Keiki's Day Out

Activities on Oahu from Miss Mary, the Honolulu Mommy

Aloha

Welcome to Keiki’s Day Out, a resource for family fun on Oahu.

Whether you are local, malihini, or a visitor to the islands, this site can help provide inspiration for your next family outing. 

For those unfamiliar with the term, “Keiki” is the Hawaiian word for “baby” or “child” with the literal translation being “Little One.” 

We hope to help families find the perfect place for their next day out by sharing what we come across while exploring our island. We also hope that YOU will share with us YOUR favorite places, so we can enjoy them and add them to the site.  

Use the menu on the right to search for places and activities by category. Use the search box in the corner if looking for something more specific or simply scroll down to see our latest “adventures.”  

Mahalo… now go outside and play! 

Miss Mary, Honolulu Mommy    

***If you have a favorite spot or event that your keiki enjoys and would like it covered for Keiki’s Day Out, feel free to leave a comment or send an email to MissMary.HonoluluMommy@gmail.com ***

For more information regarding the reason for Keiki’s Day Out, please see our first post: The Reason for Keiki’s Day Out

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June and July Events

photo by Kokoro Exhibits

photo by Kokoro Exhibits

Life Through Time:

Dinosaurs & Ice Age Mammals

Now till September 15, 2013

This entertaining and educational exhibit features 10 full-sized moving and roaring animatronics dinosaurs and ice-age mammals. The exhibition starts in the time of the Ice Age, more than 2.6 millions years ago, with a family of Saber Tooth Tigers and a Mastodon, which most closely resembles a modern day elephant. Going even further back in time, visitors are transported to the age of the dinosaurs where they will encounter the infamous Tyrannosaurus Rex and a giant Apatosaurus, formerly known as a Brontosaurus. Examine the hatchlings of the Maiasauras and see how dinosaurs cared for and raised their young.

Additional features include a hands-on robotic skeleton, which visitors can control, crayon rubbing tables of simulated bone impressions, and a dinosaur dig.

The Bishop Museum is located at 1525 Bernice Street in Honolulu. Visit their website at http://www.bishopmuseum.org or call (808) 847-3511 for more information on upcoming exhibits.

JUNE

50th State Fair

Weekends till June 30th

E.K. Fernandez Shows will be putting on its annual 50th State Fair, weekends from May 24th through June 30th at Aloha Stadium. The fair features carnival rides, arcade games, live entertainment, a petting zoo – and even a piglet race! Take the family to this annual tradition for what is guaranteed to be a fun event, and be sure to check out the new rides added for 2013. Tickets are cheaper if you go earlier in the day and keep your eyes and ears open for specials on family days. E.K. Fernandez Shows has been entertaining Hawaii’s families for over 100 years. For more information, check out their website at http://www.ekfernandez.com or call (808) 682-5767.

Keiki Swap Meet

June 22nd

Start cleaning and collecting gently loved children’s items to sell at Children’s Discovery Center’s Keiki Swap Meet. Children have the chance to earn extra money by selling old toys, trading cards, clothes, comic books, video games or anything else of interest to children on Saturday, June 22nd from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration is $3 per child and the deadline is June 14th. Late registration is $5 per child. Download a registration form at the Children’s Discovery Center’s website, discoverycenterhawaii.org or call (808) 524-5437 for more information.

JULY

Ala Moana Fireworks

July 4th

See the 22nd Annual Fireworks show at Ala Moana beach park, sponsored by Ala Moana Center. This Independence Day event is always a huge draw for locals and tourist alike so arrive early to secure a picnic spot. The show is named among the top 25 shows in the country and it is the only fireworks show in Hawaii to launch from three separate platforms.

Home of the Brave Quilt Project

July 4th

Remind your family of the price paid for freedom and independence at the Home of the Brave Quilt Project at Pacific Aviation Museum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. See quilts being made and sign one that will be presented to the family of a fallen Hawaii soldier.

Camp Erdman is located at the breathtaking Mokuleia Beach

Camp Erdman is located at the breathtaking Mokuleia Beach

Fourth of July Family Camp

July 5th -7th

YMCA Camp Erdman opens its ground for a family camp on the weekend of July 5th to July 7th, providing families the opportunity to come together, participate in camp activities, and enjoy each other’s company away from technology and TV. Activities include arts and crafts, swimming, archery, the odyssey alpine tower, and more. Prices vary depending on membership, non-membership, and whether or not your family will camp in a cabin or your own tent. Visit the website for more information and registration at http://www.ymcahonolulu.org/camp_erdman.

