Here's what's up for kids on Oahu this summer

Exciting events and activities aren't hard to find on Oahu. Below are some of the historical, educational and cultural offerings for families vacationing here this summer:


Battleship Missouri

The Encampment Program hosts youngsters overnight aboard the ship. The kids sleep in crew berthing areas, store their gear in lockers, eat Navy-style meals on the ship's mess deck and use all the typical facilities found aboard a U.S. battleship.

The program was designed to promote leadership skills while revisiting U.S. history.

The Explorer's Tour offers a look into previously restricted areas of the ship, such as the crew's galley, the brig, the machine shop and "Broadway," a corridor extending a third of the ship's length.

The tour ends on the Missouri's Surrender Deck, the site of Japan's unconditional surrender that ended World War II.

The program, which was offered prior to 9/11, was put on hold for two years due to inflated costs of increased security issues inside the Pearl Harbor base. It had been operational for a year prior, thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

The program includes the assignment of ritual tasks such as K.P. duty, lowering the flag and video operations.

During the evening, teams of three kids and one adult take turns at watch for one-hour periods until daybreak. There are exercises and hands-on demonstrations, such as how the bridge operates, a guided tour of the vessel's weaponry and a fire-fighting drill in ship-issued gear.

Rates for a child participating in the overnight encampment program are $59; $69 for an accompanying adult. Call (808) 423-0405 or log onto for further information. For group reservations, call (808) 455-1600.

Bishop Museum

"Scream Machines: The Science of Roller Coasters" runs through Aug. 29. The exhibits, artifacts and images encourage thrill-seekers to experience the physics of roller coasters and learn about the physiology and psychology of thrill-seeking.

Visitors can ride the G-Force and experience the gravitational forces astronauts endure. They can step into the Revolver, a rotating platform, or test their resistance to motion sickness. Admission to the museum is $15 for adults, $10 for children. The exhibit is free. Call (808) 847-3511 or visit

Honolulu Zoo

Vacation Adventures Day Camp, for ages 5 to 11, invites youngsters to spend a week at the Honolulu Zoo. The program, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., features behind-the-scenes encounters, talks by zookeepers, animal arts, crafts and games. Fee: $175 per child per week.

Keiki Zookeeper lets children ages 6 to 10 learn about animal conservation. Children will meet the animals and their keepers, participate in feedings and make animal treats. Sessions are Oct. 3, 10, 17 and 24. Fee: $35 per class or $120 for all.

Ohana Adventures lets children age 5 and up, with parents, make toys and treats for the animals. Drinks and snacks are served. The event runs Nov. 7, 14, 21 and 28 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fee: $45 per parent-child team; $10 per additional person; $150 for all four sessions.

Twilight Tours enables families to discover the zoo during the late-afternoon and early-evening hours. Tours operate Aug. 27 and 28; Sept. 24 and 25; Oct. 29 and 30; and Nov. 26 and 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for kids ages 4 to 12.

For Snooze in the Zoo, families and kids pack their tents for storytelling, pizza, tours, campfires and breakfast. Dates are Aug. 21, Sept. 10 and Oct. 9, 5:30 p.m. to 9 a.m. Fee: $39 for age 5 and up; $15 for ages 3 and 4. Phone: (808) 926-3191;

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