Watching the kids running around on the beach, swimming in the resort’s pool, and dancing at luaus will make your family vacation in Oahu really special. But what else should you expect to do on this Hawaiian Island? You know you aren’t going to want to spend every day at the pool or the beach. Your kids will get bored and so will you!
Thankfully, the island of Oahu has a plethora of options when it comes to keeping busy with your family. And you know what?? You will make tons of memories that you will remember for a lifetime! I cannot list every little activity and adventure you can have in Oahu in this post. You would be here reading it for weeks! So, I will stick to the best things to do in Oahu during your next family vacation. You can choose the ones you feel will resonate with your family the most and then I can help you find other fun things to do, as I create the itinerary for your trip.
Oahu is known for it’s incredible hiking trails. One of the best hiking trails in Oahu though is Diamond Head. This trail is over in Waikiki. It is best to do this hike early in the day to avoid the heat and the crowds. The Diamond Head trail is fairly easy, but it does have a couple sets of steep stairs you must climb to reach the top. And you will definitely want to make it to the top, because the views of Waikiki Beach and the rest of the coast are stunning!
History is everywhere in Hawaii. While your kids may not be huge history buffs, you won’t find them complaining when you take them to a couple historical sites in Oahu. One of the favorite historical places for kids is Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona. The short cruise out to the Arizona Memorial will have you enjoying the ocean breeze. I recommend taking the time to watch a few of the old clips and checking out the museums before calling it a day and returning to your hotel.
Ala Moana is a massive open-air shopping center with more than three hundred stores. A stop here will have your kids spending their allowance on clothes, souvenirs, and so much more. In between stores, you can grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants or watch a live hula performance.
If your kids love to be active, you must make sure Kualoa Ranch is on your itinerary for your Oahu vacation. This ranch was the setting for more than fourteen movies, including Jurassic Park, Jumanji, and Godzilla. While you can take a tour of the filming sites, your family may prefer one of the other available activities. My kids’ personal favorites include ziplining, horseback riding, and mountain biking.
These birthstones have been in this location for centuries. Many years ago, women who were pregnant with a new chief were brought to Kukaniloko Birthstones to give birth. While all those births would make this a happy place, there were also multiple battles fought at this location. It has been a long time since the last chief was born amongst these birthstones. And now new evidence shows that these stones may have also served as an astrological purpose. Your kids may think this is a boring activity to do, but once they reach the area, they will be intrigued with what surrounds them.
The Pineapple Maze over at the Dole Plantation is considered the largest plant maze in the world. Two acres of plants contain almost two and a half miles of paths. There are eight stations within the maze, as well as a pineapple shaped garden in the center. You are more than welcome to stop at all those destinations. However, if you want to get one of the fastest times for conquering the maze, you won’t have time. The current record is a mere seven minutes! Don’t worry if you can’t get through this maze in that amount of time though. It takes most people around an hour to complete.
If you have time to do more than one hike in Oahu, you must set out on the Koko Crater Trail. This trail is an old railroad that is considered “Nature’s StairMaster”. Stairs were put in place for hikers to help with the steep elevation gain. There are 1,048 stairs and they will take you 1,100 feet in elevation in less than a mile. The reward at the top is magnificent views of Hanauma Bay.
The Spitting Caves are quite the unique site on the island of Oahu. Water can be seen rushing into the caves, but that same water is spit back out with quite the force. Your kids will get a kick out of the water being spit back out. Sometimes, that water can go twenty feet or more and a rainbow forms at the end. While you will have an amazing time seeing these caves, you must be cautious near the edge and never attempt to jump from the cliffs. There is actually a memorial near these caves that honors all the people who have died attempting a dive down into the water.
Do your kids love marine life? Do they want to venture deep down into the water, but you don’t want to deal with the scuba diving certification? Well, you now have another option with Oahu’s submarine tours! The submarines hold forty-eight passengers and take you down one hundred feet towards the ocean floor. This once in a lifetime experience will have you seeing sharks, turtles, eels, and even sunken ships and wrecks up close.
Waimea Valley has something for everyone in your family. While you adults will love the sacred sites and botanical gardens, the kids will love the swimming area and cliff diving near the waterfall. Make sure you take your camera with you during your visit, so you can capture a few pictures to remember all the fun you have!
These are some of the best things to do in Oahu during your next family vacation. I would love to help you create the perfect itinerary for your family vacation! As a travel advisor, I do all the planning for you, so you can spend precious time with your family before your vacation and not be stressed out when your travel dates arrive.
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