Hawaii State Farm Fair

July 13th & July 14th

The 51th annual Hawaii State Farm Fair will be at Kualoa Ranch July 13th and 14th. The weekend event will include workshops and activities that allow visitors to sample local products, visit live farm animals and participate in exciting demonstrations. Plants and produce will be for sale at the country market and 4-H members will exhibit their livestock. The cost is $5 for adults, and $3 for keiki. Entry is free for children twelve and under and students with a valid ID. Free parking is also available. For more information from the Hawaii Farm Bureau, visit hfbf.org or call (808) 848-2074.

Sesame Street Live

Sesame Street Live

Sesame Street “Can’t Stop Singing”

July 12th-July 21st

Sesame Street Live “Can’t Stop Singing” offers a fun-filled learning experience packed with the razzle-dazzle of interactive live performance, including up-close and personal interactions on the audience floor! Each Sesame Street Live production features timeless lessons for all ages. The universal appeal of the Broadway-quality musical production continues long after preschool. Adults will appreciate the high-tech stagecraft, cleverly written scripts, and music they’ll recognize and enjoy sharing with children, including fun new parodies. Sesame Street Live will be at Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall July 12th-14th, and July 18th-21st. Tickets are $12, $19, and $28. Special $70 Sunny Seat tickets are available at all shows and feature a pre-show meet and greet with two Sesame Street friends. For more information, visit http://www.sesamestreetlive.com or call (808) 768-5252.

LittleMermaidLogoThe Little Mermaid jr.

July 18th-20th & 25th-27th

HEARTS (Hawaii Education of the Arts) presents The Little Mermaid jr. at Paliku Theatre at Windward Community College. The performance will be the accumulation of a HEARTS 6-week musical theatre program. There will be several performances, including a discount Thursday show on July 18th. The remaining shows will be July 19th, 20th, 25th, 26th and 27th at 7 p.m. with two additional matinees on Saturday starting at 2 p.m. Children 9 through 18 years old who prefer to be on the stage, rather than watching from the audience, can sign up for HEARTS 2013 Musical Theatre Program from June 10th through July 18th. Students learn the basics of theatre, choreography and acting, as well as building skills and confidence on stage. HEARTS provides challenging arts programs for youth of all ages, and enriches the community by providing high quality arts events for the community. To register, visit http://www.heartshawaii.org, or for more information, call (808) 741-ARTS.

Happy Birthday, Amelia!

July 24th

Celebrate Amelia Earhart’s Birthday at the Pacific Aviation Museum. Birthday cake and punch will be served to all museum visitors to celebrate the famous aviator’s 116th birthday. The Museum fronts Luke Field on Ford Island, where Ms. Earhart ground looped her Lockheed Electra on take-off March 20, 1937, while attempting her Round-the-World Flight. Free cake with Museum admission. Visit www.PacificAviationMuseum.org for more information.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Cinderella

August 9th – August 11th

Take your family to a full-length ballet production of Cinderella with professional dancers at the Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall, August 9th through the 11th. The production showcases the innovative choreography by Septime Webre, artistic director of the Washington Ballet, music by Sergei Prokofiev, spectacular costumes by Judanna Lynn and amazing sets by James Kronzer. Auditions for the performances are held during Ballet Hawaii’s first week of Summer Intensive. Performances are Friday, August 9th at 8 p.m., Saturday, August 10th at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, August 11th at 2 p.m. For more information on Ballet Hawaii, visit http://ballethawaii.org

Pacific Hall Reopening

September 21st

Pacific Hall (formerly Polynesian Hall) at Bishop Museum will reopen September 21st, 2013. The permanent exhibit explores the origins of Pacific Islanders, the migrations and settlement of the Pacific Ocean, and the cultures and values of its people. The grand opening will reveal many archaeological findings that were never previously exhibited. When completed, Pacific Hall will consist of 42 cases, 12 digital media displays, and seven contemporary art pieces. The Bishop Museum is located at 1525 Bernice Street in Honolulu. Visit their website at http://www.bishopmuseum.org or call (808) 847-3511 for more information on upcoming exhibits.

