Sure, the beaches in Hawaii are like a great big sandbox. But the sun and surf day after day can wear a kid out. When you need a break from the sun, these family-friendly stops are surefire kid pleasers.
Hawaii Children's Discovery Center – Catering specifically to young children, the center captivates kids with hands-on exhibits and experiences. Learn about the human body, explore different cultures, discover the plantation history of Hawaii, or imagine what it would be like to be a firefighter. Fair warning: you may need to drag your kids out of there. Maybe shave ice is a good incentive?
Bishop Museum – The museum has much to offer for those interested in the history of Hawaii. But it also has a Science Adventure Center. Interactive exhibits allow kids to explore geology (think: lava!), oceanography, and biology as it relates to the Hawaiian Islands. If you pack a picnic to enjoy on the expansive lawn, you could easily spend the better part of a day here.
Dole Plantation – Admittedly, the Dole Plantation is tourist attraction that’s heavy on souvenir items. Even so, it makes a pleasant stop if you’re heading toward North Shore. The Pineapple Express takes kids on a two-mile trip through fields of pineapple and other island crops. The plantation is also home to the world’s largest maze, which is shaped like a pineapple: Work your way through paths lined with tropical plants in search of eight hidden stations. You’ll want to finish off your visit with the soft-serve frozen treat, Dole Whip. It’s good stuff.
Budget hotels like the Ilikai or Equus in Waikiki are several blocks from the Children’s Discovery Center. You can catch the Waikiki Trolley to get to the Bishop Museum, but you’ll need a car to get to Dole Plantation.
–Kris Bordessa of Honolulu On The Cheap and Big Island On The Cheap