Whether it is a trip on a submarine or in a helicopter, to the
beach or the museum, there are many things for parents and children
to enjoy together throughout the islands of Hawaii. A sampling,
arranged by island, follows.
Bishop Museum, located in Honolulu, was founded in 1889 and houses
an extensive collection of artifacts of natural and cultural
history. Hands-on exhibits at the Hall of Discovery relate to
Pacific culture, science and nature. There are daily planetarium
shows and crafts demonstrations. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily,
except Christmas. Call (808) 847-3511.
Mission Houses Museum, in Honolulu, features exhibits, videos
and guided tours of three historic houses, the headquarters of the
first Christian missionaries to Hawaii. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tuesday through Saturday. Call (808) 531-0481.
Polynesian Cultural Center features authentically costumed South
Pacific islanders demonstrating the arts, crafts, music and dance
of seven Polynesian islands. Evening luau (buffet) with Polynesian
show. Imax movie and shopping. Open daily, except Sunday, 12:30 to
9 p.m. Call (808) 923-1861 or (808) 293-3333.
Sea Life Park, in Waimanalo, is a 62-acre oceanside park
featuring the world's only known living wholphin, a hybrid false
killer whale and Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, and performances by
resident dolphins and penguins. Marine exhibits include a
300,000-gallon reef tank and a giant glass-sided ocean science
theater. Open daily, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (808) 259-7933 or
The 14-acre Honolulu Zoo specializes in tropical species and
features exhibits built around tropical ecosystems. Attractions
include the "Elephant Encounter" show, Education Pavilion and
Petting Zoo. Open daily, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except New Year's and
Christmas days. Zoo education/information (808) 971-7186. For a
recording of current programs call (808) 971-7171.
Waikiki Aquarium, located a short walk from the Honolulu Zoo,
features more than 2,000 marine animals from the reef, shores and
waters of the South Pacific. Exhibits include the Hawaiian Monk
Seal Habitat, Edge of the Reef tank, Coastal Gardens, the Mahimahi
Hatchery and Nursery and the Hunters of the Reef tank. Open daily,
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (808) 923-9741.
Waimea Falls Park in Waimea Valley (Haleiwa) is an 1,800-acre
nature park featuring 6,000 varieties of plants, trees and flowers,
a restored Hawaiian village and several adventure tours. Call (800)
Senator Fong's Plantation and Gardens in Kaneohe offers 725
acres of tropical flowers and fruit trees. Activities include tram
rides through the rain forest, horse back riding and lei making.
Open daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (808) 239-6775.
The USS Arizona Memorial was built over the ship that was bombed
and sunk, entombing the more than 1,000 sailors aboard her, on Dec.
7, 1941. A ferry takes visitors from the visitor center to the
memorial. Open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (808)
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park is located next to the
Arizona Memorial. This WWII submarine, known as the "Pearl Harbor
Avenger," is open for tours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (808)
Atlantis Submarines, operating from Honolulu, offers submarine
rides to depths of 150 feet below sea level, for spectacular views
of ocean life. Operates daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (808)
973-9811 or (800) 548-6262.
Hui O Laka/Kokee Natural History Museum in Kokee State Park
features exhibits, trail information, guided hikes, youth programs,
festivals and a book store. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call
Kauai Zoological Garden offers hourly boat tours (from 10 a.m.
to 4 p.m.) on 45 acres of winding waterways, islands and foliage on
the grounds of the Westin Kauai Lagoons. Observe 140 birds and
mammals from around the world in naturalistic habitats. Call (808)
Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge offers guided two-hour
hikes starting at the Kilauea Lighthouse at 10:15 a.m. on Tuesdays,
Wednesdays and Thursdays, and proceeds east for a little more than
a mile. Hikes are free and limited to 15 people. Reservations are
required; call (808) 828-1413. The park is open from 10 a.m. to 4
p.m., daily except for federal holidays.
Menehune Ditch is a narrow irrigation ditch, edged with a row of
rectangular stones, which slides into a tunnel cut into the base of
a bluff. Some say it was built by elves or menehune because the
engineering style was not used by Hawaiians. The ditch is still
used to divert water into taro patches.