LEGO Travel Adventure

October 5th, 2013 – January 5th 2014

This October, Bishop Museum will bring the blockbuster children’s exhibit, LEGO Travel Adventure to Honolulu! In this exhibit, children are invited to create vehicles capable of flying, driving, and floating – or all three! To go on a travel adventure to exotic locations, children are asked to think creatively, plan, and build vehicles to move through all kinds of terrain – mountains, oceans, jungles, deserts, and more. This newest LEGO exhibit is filled with colorful backdrops, kid-friendly building activities, and eye-popping LEGO sculptures.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Damien Memorial School Winners

Damien Memorial School Winners

Damien Memorial Students Place in Top 10% of Exploravision Competition

Every kid hates getting shots, but up until now it has been seen as a necessary rite of passage. This was the motivation behind four student’s projects that won them an honorable mention in a nationwide science contest. Four Damien Memorial School freshmen placed in the top 10 percent of this year’s Toshiba Exploravision competition out of several thousand entries from across the U.S. and Canada when they theorized how to eliminate syringes from vaccinations. Toshiba Hawaii president Renee Gomes came to the school on April 17th to present honorable mention award certificates to the students. Their project concluded that a microscopic vaccination pod could eliminate the need for needles. The pod would contain the vaccine and be suspended in a water-based lubricant. When applied to the skin and exposed to heat the pod would be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. The students’ invention involves nano-robots that would be absorbed and able to transmit information about the patient’s internal health to doctors. The nanotechnology needed for this to become a reality is still in development, but one day it could be a realistic possibility.

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April and May 2013 Events

April and May 2013 Events

(please leave a comment if you know of any additional events around town) 

Healthy Kids Day

Healthy Kids Day

APRIL

Ohana Music Together

Free Sample Class

April 1st & April 4th 

Check out a free sample class for Ohana Music Together on April 1st at their Kaimuki location, or April 4th at Smart Karate in Kapolei. Both classes will start at 10 a.m. Ohana Music Together’s mission is to inspire and encourage the next generation of music makers to sing in tune, move in rhythm, and participate with joy and confidence as they create music with family and friends. Visit OhanaMT.com for a list of classes and schedule, as well as more information.

A Family on the Odyssey at Camp Erdman

A Family on the Odyssey at Camp Erdman

YMCA Camp Erdman Community Day

April 8th 

Bring your family and friends to the beautiful North Shore for an amazing day at Camp Erdman. Free activities include: Alpine Tower, Odyssey, archery, swimming and more. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Don’t forget to bring swimsuits, towels, and sneakers! This event will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Camp Erdman, located at 69-385 Farrington Highway, Waialua, Hawaii 96791. Call (808) 637-4615 or email camperdman@ymcahonolulu.org for more information.

YMCA Healthy Kids Day

April 13th

Join in the fun and learn how to get healthy and fit at the Annual YMCA Healthy Kids Day, Saturday, April 13th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bishop Museum.  Admission is free for kama’aina and military families and includes entry to the Bishop Museum’s exhibits and newly renovated planetarium.  Attendees may pre-register for the event online at www.ymcahonolulu.org or register onsite when they arrive for the event.  Attendees are encouraged to bring a can of food for the Hawaii Foodbank drive collection at the event.
This event features more than 30 exhibitors highlighting the importance of physical activity, healthy lifestyle choices, and active play through fun, engaging and creative activities.

Kids and family activities include games, a family obstacle course, a YMCA fun zone, healthy cooking demonstrations, face painting, free health screenings, exercise demonstrations, non-stop entertainment and prizes.  Food and refreshments are available for a nominal cost. For more information about YMCA Healthy Kids Day, visit http://www.ymcahonolulu.org or call (808) 531-YMCA (9622).

Teachers can win this shrimp aquarium

Teachers can win this shrimp aquarium

Living Art Marine Center

Teacher Appreciation Day

April 13th

Find out what the Marine Center can offer your school’s summer programs and beyond. On Saturday, April 13th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Living Art Marine Center is hosting a free event for teachers and their families to thank them for all their hard work. This Teacher Appreciation day will include pupus, drawings for prizes, and free entertainment provided by internationally acclaimed Tahitian dance group, Tamatoa. Teachers can RSVP to this event online at livingartmarinecenter.com/rsvp for a chance to win a free Opae Ula pet shrimp aquarium.

Fifth Annual Hawaii Ocean Expo

April 13th & 14th

The Fifth Annual Hawaii Ocean Expo comes to the Neal S. Blaisdell Exhibition Hall April 13th and 14th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event is $7 for general admission, $3 for children six to twelve years old, and free for children under five.

Representatives from the boating, fishing, canoe paddling, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, swimming, SCUBA, sail boarding, and skin diving communities will be there to share their love of Hawaii’s ocean-centric culture. There will also be a keiki fun zone, poke contest and more. Each year, this family-friendly expo fills the Blaisdell with a rich gathering of activities, exhibitions, educational opportunities, entertainment and shopping that will appeal to anyone who loves the ocean. Visit www.hawaiioceanexpo.com for more information.

