Planning a family vacation to Oahu can pave the way to an unforgettable experience, but you'll need to have the right activities on your itinerary. Fortunately, you'll find all sorts of kid activities in Oahu including beachfront fun, adventures farther inland, and enough variety of activities to satisfy young children, older teens, and adults all in equal measure. Take a look at the top things to do with kids in Oahu, and discover what you'd like to include in your trip to this iconic Hawaiian island that's packed full of exciting adventure.

Find fun at the beach

1. Kailua Beach Park

At Kailua Beach Park, you'll find plenty of space to enjoy fun in the sun as the beach stretches a full 2 and a half miles. You'll find soft, powdery sands useful for sandcastle building, but the turquoise blue waters can be inviting as well. This beach park also has all the facilities you need for a long day at the beach, with picnic benches alongside publicly accessible barbecue grills. Additionally, you'll find bathrooms and shower facilities here, so you can turn your visit into an all-day affair.

2. Lanikai Beach

Lanikai Beach is what most people would imagine a tropical paradise to be like. The waters here are notably clear, making it a top destination for families who are interested in snorkeling. Reef fish and sea turtles call this beach home, so there's plenty of diversity to see among the local marine life. Additionally, older kids and teens may be interested in kayaking out to the small islands just offshore. Just keep in mind that this beach is relatively isolated, so you won't find any bathrooms or restaurants nearby. That's why it's best to bring your own snacks along.

3. Sunset Beach

If you're looking for striking beaches with an alluring appearance, the soft sands and shining waters of Sunset Beach can certainly satisfy. As the name suggests, this west-facing beach is one of the best places on the island to take in a picturesque sunset as the oranges and reds color the water and the sky in equal measure. Just keep in mind that the waves here can be quite large, with especially strong tides in the winter, so it's best to keep your small kids out of the water. Think of this beach as the ultimate destination for fun on the sand rather than in the water.

4. Bellows Beach

If you're looking for a relaxing beach with a fair amount of shade, Bellows Beach has exactly what you need. The soft, white sand offers numerous picturesque spots to set up for some much-needed relaxation. Additionally, you'll find several extra attractions here including pool tables, a playground, tennis courts, and volleyball. Just keep in mind that this beach is only open to the public on weekends, so you'll need to plan your visit accordingly. Fortunately, this is just one of many beaches to visit on the island.

Activities to do in Oahu with young kids

5. Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon

At Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon, you'll find a welcoming shoreline that can be fun even for toddlers as the waters are calm and shallow and you don't have to worry about strong tides. You'll also find opportunities for snorkeling and water biking in addition to paddleboarding. This beach also has bathrooms located conveniently on-site along with shower poles that help make for a convenient visit that the whole family, including the young kids, can enjoy.

6. Honolulu Zoo

If your family is interested in diverse animals, you'll find plenty of fun at the Honolulu Zoo. This zoo is home to a wide variety of creatures from all over the world including zebras from Africa as well as loveable long-necked giraffes. Kids can even feed some of the creatures here, creating a more intimate experience with the fascinating animals. While this zoo has all the iconic favorites, you'll find a large selection of native Hawaiian species that travelers from outside the islands are sure to enjoy.

7. Waikiki Aquarium

The marine life around Oahu and the Hawaiian Islands is incredibly diverse, with tropical creatures in an array of colors that are sure to impress. Because snorkeling might be a bit daunting for little kids, you can head to the Waikiki Aquarium instead to let your little ones enjoy the fascinating fish. You'll find fish and even water mammals both large and small in massive tanks including several touch tanks that small kids will especially enjoy. The aquarium features creatures from all over the world, but the majority of the animals that make their home here are native to the Hawaiian and Pacific waters.

Discover Oahu activities for teens and older kids

8. Pupukea Tide Pools

The Pupukea Tide Pools are an iconic destination on the island where you can search through fascinating tide pools to find marine life and mineral specimens. Just make sure you're prepared before you visit. Proper water shoes are typically best for traversing the tide pools. Additionally, make sure you time your visit to avoid the large northern surf. When the tide comes in, these pools are completely flooded to the point where you can't really tell where you're walking, which can be a bit dangerous given the height differences of the pools.

