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When Planning Family Hawaii Vacations-Waikiki Is Great For Kids

by Fergy Ferguson

Father and son tandem surfing

I got a call the other day asking about kids and Hawaii.  I have to say that When Planning Family Hawaii Vacations-Waikiki Is Great For Kids in more than one way.  If you just think about all the Hawaiian culture of that they’ll be able learn about, and to participate in.   You will start to see how the kids can really enjoy themselves.  And isn’t that what we would all want to see?  When kids laugh and smile our hearts grow bigger.

So let’s go through a fun day starting out from the hotel.  First things first here, let’s get some breakfast.  A popular thing for families to do, when booking their Seattle to Hawaii vacation, is to make sure that there hotel or condo includes either a continental style breakfast, or a full breakfast.  But what about those that don’t have that.  That’s the good thing about Waikiki, there are many, many places that are kid friendly and won’t break the bank.  For those that want something familiar there is a Denny’s at the end of the lower Street right front of the Halekulani Hotel.  It’s kind of funny that one of the most reasonable priced places to eat, is right in front of one of the most expensive hotels.  Some other good places to get a reasonably priced breakfast are;  The Wailana Coffee House on Ala Moana Blvd., down by The Hilton Hawaiian Village;  One of my favorites, Eggs & Things on Saratoga across from Fort DeRussy Park;  Da Big Kahuna on Kuhio;  Another favorite of mine Lulu’s at The Park Shore Hotel by Kapiolani Park.

Now that we’ve got some good food in us, let’s move on to something that the kids will just love.  I know it sounds funny to come to paradise and go to the Waikiki Aquarium that sits right off the place you can go snorkeling and see some of the same fish in the Aquarium.  The thing is here, is that I’m trying to set it up so you guys can go snorkeling, on another day, with the kids and they’ll see something familiar.

Okay, now you have spent a couple hours inside looking at fish.  Here’s a post about the best places to snorkel.  Now let’s get outside and enjoy the water, after all, isn’t that part of the reason you came to Hawaii?  I think one of the best things for kids to learn is a general respect for the ocean.  A good way to teach them how to respect the ocean and everything in it is to have someone, that we call watermen, teach them something really fun. You have two ways to go here, you can ask them whether they want to learn how to surf, or learn how to stand-up paddle board.  Both of these options can be a lot of fun for the whole family, not just the kids, but you too.  I used to surf, and I loved teaching kids how to catch a wave.  Adults turn into kids when they catch their first wave too.  There is no better place than Waikiki Beach to learn how to surf, or stand-up paddle boarding.  I wrote an earlier post about the Hans Hedemann Surf School located in the Park Shore Hotel. These guys will take you out in an area that is a little bit away from all the action, but still gives you good beginner waves to ride.  Another good way of learning either one of the sports is to go to the world famous beach boys that are located on the beach in front of the Duke Kahanamoku statue towards the Moana Hotel.  The beach boys are a very special way to learn how to have fun, but also to learn how the ocean is special to Hawaiians.

Depending on how long you want to stay in the water after your lessons, it just might be time for lunch or at least a little snack.  If it’s nothing more than a snack, there are plenty of places up and down the beach and on Kalakaua Avenue to grab a quick bite.  I do want to tell you about a spot the kids will love.  You can’t go to Hawaii, and not get yourself a shave ice.  So here’s the spot I try to go every time I’m in Waikiki. The Ailana Shave Ice shop sits on the mauka side (mountain side) of Kalakaua Ave at the corner of Royal Hawaiian Way.  Let me tell you, everybody in the family will love a cool shave ice after a day in the sun.

After your shave ice, it’s probably time to go back and get yourself all cleaned up for an afternoon and evening of more fun for the kids.  Depending on when you last ate, you can head out for a late lunch/early dinner, or there is much to see and do within the confines of Waikiki that will delight you, and the kids.  In several spots throughout Waikiki you will see hula shows and be treated to lots of Hawaiian music.  There are several restaurants you can go that have afternoon music if you’re hungry too.  The main point here is that the kids will enjoy the music as much as you do. What’s more exciting is that most kids are truly fascinated with hula.  As a matter of fact, most kids want to learn how to do the native dance of Hawaii.  So here’s three shows that are free and worth seeing; #1. At the Waikiki Shopping Plaza on Kalakaua Ave., these shows are going on throughout the day, and they have all sorts of Hawaiian themed lessons, including hula and ukelele lessons here too. #2. At the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center in the center of Waikiki, they usually have a daily show that runs from anywhere between 5 pm and 7 pm, with all sorts of different entertainers. #3. The best show is the free torch lighting and Hula show at Kuhio Beach in Kapiolani Park.  This show runs sporadically, so it is best to check with your hotel desk to find out the best days to go…they also have periodic “movies on the beach” at Kuhio Beach.  There are also shows sporadically at the stage in The International Marketplace, and a torch-lighting and free show down at The Hilton Hawaiian Village.  Another good thing about the Hilton Hawaiian Village, is that on Friday nights they have a fireworks display.

You have just had the kind of day that will satisfy just about anybody, and particularly the kids.  And the truth of the matter is, you shouldn’t have had to break the bank to do it.  The most expensive part of the day, was more than likely the surfing or stand-up paddle board lessons.  The long-term benefit of those lessons is that everybody learned a little something about the importance of the ocean to Hawaiians, and it’s cheap to go rent boards for a couple hours to continue to learn to surf.

I will be coming up with more itineraries for families, and couples in the near future, so stay tuned……

A hui ho…

Seattle to Hawaii Vacation Consultant
Call 206-623-2490

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