The Little Mermaid, Jr. Auditions

April 13th

HEARTS (Hawaii Education for the Arts) 2013 Summer Arts program will feature a production of The Little Mermaid, Jr. in June. Auditions will take place at 535 Oneawa Street (Kailua Church of the Nazarene) on Saturday, April 13th at 9:00 a.m.  Bring a song to sing (no CD tracks) and comfortable shoes.  Please call (808) 741-2787 for an earlier audition date.

Keiki weaving lauhala at the Grow Hawaiian Festival

Keiki weaving lauhala at the Grow Hawaiian Festival

6th Annual Grow Hawaiian Festival

Earth Day Celebration

April 20th 2013

Hawaiian Electric Company presents the 6th Annual Grow Hawaiian Festival on Saturday, April 20th 2013 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bishop Museum. Admission to the Grow Hawaiian Festival and Bishop Museum’s exhibits is free for kama‘āina and military with ID. Plan an interesting, fun-filled day with your children at this Earth Day celebration that highlights Hawaii’s culture, native plants, and sustainable lifestyles.

The festival offers activities for everyone in your family. Learn from traditional artisans how to make a lei, weave lauhala, beat kapa, and craft implements. Attend a special presentation on healing with Hawaiian plants. Buy native plants and products made in Hawaii.  Learn about conservation, clean energy, and electrical safety. Participate in activities with your children and play games offering prizes. View students’ creative entries in the Sustainable Gift Contest and vote for your favorite gift idea. Relax on the lawn with a plate of Hawaiian-style food, enjoy hula, and listen to live music by popular musicians.

Hearts Spring Review Last Year

Hearts Spring Review Last Year

HEARTS 100-Voice Annual Musical Theatre Review Spring Concert

April 25th-April 27th 

HEARTS, Hawaii Education for the Arts, presents their 100-Voice Annual Musical Theatre Review & Spring Concert at Windward Community College’s Paliku Theatre the last weekend of April. The program features Windward area youths from age seven to nineteen performing songs and dances ranging from Hawaiian and Classical to Broadway. Tickets are $10 for students, seniors, and military, $12 for adults, and $15 for premium seats. There is a $2 discount for the Thursday show on April 25th. All shows will start at 7 p.m. with an additional matinee show at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

HEARTS is a Windward side 501 © 3 nonprofit arts education organization celebrating its 10th year sponsoring musical theatre, choirs, theatre production and dance classes. For more information, visit the website at www.heartshawaii.org or contact executive director Pam DeBoard, PhD via email at pamdeboard@gmail.com or by calling (808) 741-2787.

Moanalua High School Spring Craft Fair

April 27th

Moanalua High School Music Boosters Association will have a Spring Craft’s Fair on Saturday, April 27th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 2825 Ilima Street, 96818. The Fair will feature over 100 vendors, fabulous crafts and plants, live entertainment, and ono food. Free parking is available in the school parking lot, which will open to the public at 8 a.m. and plenty of street parking is available as well. Email craftfair@mohsmusic.com or call (808) 738-5088 for more information or if you are interested in being a vendor.

Dinosaurs and Ice-Age Mammals at Bishop Museum

April 27th – September 15th

A Maiasaurus and her young will be on display at the Bishop Museum

A Maiasaurus and her young will be on display at the Bishop Museum

Dinosaurs return to Bishop Museum’s Castle Memorial Hall! See the infamous Tyrannosaurus Rex, gaze upon a giant Apatosaurus or just “chill out” in the Ice Age with a Saber Tooth Tiger family and a Mastodon. This “Life Through Time” exhibit includes a robotic skeleton you can control, crayon rubbing tables, and a dinosaur dig.

If visiting after May 18th, check out the MAMo Native Hawaiian Arts exhibit (May 18th through October 7th) which celebrates the artistry, mastery and beauty of the Hawaiian visual arts community. Bishop Museum and PAI Foundation come together for the MAMo Exhbit, a month-long celebration of Native Hawaiian arts.

The Bishop Museum is located at 1525 Bernice Street in Honolulu. Visit their website http://www.bishopmuseum.org or call (808) 847-3511 for more information on upcoming exhibits.

MAY

Third Annual Mele Mei

April 26th-May 25th 

The Hawaiian Academy of Recording Artists will present the third Annual Mele Mei, a month-long celebration of Hawaiian music. Mele Mei will include more than 30 workshops, concert performances and other events, including the International Hula Conference May 17th to 19th, and will culminate with the 36th Annual Na Hoku Hanahano Awards on May 25th. Visit www.melemei.com for more information

Flores De Mayo

Santacruzan

May 5th

FloresDeMayo

For the first time, The Filipino Community (FilCom) Center is expanding its annual Filipino Fiesta into a weeklong Flores De Mayo (Flowers of May) celebration from May 5th through May 11th at various locations across Oahu. May is a traditional fiesta month in the Philippines when towns celebrate to ensure a successful harvest and honor patron saints.

