create the ukuleles that bring much joy, as the visitors experience firsthand at the culmination of the tour.
Phone: (808) 847-4911

Martin & MacArthur Factory Tour
Martin & MacArthur tour of its factory, showroom furniture and lumber department presents the impeccable skill and variety the woods of Hawaii gives to the woodworking world of art, including the special native wood of koa.
Phone: (800) 845-0099 (Wednesday only)

Mauka Makai Excursions Inc.
Mauka Makai Excursions Inc. is a Hawaiian owned and operated eco-tour company featuring visits to archeological and cultural sites. Participants will learn about ancient Hawaiian culture while they hike through a tropical rainforest, explore reefs and tide pools, and investigate the local coastal ecosystems. Shoreline activities include fishing, arts, crafts and story telling.
Phone: (808) 593-3525

Navatek Sunset Dinner Cruise
Called the "Hawaii’s smoothest cruise," guests on the Navatek I will be entertainment by a show-stopping cast during lunch, dinner and cocktail cruises. Whale Watch Cruises are seasonal.
Phone: (808) 973-1311

Star of Honolulu Hawaiian Cultural Cruise
Onboard the Star of Honolulu, guests take in the breathtaking views of Waikiki’s coastline and sample their Hawaiian lunch buffet. They also partake in cultural activities from lei-making, to coconut front weaving, ukulele and hula lessons and fish feeding. Their finale include the all-new "Enchanting Waikiki" hula show. Phone: (808) 983-7827

Museums

Bishop Museum
As the State Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Bishop Museum houses the world's largest collection of Hawaiian and Pacific artifacts and natural history specimens. In addition, it features interactive exhibits and exciting programs for visitors of all ages, providing them with discovery, wonderment and adventure. Bishop Museum also offers daily cultural activities, planetarium shows, sleepovers, and more for families.
Phone: (808) 847-3511

Hawaiian Arts & Cultural Center
Located in the Hilton Hawaiian Village Kalia Tower, the Hawaiian Cultural Center offers an exciting educational and cultural experience for the entire family. Learn about the rich Hawaiian history and how Hawaii came to be. The center is operated by the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association (NaHHA).
Phone: (808) 947-2458

Hawaii Maritime Center
Hawaii’s seafaring heritage comes alive with exhibits depicting the Pacific’s rich maritime history. Guests board the only fully rigged four-masted sailing ship left in the world, The Falls of Clyde. The Center is also home of the world famous voyaging canoe, Hokulea.
Phone: (808) 536-6373

Hawaii Plantation Village
This collection of 30 original and replica plantation homes and buildings at offers a glimpse of the time when sugar cane transformed the land, economy and culture of Hawaii. The living museum of a plantation village recreates the lifestyles of the different ethnic groups that helped to shape Hawaii.
Phone: (808) 677-0110

Hawaii State Art Museum (HiSAM)
As one of the few state sponsored museums in the country, HiSAM presents the largest and finest collection of work by Hawaii artists. In 1967 the Hawaii State Legislature passed the Art-in-State-Buildings Law, which established the Art in Public Places Program (APP). Hawaii became the first state to set aside one percent of the cost of state buildings to acquire and commission works of visual art. Today, the Art in Public Places (APP) collection has approximately 5,000 pieces of art by 1,400 artists. Admission is free.
Phone: (808) 586-0308

Honolulu Academy of Arts
Celebrating 75 years of activities, interactive children’s exhibitions and keiki-parent art programs, the Honolulu Academy of Arts makes the world a smaller place through their extensive art collection. Kids 12 and under are always free admission at the Honolulu Academy of Arts.
Phone: (808) 532-8712

Iolani Palace
Built in 1879, Iolani Palace is the only royal palace in the United States and was the official residence of Hawaii’s last monarchs, King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani. Painstakingly restored, the Palace is reminiscent of the grandeur of Hawaii’s monarch period.
Ph: (808) 522-0832

Mission Houses Museum
This complex of New England-style salt box homes at the Mission Houses Museum includes the Frame House, the oldest existing house in Hawaii built in 1821. Today, prefabricated the Frame House is a museum of missionary history with an annex that houses a replica of the Ramage hand press used to print the first Hawaiian laws, newspapers, bibles, school books and other material. Visitors will enjoy the Living History Program where guides dressed in period costumes lead the tours.
Phone: (808) 531-0481

North Shore Surf and Cultural Museum
The museum provides education and preservation of surfing. Historic surfboards line the walls, along with printed displays of oral histories. Visitors can watch a video about the newest craze, tow-in surfing, in the museum’s mini-theater.
Phone: (808) 637-8888

Queen Emma Summer Palace
Built in 1849 and nestled in the cool Nuuanu Valley, Queen Emma Summer Palace was once the country home of King Kamehameha IV and his wife, Queen Emma, and today houses their personal artifacts.
Phone: (808) 595-3167

Article provided courtesy of the Oahu Visitor's Bureau

See also:
- History of Oahu
- The Hawaiian Monarchy
- Regions of Oahu
- More Articles about Hawaii



Related Links
Oahu Island - Main Menu
Islands of Hawaii
Hawaii for Visitors

A NOTE FROM KATHIE: If you have any corrections or updates to the information on this page or if you would like us to add any information or links, please send a message to the email address on our contacts page.



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