Are you stationed at one of the military bases on O’ahu? Restrictions due to coronavirus have once again closed major hiking routes and beaches, as well as halted much of the tourism the island normally sees. However, there are still plenty of fun things to do on O’ahu for families to do together. Here are ten local locations from some socially distanced family fun.
Update: As of September 29th, all locations are now open except for Waimea Falls and the Honolulu Museum of Art. Both of these locations are set to reopen on October 1st.
10 things to do on O’ahu for military families
Tucked away on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, the Nu’upia Ponds are a protected water system full of sea turtles, pufferfish, barracudas, parrotfish, rays, and other unique marine life. Its water source stems from Kaneohe Bay, and the wetlands a primary habitat for native and migratory waterfowl. The trail also boasts a stunning view of the Ko’olau mountain range.
You can never go wrong with a scenic drive immersing yourself in the beauty of O’ahu. Enjoy the panoramic views of the north shore, taste lunch plates from the famous garlic shrimp trucks, enjoy a refreshing shave ice. And if you need a pit stop, the water is still open for swimming and surfing too – just don’t sit on the beach or you may face a hefty fine.
Kualoa Ranch Educational Hike
The Hakipu’u Education Center at Kualoa Ranch is now leading Small Group Experiences that allow participants to learn, feed, and handle exotic and farm animals while hiking the Ahupua’a, or subdivision of land. Experiences are currently available Monday through Saturday, from 9 am-12 pm or 1 pm-3:30 pm. Check out this interesting and informative tour!
Admission: $7 per person
Kakaako Wall Art Streets
There are cool murals situated all around O’ahu, but this historic neighborhood showcases many highlights in one main area. Located between Honolulu and Waikiki, Kakaako Art District is the place to see unique and masterful murals painted by local and global artists. Check out the POW! WOW! Hawaii map to locate specific murals.
Honolulu Museum of Art
Recently reopened, the Honolulu Museum of Art is accessible to visitors Thursday – Sunday. Enjoy more than 50,000 works of art representing all major cultures of Hawai’i over the last 5,000 years. Every Friday from 4 pm-9 pm and every third Sunday from 10 am-6 pm, admission is free for Hawai’i residents.
Free/18 and Under
Free resident admission every Friday, 4 pm-9 pm
Free resident admission every third Sunday, 10 am-6 pm
While most of Oahu’s botanical gardens are currently closed again, the beautiful gardens of Waimea remain open. As a bonus, the cost of admission is incredibly discounted. Revel in the native flora and fauna, enjoy a picnic in the lei garden, learn about local cultures, customs, and history, and take a refreshing magical swim under the waterfall.
Admission: 2020 Day Pass $8 Military
2020 Annual Pass $60 Military/2 Adults & up to 6 children under age 18
Military Kids 4-12 FREE every Wednesday
Military half price every third Sunday of the month
Step back in time inside a beautiful royal Hawaiian palace and learn about the history and overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. The palace grounds are thought to be an ancient place of worship, and the palace itself is the only official royal palace in the United States. It is recognized as a National Historic Landmark and an important site of cultural identity.
Admission: Military $11.95
Ages 5-12: $4.95
Age 4 & under: Free
Bishop Museum houses extensive cultural collections and is home to research projects and public education programs. It is the largest museum in the state of Hawaii and boasts a vast natural history specimen collection. The museum was founded to showcase royal family heirlooms of the last living descendant of the Hawaiian monarchy in addition to cultural objects. Today, Bishop Museum houses millions of items, photos, and documents concerning Hawai’i and other Pacific islands. Wander through the galleries inside and stretch your legs in new outdoor exhibits celebrating Hawaiian natural history and culture.
Admission: Military: $14.95
Age 4 & under: Free
Green World Coffee Farm
We could all use an extra jolt with the pressure of a pandemic. What better place to find some additional energy than a coffee farm? Take a stroll in the maze of the serene coffee tree garden, sip delicious coffee creations, indulge in a lilikoi bar or blueberry scone, and enjoy tastings of fragrant coffee samples roasted daily on-site. It is perfect for little ones too – there is even a corner library for kids to explore.
Manoa Chocolate Factory
Indulge your sweet tooth with a tasting and tour of Manoa Chocolate. Tours of the facility are offered Monday-Saturday at 10 am and 3 pm and the experience is suitable for ages 12 and up. If you have younger children along for the ride, all ages are welcome to enjoy a FREE docent-led taste of the chocolate collection in the tasting room and learn how the chocolate is made from bean-to-bar on site. Currently, there is also a two for one deal available for the factory tour!
Admission: $15 per person
Even though many places are closed in O’ahu due to coronavirus shutdowns there are still several different places both on and off the local military bases to explore.
Visit the Hawaii Board of Tourism to get complete updates on shutdowns and re-openings of local attractions.
Do you have any other suggestions? Let us know so we can add to our list for other military families!Read comments