The Santacruzan Pageant Parade will occur Sunday, May 5th from 3 to 7 p.m. at The Filipino Community Center in Waipahu. Beautifully dressed reynas and princesas representing biblical characters will parade under colorful flower arches. Visit www.filcom.org for more information and a complete list of character roles in the pageant

FilipinoFiestaParadeThe 21st Annual Filipino Fiesta and Parade

May 11th 

The 21st Annual Filipino Fiesta and Parade will take place in Waikiki on Saturday, May 11th from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Kapiolani Park, starting with a lively morning parade along Kalakaua Avenue. The parade will end in Kapiolani Park, where there will be Filipino food, games, cultural exhibits, and live entertainment. For more information, visit www.filcom.org or call (808) 680-0451.

YMCA Mother’s Day Family Camp Getaway

May 10th  – May 12th 

Sign up for a weekend at Camp Erdman packed with fun for the whole family. This weekend is a great gift for the mom in your family. Check-in is from 3:30 to 6 p.m. with dinner served at 6:30 p.m. and check out is 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Register online at www.ymcahonolulu.org or visit the website for a printable version you can fax, scan, email, or mail to the camp.

UnitedHealthcare New Baby Expo 2013 NewBabyExpo

May 18th & 19th 

The New Baby Expo is Hawaii’s largest prenatal to preschool event of the year. Each year, the expo hosts “Hawaii’s Largest Baby Shower” celebrating Hawaii’s hapai (pregnant) moms. Even a few brave dads can throw on a faux baby belly to get a taste of the whole “experience.” The event also hosts the famous “Baby Crawling Contest” where babies can race (crawl) on down and parents can capture the special moment with their very own photo finish. The expo also includes a children’s activity area, infant/toddler play area, demonstrations and visits from beloved cartoon characters. Doors open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Check out the website at www.newbabyexpo.com or call (808) 239-7777.

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Windward Mall Play Area

Hokulea Voyage of Discover Play Area

Hokulea Voyage of Discovery Play Area

Windward Mall Play Area
46-56 Kamehameha Hwy  Kaneohe, HI 96744
(808) 235-1143
 

IN A NUTSHELL

Food Court

Food Court

PROS:

  • Awesome free indoor soft play area make this a perfect (and inexpensive) rainy day activity
  • Tiring your children out with the kid’s activities might actually buy you some time to shop while they are content in their strollers
  • Full of kid-approved favorite stores, including pet stores, toy stores, and children’s clothing stores
  • Additional Children’s Activities for a small fee and a food court means you can easily make a whole day out of this.
  • Large comfy lounge area by the food court in front of Sears and Toys R Us makes a great rest spot for tired parents or nursing moms

CONS:

  • You will probably be suckered into pay for the $4 train ride (make that $8 if your child is under 5, because you have to ride with them)

    Lounge Area

    Lounge Area

  • If you have a child who is bounce house magnet, you might want to access the play area on the right side to avoid the indoor Bounce House room on the left.

Worth Mentioning:

The nearest bathroom is in Sports Authority. Go straight in and then all the way to the right. Don’t feel pressured to buy anything because one of the employees there was kind of rude when I asked if they had any workout DVDs “No, mam, this a a SPORTS store, not a DVD store. We only sell sporting goods” Jeez! Excuse me for trying to stay in shape, and for the record, I have bought work out DVDs at Sports Authority before. Good for you, Sports Authority Employee of the year. IMG_3778

IMG_3798


I heard about this place and had been wanting to go. Living in town “our” mall is Ala Moana. Pearlridge if we need something specific (or less expensive than Ala Moana), Kahala pretty much doesn’t do anything for me.

Windward Mall knocked the pants off of all other malls on the island, at least in terms of being family-friendly. It isn’t very big, so as a parent you won’t get that immediate migraine you might find yourself with when overwhelmed with the idea of running an errand with a toddler or two in tow. Plus it seems like this mall was built for parents as everything about it is so kid friendly!

First and foremost is the Hokulea Voyage of Discovery Play Area. It’s alright if you didn’t know it had a name, I don’t think most people do. This is an indoor “soft” play area that is modest in size and great for the under 42 inches crowd. Hokulea means “Star of Gladness” and it was the name given to a canoe that the Polynesian Voyaging Society sailed around the Hawaiian Islands and to Tahiti as part of the State of Hawaii’s bicentennial project. The purpose of the voyage was to show that the ancient Polynesians could travel these distances without the use of modern charts of instruments.