Up the east coast, past Wailua Beach, the Sleeping Giant lies.
This mountain formation appears to be resting its feet in Kapaa and
its head in Wailua.
Spouting Horn is located at the end of Poipu Road. This natural
phenomenon is formed by waves forcing water through a hole in the
lava formation, creating a geyser-like effect. Local legend has it
that the strange groaning sound comes from a lizard trapped within
the lava tube.
The Lahaina-Kaanapali & Pacific Railroad (a/k/a the Sugar Cane
Train) takes passengers on a scenic train ride through historic
Lahaina and the Kaanapali Resort. Steam-powered engines travel
between the two 1900-style depots, and along the way is a lesson in
sugar cane production. Operates daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Call (808) 667-6851.
Haleakala offers a number of sightseeing possibilities from
watching the sun rise over the rim of the dormant volcano to taking
a walk into the crater. Some attractions include the Bottomless
Pit, a sixty-five-foot deep pit, which can be seen along the
Halemauu Trail and Waimoku Falls on the east side of the park. At
the Leleiwi Overlook in the late afternoon, one may see "The
Specter of the Brocken." This natural phenomenon takes place as a
person's shadow, projected onto the heavy clouds in the crater,
appears to be encircled by a rainbow.
Haleakala Visitor Center is located at an elevation of 9,745
feet and offers a panoramic view of the crater's 21-mile expanse.
Open daily, sunrise to 3 p.m. Call (808) 572-9306.
Molokai Ranch is Hawaii's second largest working ranch with
53,000 acres and 8,000 head of cattle. Activities include horseback
riding, mountain biking and kayaking. Open daily from 7:30 a.m. to
4 p.m. Call (808) 552-2681 or (800) 254-8871.
Molokai Ranch Wildlife Conservation Park is a 400-acre wildlife
preserve with more than 300 animals native to India and Africa. It
was established in 1977 to stock and breed exotic and endangered
species for the world's zoos and parks. A one-and-a-half hour
safari van ride is conducted twice daily. Call (808) 552-2681 or
Visitors can descend a 1,800-foot trail during a Molokai Mule
Ride. Tours include lunch and a walking tour of Kalaupapa, the
settlement for patients of Hansen's Disease (leprosy). Open daily.
Check in at 8 a.m., ride begins at 9 a.m. and returns at 3:30 p.m.
Call (808) 567-6088.
The Sandalwood Measuring Pit was dug to simulate the size of a
ship's hold for the purpose of measuring a single load of
sandalwood. The pit can be reached by a rough dirt road.
Lanai has several petroglyphs; the Bird Man of Lanai Petroglyphs,
at the end of Paoiwa Road, is the easiest to find. Another site,
the well-preserved Luahiwa Petroglyphs, is reached by a short,
steep and unmarked trail which leads up to the petroglyph.
Kanepuu is located about six miles northwest of Lanai City, and
encompasses 462 acres including Hawaii's last remaining dry-land
forest which contains 48 native species.
The Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center, located at Kahole
airport in Kailua Kona, honors the Kona-born astronaut who was
killed in the Challenger accident in 1986. The museum features
hands-on displays. Open daily, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call (808)
The Kaumana Caves are really lava tubes formed by the Mauna Loa
eruption of 1881. The cave leading toward Hilo ranges from
two-and-a-half to four-and-a-half feet high and 10 to 50 feet wide,
and can be explored. The other is dangerous and should remain off
Thurston Lava Tube Trail in Volcano National Park, off Crater
Rim Drive, 2 miles from the visitor center, offers an opportunity
to walk through a giant lava tube. Open daily, 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Call (808) 967-7311.
Wailuku River State Park, in Hilo, features Rainbow Falls and
Boiling Pots, the latter a succession of pools connected by
underground water flows that give the appearance of boiling
Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Visitor's Center offers tours of the
macadamia nut factory and orchards. Free samples are available in
the visitor center. Open daily 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (808)