Oahu is a wonderful place for children. From outdoor activities to indoor attractions, kids of all ages will have the time of their lives on the Gathering Island. Start the day at Cafe Haleiwa in Haleiwa on the North Shore. This has the usual breakfast fare such as pancakes, eggs and coffee, but is accented with Mexican dishes. Next head out to Chun’s farther north for surf lessons. This will depend on the ocean’s mood and wave size, but often times the inside spot at Chun’s, called Baby Chun’s, has small enough waves for everyone. If not, the instructors will take you and the kids to an appropriate spot.
Chun's Reef — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
For families who would prefer to stay in the central area of Honolulu, surf lessons at Waikiki Beach can’t be beat. There’s a seemingly endless array of surf schools and longboards for rent here, and they’ll take the whole family out at a surf break called Queen’s. The whole beach here is ideal for kids, as the find sand is perfect for sand castles and the waves are usually pretty worn out by the time they reach the beach.
If you choose to stay in Town, the Honolulu Zoo is within site from Queen’s. The zoo is always a hit with visiting children as well as children who live on the island. The new elephant display is noteworthy, as the elephants now have a huge enclosure. It’s a good idea to grab a map for this place, and pick out the kid’s favorite animals. Trying to see every animal can take most of the day.
From there it’s lunch at Cholo’s back in Haleiwa. Most children and teenagers seem to love Mexican food, and this joint offers good simple food that perfect for kids since the atmosphere is slightly noisy and active so kids won’t be out of place.
Now it’s off to the west side where the Wet and Wild Water Park is home to a vast array of water slides, a wave pool, and even a standing wave to try surfing on. Of course, there’s an outdoor bar for the adults. It’s important to lock your belongings in the lockers here for optimum safety. This should take a couple hours and wear most kids out.
After this it’s time to head to town where the Children’s Discover Center gives kids a look into Hawaiian animals, culture and more, and educates with interactive displays and games. They have kids kitchens, learning centers, and dress up to. It’s located right at the start of Honolulu at Kaka`ako Beach Park across from Ward Center.
Dinner at the Cheesecake Factory in Waikiki or California Pizza Kitchen on the top level of Ala Moana Shopping Center should satisfy any child or teen.