IMG_3800That said, if your child is old enough to appreciate that bit of history, he or she is probably too old for this play area. But I thought I would throw it out there in case anyone was wondering.

The play area consists of a carpeted area (everyone must remove their shoes) with a large green hilly structure with faux waterfall slides and tunnels, as well as a boat, which also features a slide. There are also smaller animals, including a turtle and a shark low to the ground so even babies that are still just “cruising” can participate in the fun.

Coin-operated Rides

Coin-operated Rides

In addition to the soft play area, there are several coin-operated “rides” including a few that seat more than one child. This helps if you have more than one child and would like to avoid turning your entire wallet into quarters. On the day we went, we were “celebrating” the fact that my daughter used the bathroom at preschool. Seriously. She’s been potty trained for quite some time (she’ll be three in May) but would hold it for the entire day until I got there because she was too shy to ask her teachers. Since it was a day for celebration, I went ahead and let her do both the bus (which had a cool movie going on inside of it as if you were really driving on the street) and the merry-go-round. While she insisted that I squeeze my 26-year-old butt into the little bus ride, I went ahead and asked a parent nearby if their kid wanted to do the merry-go-round with her as it seats three. The rides were very affordable with most of them being 50-75 cents.

The Train

The Train

If the play area and the rides weren’t enough, there is also a fully operational TRAIN that travels around the ground floor of the mall! You board at the food court (near Sears and Toys R Us) and it travels from there, through the center pavilion and around the play area and then back to its starting place at Sears. It puffs out “smoke” and makes the toot toot noise and everything. The only downside is that it’s $4 to ride, and if your child is under 5 (which is probably 75% of their target audience) a parent MUST ride with them! And no, you can’t tell them that your two and a half year old IS five, I tried. So that makes it an $8 affair, more if you have more than one child, but like I said, we were celebrating. I have to admit, I did feel a little silly when all the diners at Ruby Tuesdays were waving at us and I felt compelled to wave back, in spite of the fact that I am a full grown adult (most of the time).

IMG_3758IMG_3757IMG_3756IMG_3755

If the Play Area, Train, and Rides trifecta wasn’t enough, there is also the most adorable pet store. We stopped in and saw teeny tiny Chihuahua puppies, baby chicks, fish, turtles, exotic birds, rabbits, and the weirdest thing of all… hairless guinea pigs… which kind of scared me at first.

On the particular day that we went, they were preparing for the Easter Bunny to visit, and there was also a performance by Kailua Intermediate School Band – which was kind of adorable if – like me – you played the clarinet in 7th grade and remember the days of desperately trying to find a white shirt, black skirt and a fully intact reed  somewhat fondly now that it’s all over and you never have to do it again. All in all it definitely gave you the feeling of a small town family-friendly mall.

In short, I can’t think of a better place to go next time you need to grab a birthday gift or just need to spend a rainy afternoon out of the house. See you there!

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Likeke Falls

Likeke Falls

Likeke Falls

Likelike Fall’s Hike
Off Old Pali Road
(accessible via the Ko’olau Golf Club Parking lot)

IN A NUTSHELLIMG_2916

Pros:

  • Great opportunity to interact with nature
  • Peaceful
  • Intriguing flora and fauna 
  • Beautiful and relatively accessible waterfall
  • Great views
  • 1.5 miles round trip – short enough for young keiki (and also short enough for mamas and papas with a baby in a carrier) 
  • Plenty of parking at Ko’olau Golf Club

Cons:

pretty muddy

pretty muddy

  • Muddy (this is a debatable con, as some kids love that)
  • Possible potential injuries from trips and falls
  • Easy to get lost! Pay attention to how you go in and remember it when you are trying to get out! 
  • No bathroom facilities, unless you want to ask to use the golf club’s. 

Worth Mentioning:

I’ve heard from  certain windward kids that there is a fun little secret at the big tree where you make the right turn off Old Pali Road. Apparently, kids take turns exchanging gifts inside the back of the tree. I didn’t know this until after we had visited so I didn’t get a chance to check it out, but apparently if you check around, you will find a little toy (something small like a fast-food or arcade toy) and you can bring your own toy and “exchange” your toy for the one behind the tree to keep the tradition going.  