9. Dolphin Quest

If you and your family are interested in swimming with dolphins, you'll find no shortage of opportunities around the island. Dolphin Quest is one of the most popular that offers guides who can help you make the most of your time swimming alongside these majestic creatures. These dolphins aren't kept in a secure facility but are free in the ocean and simply enjoy coming close to shore because of the way the guides treat them.

10. Atlantis Adventures

At Atlantis Adventures, you and your family can travel to the watery depths to see samples of the aquatic splendor around Oahu that would normally be hidden from a simple snorkeling adventure. You can see reefs, sunken wreckages of a plane and a ship, and a plethora of fascinating sea creatures. In fact, it's not all that uncommon to see dolphins and even whales during your tour of the underwater world here. Submarines can be a bit intimidating, though, which is why this attraction is better suited for older kids.

11. Kualoa Ranch

If your family is particularly adventurous, you won't want to miss out on a trip to Kualoa Ranch. This destination is known for its high-speed adventures whether you're soaring through the air on a zip line or taking jumps on an ATV tour. Of course, you can take it easy as well with a horseback ride and a hidden beach. This destination was one of the filming locations for "Jurassic Park," and you can take a tour directly to the old filming location. Whether you're looking for an adrenaline-inducing adventure or simple stunning sights, this destination is among the best.

12. Polynesian Cultural Center

The Polynesian Cultural Center showcases the fascinating culture and history of various Polynesian peoples. Even kids who don't really have that much of an interest in history can find fun here. Several performances are held here quite frequently including dancing and singing that are entertaining to a wide variety of audiences. Plus, the whole family can enjoy taking part in a luau celebration in the evening that comes with dinner and a show.

13. Surfing lessons

Surfing is one of the oldest pastimes on Oahu and is known as the sport of kings. In fact, it was Oahu native Duke Kahanamoku who introduced surfing to the rest of the world. You and your family can participate in it even if you have no prior experience by taking surfing lessons. You'll find plenty of opportunities to take lessons, especially around Waikiki Beach where Duke cemented his place in surfing history. These lessons cover a wide variety of skill levels including absolute beginners whether they're kids, teens, or adults.

14. Waikiki Trolley

The Waikiki Trolley is more exciting than it might sound. While it's functionally just a convenient method of public transportation, its route makes it the perfect means to check out much of the city's highlights. Plus, it's easy and affordable to get an unlimited pass for the trolley, so you can send your older teens off on their own knowing that they have a convenient way back to wherever you're staying at the end of the day. The track brings passengers close to shopping areas, historical sites, and stunning beaches.

15. Ala Moana Mall

When you visit the Ala Moana Mall, you can enjoy a shopping experience you probably wouldn't be able to match at home. You'll find a wide variety of offerings here including name-brand boutiques alongside small local businesses offering affordable items. In addition to the shops, you'll find several restaurants and places to get sweet treats as well. The Hawaiian Cookie Store is particularly popular, as they offer free samples. Keep in mind that this is an open-air mall, so you can enjoy the warm sun throughout your trip.

Try out family restaurants in Oahu

16. Pā'ina Cafe

The Pā'ina Cafe is special because it gave birth to a phenomenon that has since taken over a major part of the world. This is where you'll find the original poke bowl made with fresh and traditional ingredients. Even if your kids aren't used to Hawaiin food, they'll still enjoy these bowls, as their delicious taste is nearly universally appealing. Of course, you'll find more than just poke bowls here, as it's also home to pristine plates, sandwiches, and salads. Pā'ina means gathering, so the entire atmosphere here is meant to be family-friendly.

17. Matsumoto Shave Ice

One of the most iconic foods found in Oahu is shave ice, and there's nothing quite like the creations at Matsumoto Shave Ice. This restaurant was founded in 1951 and has been offering delicious shave ice ever since to acclaim from locals and travelers alike. You'll find a wide variety of flavors available covering just about anything you'd imagine, along with some surprises like green tea and ume. You'll find several sugar-free options in addition to popular combinations like the signature Matsumoto's combo, which combines lemon, pineapple, and coconut.

