I LOVE HAWAII.
This post contains our itinerary for our week in Oahu, Hawaii with our 1 year old but most activities easily apply to older children. Keep an eye out for our Top 10 Activities for Kids in Oahu post for more detail on the places we went.
Having never been on my bucket list, I had not previously researched Hawaii. I knew it would be a tropical paradise but I thought it would just be beaches and resorts and that’s it. I was SO wrong. It turns out there is so much to do and so much for kids. I wish we had had the opportunity to visit other islands but we’ll leave that for another trip but I seriously can’t wait.
Hawaii can be seriously expensive so I will shortly put a post together on how to do Hawaii on a Budget and get the best value for money. The post will include free and cheap activities as well as money saving tips. For this trip we stayed in an Air BnB and cooked most of our own meals.
DAY 1: We arrived late afternoon after a long 10 hour or so flight from Vancouver, Canada. We rented a car at the airport and immediately drove to our Air BnB located 20 minutes away.
We spent the rest of the day unpacking and we drove to a local supermarket to do our shopping for the week.
If you have time left over you can hit the beach for a few hours as a slow introduction to Hawaii.
The view from Mt Tantalus Lookout, Puu Ualakaa State Park, Oahu.
DAY 2: We wanted to spend the first morning at the beach for Jasper and to be honest we were still a little tired from he day before.
AM: Ko Olina Lagoons (the most kid friendly lagoons on the island and there are four to choose from).
NAP TIME: We drove from the East to the West coast.
PM: Waikiki Aquarium and explored Queens Beach
EVENING: Chinatown in Honolulu
Ka’ena Point State Park Beach, Oahu.
DAY 3: We spent a long day exploring the North Shore. You definitely need a rental car for this. Most stops are about 10 minutes drive between them. I know it looks a lot but we didn’t feel rushed and it was our favourite day on Oahu.
AM: Green World Coffee Farm, Dole Pineapple Plantation, Ka’ena Point State Park
NAP TIME: Laniakea Beach admiring the Giant Sea Turtles
PM: Army Beach, Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, Sharks Cove for kid friendly amazing Snorkelling.
EVENING: Sunset Beach in time for sunset and Teds Bakery for legendary Cream Pie
Laniakea Beach, North Shore, Oahu.
AM: Waimea Valley to experience Hawaiian culture, visit the botanical gardens and swim in the waterfall.
NAP TIME: Drove from the North Shore back South via the Punchbowl National Cemetery and Mt Tantalus Lookout at Puu Ualakaa State Park.
PM: Manoa Falls Waterfall Hike
EVENING: Rainbow Drive In to experience some typical Hawaiian cuisine, Loco Moco and Spam….yes you heard it. Spam.
The original Scampi (garlic shrimp) from Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, North Shore, Oahu.
AM: Diamond Head Crater Hike followed by a cool off with Uncle Clays House of Pure Aloha for shave ice suitable for kids.
NAP TIME: Kailua Beach (great beach for water activities)
PM: Pearl Harbour Memorial
EVENING: Exploring Waikiki and watching the Hilton (free) fireworks from the beach.
The view from the summit of Diamond Head Crater National Monument, Oahu.
AM: Snorkelling at Hanauma Bay
NAP TIME: We drove the SE coast’s Scenic Drive
PM: Body Boarding at Waimanalo Bay Beach Park
EVENING: Waikiki Free Hula Show
The free Hula Show on the Hula Mound in Waikiki.
DAY 7: Our flight was early afternoon so the day was spent packing and literally just heading to the airport.
The obligatory Dole Whip from the Dole Pineapple Plantation. This was the best ice cream I have ever had!
If we had more money (and more time) I would also have considered:
1. Dolphin/Turtle Swim/Snorkelling Boat trip. If you do decide to do this, make sure your tour operator is reputable and ensure that people are kept at the correct distances away from the animals.
2. Honolulu Zoo
3. Kualoa Ranch to which you can do a tour of film locations including Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates and Lost. These are just a few. The ranch has so many activities to chose from including ATV’s and zip lining.
4. Polynesian Cultural Centre on the North Shore. This is an entire day activity and can include an evening Luau and Hawaiian performance. I definitely want to do a Luau next time we come!
Jasper enjoying beach time at Army Beach (the Lost Beach for the pilot episode) on the North Shore, Oahu.