IMG_2876

PicnicI love this hike. It is short, so you don’t have to worry about children getting fatigued, as my two-year-old had no problem. She was so ready to sprint ahead that I had to stop and ask her to hold my hand at the more tricky rocky parts. I’ve read that it’s a mile and a half round trip, and it only takes about twenty five minutes to get to the falls, and another twenty-five minutes back – granted you don’t get lost. I went on a Monday during a long weekend and while there were plenty of other friendly happy people hiking with us on the way up, they we didn’t see anyone on the way back. I packed a small picnic and we ate on the giant rocks by the falls and took our time enjoying the scenery and beauty around us.

cool your feet in the pools

cool your feet in the pools

There are small shallow pools around the falls with pebbles and rocks at the bottom. I did not bring our suits, but we took off our shoes and put our feet in (and we weren’t the only ones). As always, be cautious at freshwater ponds for leptospirosis and avoid if you have any open wounds.

How to Get There:

The hike starts in Ko’olau Golf Club/First Presbyterian Church. To get to the parking lot, you turn you turn mauka on either Kahiko or Kionaole (I think either one) of Kamehameha Highway. There is a sign on a fence for the golf club and you follow it on a road until you get to the parking lot.

  1. Blue water tower

    Blue water tower

    Go ahead and keep going straight to the back, where the last row of parking spaces is lined with trees and borders the forest. The start of the trail is obvious as it is a paved inclined starting at the left back corner of the lot. As of February 2013, there were no signs restricting parking and I saw other families there to hike to the falls, including a couple looking for a geocache site nearby.

  2. Continue on that path and you will see a blue water tower (don’t worry it’s obvious – see photo. Take a left on the path just before the water tower. Keep on that path and soon you will be on an old stone road. This road is the Old Pali Highway from the 1800s! Mention that to any history-loving kids you might have, or just mention it anyway, as I’ve found that trying to convince other people to appreciate history makes me appreciate it more myself.

    This is the tree where you take a right off Old Pali Road

    This is the tree where you take a right off Old Pali Road

  3. Before long you will have to take a sharp right OFF of that road. This is a step that some people miss. I made the opposite mistake. I read that I was supposed to take a right at a tree and so for the whole hike up until the tree I was looking at every tree on the right of me and thinking “Is that the tree? Take a right there? It sort of looks a little bit like a path…”
  4. In order to make it easier, I took a photo of the exact tree. There is a neon orange/pink colored marker tied to the tree (pictured) so keep an eye out for it.

If you start to see the twisty vine tunnels of the Hau trees, you are in the right directions! Plan your trip with enough time to let your children enjoy them. They are simultaneously spooky and intriguing.

Hau Trees

Hau Trees

Also keep your eyes open for kukui nuts all over the ground (the kind they use to make necklaces) as well as the wide variety of flora and fauna. We know they must have wild pigs, as we unfortunately saw a baby one on the side of the road…no longer alive, but that’s nature for you.

this means you are close

this means you are close

Parts of the path are very muddy. I mean, depending on recent rainfall, you’re actually kind of walking in a stream. Be sure to wear shoes with traction. If there are toddlers or young preschoolers with you, you will probably end up helping them over some of the wetter rocks, muddier patches, and larger steps (although I assure you, for the most part, your toddler can enjoy doing the hike themselves).

When the path gets muddier and you hear running water it means you are almost there! Make it fun for the kids by asking them if they hear anything, or notice anything, or think they’re close. Encourage them to use their innate powers of observation to make inferences.

IMG_2922

I Got Lost

Ok, so here is the honest deal. I got lost on the way back. With all my adventurous spirit I suddenly found myself at a fork on the road on the way back. I couldn’t for the life of me remember that fork. It wasn’t the left at the water tower or the right off Old Pali Highway at the tree and those were the only two turns I remembered making.

I guessed based on what looked familiar and I was wrong. I didn’t know I was wrong so we kept on this incorrect path until I realized we had been walking way too long and we were no where near the parking lot. I had been daydreaming, enjoying nature and trying to remember the words to that poem about the fork in the road and the path less traveled and didn’t even think about it until I realized I was really lost. I definitely started to get nervous. No one was with me, just me and my daughter, so I had to keep my anxiety to myself even though that just made me more anxious. I know that one path goes all the way eight miles to the Pali Lookout, but I definitely wasn’t looking to hike for eight miles with a toddler just to catch a cab to my car. Luckily, I was able to retrace my steps with out concerning my daughter and take the other path in the fork, but I did start to use old tricks from girl scouts (Troop 1674-Represent!) like placing fallen branches in specific patterns and symbols so I would know for sure which direction I had gone in order to be able to properly retrace my steps. Maybe it could even make a fun activity. This site has a pdf you can print from your computer and take with you.

If you don’t have a naturally good sense of direction, make sure you pay attention, especially if you don’t have another adult (with a good sense of direction) accompanying you.  And have fun!

