Aloha friends! I finally got around to posting a few fun activities we did on our family vacation. The kids have spoken and rated their favorite places.
Where we stayed: Kailua
Okay, so it’s not groundbreaking. Most people stay in Airbnb’s, but it was the best decision we made. My dad, stepmom, stepsister, her friend, and grandma also tagged along on this trip. We needed space for everyone and we couldn’t have found a nicer place. Our rental was on the East side of Oahu called Kailua. It is my favorite part of the island and the beach is absolutely breathtaking. Have you heard of Twin Peaks or China Mans Hat? Well, that is where it is. Wow!! The house and the town are absolutely perfect!!!!! It was walking distance to my favorite boba store Bee & Tee. I had two a day for 6 days and am still having withdraws and cravings.
Here is the link to the house. It is perfect for a group or a family with children. It has A/C, a fully stocked kitchen, front, and backyard. Clean and comfortable living and bedrooms. Great location, 3 blocks from the beach. It also comes with rental equipment and free beach gear to use during your stay. The garage is converted into a caretakers apartment, but she is amazing and we honestly never saw her after check-in. She even gave us tips for places to go and things to do.
The kids finally saw a dino! We went to Kualoa Ranch and took the one-hour raptor tour. Let me tell you, this will be a forever memory for all of us. The kids forgot about everything else after this. It was amazing and something you have to do as a family. My kids still talk about it and watch movies just to say, “hey I have been there.” It is worth the money!! If you do anything, you must do this!
Hanauma Bay Snorkeling
An inexpensive experience. Bring your own gear and pack a picnic. As far as the snorkeling, our kids are decent swimmers and we were very prepared for this experience so we went into this anxiety free. If you have smaller children I suggest a lifevest and something for them to float on to help make this more enjoyable for everyone. Our kids held onto pool noodles for peace of mind. Sometimes the visibility is not great if the water is choppy and it can be difficult to snorkel farther out, so be mindful of the weather. Luckily, we had great weather both days. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the kids did and how long they stayed in the water. But remember to cover your backside with sunscreen.
The Dole Plantation.
It was a sweet treat! The train ride gave you a tour of the grounds and the pineapple growing process. It was not too long so we had time to visit the garden, which is stunning!! Then, the kids had to do the pineapple maze. It was a memorable family experience. In the end, we all got a dole whip and took pictures in the pineapple. It took about half a day and I suggest going first thing. If you have kids the maze will be their favorite! You can go as fast or slow as you want but plan for 15-20 minutes. The kids said it was one of their favorite activities. After, you can hit up North Shore for a beach day.
Polynesian Cultural Center
This is a whole day experience and an expensive one, but it is a great way to start the trip. The kids loved the interactive activities with each culture, but they were losing attention with the shows. We were able to keep them busy, but their favorite was the Breath of LIfe show at the end of the night. It is a real production and worth the price. The fire dancing was their favorite, but they were tired from the long day and heat. Only one stayed awake for the whole show, but it was important to us they experience the culture and they had a lot of fun. Wear a hat, lots of sunscreens, bring water, snacks, and wear comfortable shoes.
So those are the kids top 4 activities. We did a lot more, but they rated what they liked the most. Hope it is helpful information! Mahalo!