Planning a Family Vacation to Honolulu

Juggling your family on vacation is a true test of skill. Few destinations make the struggle as worth it as Honolulu, Hawaii. Not to mention, the sheer number of family-friendly activities available make this trip a breeze!

Sea Life Park

A real gem for family outings, this miniature Sea World begins your marine journey with a circular descent around an enormous shark tank. Once you re-emerge into the open sun, you can interact with seals, dolphins, penguins, and tide pool creatures. What makes Sea Life Park truly special is the opportunity to get up close and personal with these amazing animals. [Adults: $30; Kids (3-12): $20; Special Programs: $100-$250].

Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail

For a budget day trip and kid-friendly hike, try out the Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail. Sitting right next to Sea Life Park, this gentle slope can be conquered by a stroller. It's especially fun to take kids during the winter months. At these times, humpback whales visit Hawaiian shores in order to give birth. You'll be sure to see one breaching even if you only look for a few minutes [FREE!].

Honolulu Zoo & Waikiki Aquarium

Situated on the edge of Waikiki, the Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium are a refreshing day trip. The Zoo has been modernizing over the past couple decades, and now houses a vast, twisting safari exhibit for many of its Africa-based residents. The Aquarium is small, but features a number of locally-inspired exhibits that explain the unique importance of the Hawaiian marine eco-system [Zoo Adult: $14; Zoo Child: $6; Aquarium Adult: $12; Aquarium Child: $5].

The Honolulu Trolley

Your kids will absolutely love rolling around town on these old-fashioned trolleys. If you buy a 4-Day or 7-Day pass, you'll have access to all the trolley lines, and be able to reach any point in town with relative ease. The trolley offers several different tours, one scenic, one panoramic, and one historic. Pick the ones that would suit your family best, hop on, and relax. Purchasing a multi-day pass also gets you free entry to the Waikiki Aquarium [7-Day Pass Adult: $59; Child: $25; 4-Day Pass Adult: $54; Child: $20 (Online Prices Only)].

Atlantis Submarine Tour

There's nothing quite like seeing marine life in its natural habitat. The Atlantis Submarine tour takes you up close and personal with the coral reef in a way that can only be matched by scuba diving. But with your kids in tow, this trip will give you a few less things to worry about. It is important to note that only children who are 36" or taller may board the submarine, so this is not an option for families with especially young children [Adult: $99; Child: $35 (Online Prices Only)].

There are plenty of other opportunities to have fun with the entire family. Check out Hanauma Bay, the wildlife preserve and coral reef near Makapu'u, and the Hawaii Nature Center in the back of Manoa Valley as well.

Last Updated: May 11, 2016