Four Reasons You Can Take Your Young Kids to the Honolulu and Ko’Olina areas!
It’s a big decision to make about where you are comfortable vacationing with young children. There about a 500,000 items to think about and analyze how your child(ren) will act and react. I’m here to give you a boost of confidence today that you CAN take them to Honolulu!
We stayed four nights in downtown Waikiki and then three out at Ko’Olina, which feels more “true Hawaii”. Part of the (major) role I play when we’re working together on a vacation is playing matchmaker. I take the information you’ve given me about preferences, dislikes, budget, time, etc to then suggest what I think fits you and your family the best. That may be spending a week in downtown Waikiki as your base for exploration of Oahu or it may be spending three nights in Ko’Olina and four on the North Shore or another island. There’s not one set answer, ever.
1. The ease of travel around Oahu. I’m not going to say ‘the ease of travel’ there, because that’s 100% dependent on where you’re flying from and how well your kids travel 😉 But picking up a rental car, renting car seats (what we did this trip) and then utilizing Waze to get us to our destinations was simple and no different than driving on the mainland. I hope this is an obvious statement, but then again people still ask me about the bridge between the Hawaiian Islands…p.s. that doesn’t exist. Alternatively, I work with several vetted transportation companies that will provide car seats to take you to and from the airport.
2. W is for Walkable (and Waikiki). We didn’t use our rental car the first three days of the trip – no need, with everything within walking distance in the downtown Waikiki area. The sidewalks are wide, the stores are easy to maneuver with strollers and you’ll see plenty of other families doing the same thing you are – trying to not hit nap time at lunch 😉 The Honolulu Zoo and Aquarium are something you can tackle in the same day, neither being very large, but really enjoyable for children under 10 nonetheless. There’s also a large grassy park near the zoo that would be perfect to take little ones (or big ones!) to run out some energy.
3. Four Seasons Oahu at Ko’Olina. I know a lot of us fly into Honolulu to essentially just see Pearl Harbor and then hit the skies for a quick flight to another island, understandably and also what I recommend a lot of times for those with less than 10 days to travel. But for those that have traveled 7+ hours to get to Hawaii or have no interest in island hopping (because there really is plenty to do on Oahu!), this would be the perfect post-Waikiki stay OR base for your time on Oahu. We were so thrilled to walk into our ocean view one bedroom suite and see space. If there’s one thing that I have come away with after traveling with our 2 and 4 year old in the last few months, it’s that I need space; it’s the difference between a relaxed mom and a stressed mom. Our girls love to just play in a hotel room so the fact that they could do that while we hung out on the beautiful, spacious balcony was a gift. The fact that they offered Disney Junior on TV was a gift. Are you like Heather, what?! I do have some boundaries about what the girls can watch on TV and we like the ol’ telly on while we’re trying to get ready or pick up, etc and when I can’t find anything on a hotels TV guide for them it’s just an annoyance – not a deal breaker but one of those “man, it’d be nice”. The fact that children under five eat for free sweetens the deal, too. Oh, should I mention that the pool staff always set up your towels, bring you water and lidded cups for the kids, and provide pool toys? Glad I remembered to tell you 😉
4. Beaches for Babies. There are a few beaches close to Honolulu that were made for your young children! I am highly anxious around the beach with my girls, but these are the sweet spot: you can see your feet in the water up to your waist, the water is calm and there are few other people around so no one is horsing around your 2 year old! Let me share two of my favorites. Lanikai Beach has gorgeous views + soft sand! Parking can be a little tough here if you go on a weekend. Then there is Ko’Olina Lagoons. There are four lagoons in Ko’Olina and three have resorts on them – Disney Aulani and Four Seasons Oahu at Ko’Olina share a lagoon and the rest are timeshares. Our girls could’ve played here for hours. You can grab snorkeling gear, goggles, stand-up paddleboards from the activity stand along with sunscreen!
When you’re ready to take your family to the *best* place on Earth, click here 🙂
P.S. The Four Seasons Oahu at Ko’Olina has no clue I’m writing this post, so while I was given one night complimentary, all opinions are, of course, my own.