Playing The Local Tourist – Hawaii Part 2 (Pic Heavy)
If you missed my first post about being a local tourist, read that first! This past summer we had another opportunity to play a local tourist when Hubs family visited. I was so excited to see everything again. We saw most of the “must see” sites when we first moved here and then again when family filters through. It’s nice to experience everything and get a fresh perspective on all the adventures you can do here. I wanted to share more of the kid friendly adventures you can do. I find that having kids on vacations can often limit the places you can visit. However, in Hawaii there is so much children can do!
Earlier this year I posted about our trip to the Honolulu Zoo. We tend to visit a few times a year, family in tow or not. It is a small zoo that takes about 2 hours to walk through. Small enough that I let all three of my small children walk around freely (I do bring a stroller). We let them lead the way and they love having control over where we go and what animals we see. On our last adventure there I tried a new treat for them. We did a “zoo scavenger hunt”. We printed up a bingo-like card with photos and names of animals and off we went. Here a few photos from our trip!
There is more to do at the Dole Plantation than just looking at different variety of pineapples (Did you know that Hawaii only produces 2% of the worlds pineapples?*) Living local, we actually visit it often when we are looking for a quick excursion for the kids. Their most favorite thing? The Pineapple Express!
Traveling down the track at a excruciating 2 miles per hour (maybe), its actually a nice little relaxing ride. There is a commentary on the history of the pineapple in Hawaii and during “breaks” Hawaii Music plays. The train ride takes you through working pineapple fields that house new and old equipment used to harvest pineapples. After deboarding they often offer up free samples of pineapple. Who can resist that?! Well, not my kids.
My advice is to do the train ride AFTER you do the world’s largest maze. You’ll thank me for that tip later. Also, do not do the maze in the heat of the day. There is hardly any shade in the maze. There are little cuts in the bushes in case you need to escape quickly. Before entering the maze make sure you punch your card with the time. There are 8 different stations hidden in the maze for seekers to find. Each station contains a old telephone like booth where you trace a “Hawaiian” theme icon. Once done, exit and stamp your card. We have done it in little as 20 minutes! Yes, we cheated horribly and told the kids to cut through the bushes to get to the next station, but it was HOT and I was wearing SB in the Ergo. Lastly, the maze path is not paved and covered in lose old gravel. I own a single Bob Revolution stroller and it barely fits. However, when you add all the other people trying to enjoy the maze, it doesnt fit at all. I suggest not taking a stroller and carrying/wearing any child needing assistance.
Visiting the somber scene of the Arizona Memorial never gets old. Hubs and I love World War II history and love exposing our children to it as well. They may be to young to understand the sacrifices that were made, but it is never to early to instill and teach a gratitude for those who served before their dad and those who will serve after.
There always seem to be ongoing improvements being made. However, with the sequestering budget impacts there are some cutbacks on tours. I advise getting there before they open for tickets. Tickers are FREE! And go extremely fast. This past summer when we visited with family; we arrived at 8AM and got tickets for the 1030 tour. Luckily if you end up with time to spend between arrival and tour time, there is plenty to look, read, do and reflect on.
Tomorrow I’ll follow up “Playing The Local Tourist”with the Pacific Aviation Museum, USS Missouri, and Makapuu Lighthouse Hike.