Many parents often assume that there are no baby-friendly activities on Oahu, probably because it is so well known for its beaches and its surfing. But that would be a mistake! There is such a wide variety of things to do on Oahu that you can take the baby along on many of them. As a bonus, many of these activities are suitable for strollers so parents can relax when it’s baby nap time. See the list below for some of our favorite baby-friendly activities on Oahu.
Waikiki Glass Bottom Boat Tour
Babies will want to reach out and touch the sea life swimming right under their feet when you take them on a glass-bottom boat tour. When sitting or crawling on the sturdy glass, babies will have the best view on the boat! They’ll delight at spotting yellow butterfly fish, green sea turtles, manta rays, and bandit angelfish. Several tour companies offer cruises of Waikiki Bay, but we like the Waikiki Sunset Cruise because their spacious 50-foot catamaran can accommodate strollers, and you’re free to bring onboard all the drinks and snacks you need for the little ones. They even have picnic tables you can spread out on. Daily tours leave from the Kewalo Basin Harbor just north of Waikiki and take you south for amazing views of the Waikiki skyline, Diamond Head, and of course, amazing sunsets! To book your tour, visit this website.
Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center
Babies and toddlers will have hours of fun with the many interactive and hands-on exhibits here at the former Children’s Museum in Honolulu. The Rainforest Adventures gallery even has a section designed for babies and kids up to age three. It’s called their Little Explorers play area. With some help from their parents, babies can see the bright colors and touch the kid-friendly displays in the other galleries, including Fantastic You (about how the human body works), Hawaiian Rainbows (about what makes Hawaii special), Your Rainbow World (what’s similar and what’s different in other parts of the world), and Your Town (about what grown-ups do). It’s an educational and fun way to spend a rainy day, or just to take a break from the water and sun! Go to the Discovery Center’s website for visitor information.
Alan Davis Beach
On the Windward Coast of Oahu is a small beach with calm, shallow waters that babies will love splashing in. It’s a good introduction for them to the warm waters of the Pacific. Older kids will have fun spotting the small fish swimming in the cove and spotting the crabs that scurry in the sand. You can also marvel at a tall volcanic rock formation nearby called Pele’s Chair. Alan Davis Beach is midway along the Kaiwi Shoreline Trail south of the parking area for the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline. Be sure to bring some sturdy shoes and a secure baby carrier for the unpaved trail down to the beach.
After playing in the water, strap on baby and head back to the parking area to join the one-mile-long–and paved–Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail. Along the way you’ll get some amazing views of the Pacific and the Oahu coastline at the Kaiwi Channel Lookout. Continue north, bypassing the Makapu’u Tide Pools, which are hazardous and officially closed. When you reach Makapu’u Lookout Point, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most dramatic views on Oahu. You can also see a small lighthouse on the cliffside below. More information can be found about this beautiful area on the state’s webpage.
Babies will get some great stimulation at Oahu’s Waikiki Aquarium. They will be wide-eyed at the colorful coral farm, the display of tropical angelfish from the northwestern Hawaiian Islands (have they seen Finding Nemo yet?), and an exhibit of puppy-faced Hawaiian monk seals whose antics will excite the little ones. There are also exhibits of giant clams, ocean predators like sharks and grouper, and jellyfish pulsating to changing colors. The Waikiki Aquarium is almost guaranteed to amaze kids three and under, whose entry is free. Even better, tickets are timed-entry to keep crowds small. This makes it easier to navigate with strollers, so you can put down your tired baby for a nap and keep on touring. The Waikiki Aquarium is located in South Waikiki near the Honolulu Zoo, which makes it a nice complement to the land animals–if your clan isn’t too tired! For more information, visit the aquarium’s website.
Kids City Adventure
Designed for kids aged 10 months to 13 years, this “luxury” indoor play center gets rave reviews for entertaining kids for hours in a clean, safe environment. Its staff are known for routinely wiping down equipment, which is a huge plus. If you have an older baby that is sitting up and crawling, you’ll find there are numerous, hands-on playstations on the first floor for them to enjoy. They’ll also get a thrill out of the baby-appropriate swings. Toddlers and older kids will have even more fun on the second floor, where there are ball pits, bumper cars, balance beams, and an obstacle course. The best part is all the other kids to play with! Adults will appreciate the A/C, benches, and tables. If you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day, or simply a change of pace, visit the Kids City Adventure in Honolulu or their original location in Kapolei west of Pearl Harbor. Check out their website for more information.
There are many luau experiences available on Oahu, but this one in the Waimea Valley on the North Shore is one of the most baby-friendly on the island. It hosts smaller groups than the typical luau, so it has a much more intimate and authentic feel. At the start, families are seated on the grassy ground, which makes it easy to sit babies in your lap. The grounds are stroller friendly, too, so babies can stay in their mini-beds if they get tired. Toddlers and older kids will get a chance to make their own leis and weave leaf crowns. If they’re nice, they’ll make some for the baby, too! Next, they’ll get to watch and learn Samoan hula dancing, which is sure to delight their youngest siblings. When it’s time to eat, parents can request a high chair for the baby and younger toddlers. The delicious food is Hawaiian and Samoan, and babies can try sweetened poi or cooked green bananas.
After dinner comes the main show with more hula dancing, Tahitian drumming, and Samoan fire knife dance. The guys will also get a chance to learn on stage the haka, the Maori dance often seen at the beginning of New Zealander rugby matches. The show usually ends by 7:30–much earlier than other luaus–which is usually when babies and toddler start to burn out. Perhaps the best feature of the Toa Luau is that kids five and under are free! To learn more about and book this fun family excursion, visit the Viator webpage here.