When you vacation with kids on Oahu (or anywhere that isn’t associated with a certain mouse), it can be hard to find things to do that were created especially for kids. Here’s a suggestion:

Not far from Waikiki (in Kakaako, on the Waikiki side of Downtown Honolulu), the Children’s Discovery Center is a world-class children’s museum that encourages children to use their senses of touch, sight, hearing, and smell to gain a better understanding of the world around them.

The Center follows the precept that the most natural, important and successful way for a child to learn is through play. Last year, more than 11,000 kids visited the center through its school visit program, and the Center is expecting to see about 100,000 delighted visitors in all this year. Once inside, children can explore mock-ups of a human heart and lung and visit mini-homes (complete with furniture and artifacts) as they would be seen in places such as the Philippines, China and Polynesian islands in the South Pacific. They can “go shopping” in a supermarket, “do business” at a bank, swing by a fire station and fill up at a gas station. They also can try a wide variety of fanciful interactive learning toys – playing volleyball with a robot, for example. Every subject from physiology to sociology is explored.So, should your kids whine the inevitable “There’s nothing to do!” while you’re heading for the beach, you can always take a two- or three-hour side trip to a children’s wonderland.


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