18. J Dolan's

Just about every kid in American loves pizza, and visiting Hawaii doesn't mean you have to go without it. In fact, you'll find some of the best pizza available anywhere when you visit J Dolan's. The pizza here doesn't really have any notable Hawaiian flair and instead focuses on the pizza traditions popular in New York and the surrounding area. Several Jersey Shore favorites are available as well such as white pizza and a boardwalk pie that comes with Italian sausage, bell peppers, onions, and garlic. If that's not Yankee enough for you, there's a signature pizza that's topped with 4 different deli meats.

19. TR Fire Grill

When you visit the TR Fire Grill, you'll find stunning selections that are perfect if you're looking for something a bit more high end while still having options your kids will like as well. Much of the menu specializes in seafood like shrimp and lobster, but you'll also find turf favorites like filet mignon and ribs. Whatever you're looking for, you won't have to look very far to find delicious meats. Plus, the drink menu here is quite impressive, especially if you're looking for a perfect wine to pair with your meal.

20. Da Cove Health Bar & Cafe

It can be difficult to motivate kids to eat healthy when on vacation, but Da Cove Health Bar & Cafe makes it relatively easy. The acai bowl is especially popular thanks to its fulfilling sweetness and generous portions offered by the experts here. In addition to fruit bowls, you'll also find smoothies, wraps, sandwiches, and stunning plates. The cost here is relatively low as well, so it's ideal for travelers on a budget.

21. Lappert's Hawaii

Lappert's Hawaii is one of the best restaurants for families because it has what both adults and kids like the most. It has coffee for adults and ice cream for kids, though nothing's stopping you from enjoying the delicious ice cream yourself. You can even buy coffee beans here to take home so you can enjoy the delicious offerings long after your vacation is over. Don't forget to check out the bakery here as well where you'll find a wide variety of cookies including chocolate chip, peanut butter, and macadamia nut shortbread.

**Note Roy’s is currently closed according to website Image

22. Roy's Beach House

At Roy's Beach House, you'll find one of the best restaurants along Oahu's North Shore, so it's a must-visit if you're exploring the opposite side of Honolulu. You can enjoy a delicious cocktail, while kids can munch on a complimentary appetizer plate. It comes with fresh fruit and veggies alongside a delicious cheese quesadilla. You can be a bit more adventurous with offerings like bao buns, calamari, and crispy curried brussels sprouts. Additionally, you'll find a comprehensive kids menu with pasta, ribs, grilled chicken, and even a homemade ice cream sandwich for dessert.

23. Ka'aha'aina Cafe

One of the most iconic hidden gems in Oahu is the Ka'aha'aina Cafe. Here you'll find traditional Hawaiian fare with a rustic atmosphere that's hidden away in a medical complex off Farrington Highway. You'll find local favorites as well as stunning seafood dishes that everyone can enjoy. Keep in mind, however, that this restaurant is only open for breakfast and lunch and doesn't offer dinner service. The menu for breakfast is pretty simple with options like pancakes and eggs, and catches of the day like ahi available as well. Additionally, you'll find an array of desserts that kids are sure to enjoy.

24. Anna Miller's

At Anna Miller's, you'll find delicious food for the whole family available 24 hours a day. The entire restaurant is designed specifically for families to enjoy with delicious breakfast food served all day long. You'll find steak, eggs, waffles, and much more, though you'll also find items like burgers. All the food is classic homestyle fare, which can be especially appropriate for American travelers from the mainland who are feeling a bit homesick a few days into their trip.

25. Kono's Northshore

When you visit Kono's Northshore, you'll find a menu designed around delicious meats and hearty foods that the whole family can enjoy. You'll find breakfast bombers packed with eggs, potatoes, and bacon alongside lunch bombers filled with barbecue pork and cheese made with slow-roasted care that's award-winning. Aside from the bombers, you'll find plates and bowls made with a wide variety of ingredients that kids and adults alike can enjoy.