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Baby Makapu’u

Tide pools at Baby Makapu’u

Baby Makapuu
Kalanianaole Highway
(across from the exit to Sea Life Park
and HPU Oceanic Institute)

IN A NUTSHELL

Pros:

  • Shallow tide pools for new walkers
  • Reef protects pools from rough surf
  • Sand suitable for playing
  • Gorgeous Views
  • Breathtaking drive from town
  • Parking close to beach

Cons:

lone water fountain

  • No bathroom facilities
  • Parking situation varies, can be a bit of a tightrope walk if it’s crowded and several cars have parked alongside the ramp, however we’ve never had too much trouble finding a space, even on Saturdays.

 

Facilities:

  • Parking lot
  • Water fountain

Worth mentioning:

Although there are no bathroom facilities, there is a lone little water fountain with a spigot to wash your feet. I saw a family bring a big bucket, fill it up from the spigot, and dump it on their keiki to wash the sand off of them. I didn’t have a big bucket but I loved their idea and just used a big jumbo plastic cup I had in the car. There are bathrooms and showers at regular Makapu’u, the turn just before Baby Makapuu (if you’re coming from town) in case of emergencies. As my daughter is two, we just brought her travel potty and didn’t have any problems.

Shallow pool at Baby Makapu’u with Rabbit Island in the background

I think it is safe to say I am in love with Baby Makapu’u. I had heard of it from other moms for years before I ever made it there, as I was never quite exactly sure where it was located. I knew it was close to Makapu’u, which was my favorite beach on Oahu for a long time, but I didn’t know exactly where to turn. Once I found it, I ended up going several weekends in a row as my daughter loved it so much. She calls it “Baby Beach.”

Baby Beach is actually a very appropriate title for this beautiful hidden gem. I have mentioned before that Kailua Beach might be the best beach for families on Oahu, and if that’s true, then Baby Makapu’u is the best beach for the ten and under crowd. If you have a group of children with a variety of ages and comfort levels with the water, this is absolutely the perfect beach for your destination.

A shallow pool perfect for baby’s first beach trip

Baby Makapu’u features four or five tide pools separated by rocks with their depth ranging from very shallow (as low as six inches) to three and a half feet (on the far right when facing the ocean). The rocks protect all but the deepest tide pool from any surges due to incoming surf making it perfect for keiki who might be uncomfortable with rapidly moving water, toddlers just learning to walk, or even babies in floatation devices or mommy’s arms. When my normally fearless daughter got caught in the waves at other beaches one too many times and didn’t want to go anymore, Baby Makapu’u was the perfect way to reintroduce her and remind her that she does in fact love the ocean.

There are a plethora of activities for older children to enjoy at “Baby” Makapu’u as well. The water in the tide pools are filled with beautiful little fish that I was completely unaware of until a child offered me her goggles. I looked under water for only a moment and saw a school of white and silver angel fish swimming right by me and around our feet. Although the tide pools are surround by lava rock, on the left side the rocks is much smaller, and many families can be seen snorkeling in the shallow water beyond the tide pools.

Besides snorkeling, the rocks are perfect for the rough housing of the seven to eleven set. Every time I go there a group of kids will be taking turns jumping off the rocks into the tide pool (most of the rocks don’t rise more than a foot or two above the water). While this is fun (we even let our two-year-old jump off a few times, holding our hands) the rocks are very slippery, and seem to be even MORE slippery for adults so proceed with caution and always keep a close eye on your keiki at all times. Use your own judgement when it comes to this activity.

Two-year-old on a body board at Baby Makapu’u

There is a very small current that runs from the deepest tide pool on the right, to the shallower pools on the left. While it depends on the tide, this can be a good setting for pre-bodyboarding, as the preschool set can enjoy hopping on their body board and allowing the current to push them gently across the pools.

The sand, which does have the occasional rock or piece of debris is still soft enough for playing and sand castles.

Oceanic Research Institute mauka of Makapu’u entrance

To access Baby Makapu’u, take the next right turn after the entrance to regular Makapu’u if coming from town. The first Makapu’u (which is gorgeous) is across from the entrance to Sea Life park and has stone bathroom facilities on the hill next to its parking. It is frequented by experienced body boarders due to the large surf close to shore. Baby Makapu’u is the next right off of Kalanianaole Highway. If you see the entrance to Sea Life Park, keep going. The entrance to the parking lot for Baby Makapuu is the next right, across from the exit of Sea Life park, across from a sign that says “Oceanic Research Institute” for Hawaii Pacific University. You make that right and it will be a parking lot and then a left turn down an incline. Head down the short incline and that parking lot is closest to the tide pools.

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