Because of the recent hurricanes that hit Hawaii, and the potential for more on the horizon (hurricane season is from June 1st till the end of November), I figured we might be seeing some wet weather for the next few months. But for anyone traveling to Hawaii during this time, don’t let this be a downer! After all, how do you think Hawaii stays so green and beautiful?
While some folks may let a little rain ruin their vacation, I think it opens up ways to get creative. Not only are there plenty of things to do within your hotel room or condo (or the resort property), but you can also find a good deal of indoor activities around the island as well. If you’ve been cooped up inside for too long and itching to explore Oahu, here’s a list of my top favorite indoor fun things to do on the island. Time to maximize your vacation in a way you never imagined!
Ice Palace- This is the state’s only ice rink and a very popular spot for locals to throw birthdays and private parties. But the skate rink is open to the public typically 7 days a week (just check their website- icepalacehawaii.com for the schedule in case a couple hours are blocked off for a private event) and at a reasonable rate. For $9.75 per person, (which includes skates!) you can twirl the day away from open till closing time and forget what the weather looks like outside.
There is a snack bar where you can order things like pizza, nachos, hot dogs, popcorn and saimin and they also offer hot cocoa, coffee and espresso to warm up. (Yep, they keep this indoor skating rink cold, so be sure to bring a sweater!) During public skate days, a DJ spins music while light shows make for a party atmosphere. Bring the kids to Ice Palace on a rainy afternoon to stay active while evading the wet weather.
Waikiki Aquarium- Nestled on the southern side of Waikiki right along the water, this aquarium is the perfect indoor activity for anyone. Not only is it educational and visually stimulating, but also it’s highly entertaining! You can get lost in the exhibits for hours. Check out the Ocean Drifters exhibit packed full with jellyfish, the live coral, the monk seal habitat and tanks after tanks of tropical, colorful fish.
Tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for kids and free for ages 3 and younger. Open 7 days a week from 9:00am till 4:30, you can plan a fun afternoon dodging the rain indoors at the Waikiki Aquarium. And if the weather clears up, you’re across the street from the Honolulu Zoo for more animal entertainment. But I don’t recommend the zoo if it’s raining hard- the animals seek the indoors just like you.
Waialua Sugar Mill- This area has a few shops to mosey in and out of (like North Shore Soap Factory and III Stone), but the one that you can spend at least an hour in is the Island X Hawaii shop. I actually didn’t even know it was called Island X Hawaii because most people just refer to it as the coffee factory at the Waialua Sugar Mill, but hey you learn something new every day!
This factory outlet store sells everything from original Waialua Coffee and chocolate bars, local salad dressing, peanut butter and Hawaiian salts to memorabilia, coffee mugs, t shirts and more. It’s a great place to stop at for souvenir shopping, plus you can enjoy free coffee and tours of how they grow and harvest cacao and coffee beans right there at the factory. This place also has the best shave ice on the island, no joke. They use syrup from real fruits (not high fructose corn syrup!), which is a homemade specialty item that isn’t found anywhere else. With tin roofs and a country feel to it, the Waialua Sugar Mill is a cozy place to poke around during a stormy day.
Bishop Museum- Open 6 days a week (closed on Tuesdays), Bishop Museum has the most extensive collection of Hawaiian artifacts, photos, archives and exhibits than any other museum in the state. Fascinating interactive displays will keep you entertained for the entire day (the Hawaiian Hall is highly recommended!), plus you can also explore the Planetarium throughout the day to see ‘The Sky Tonight’, ‘Waves, Winds & Stars’ and how to travel from Hawaii to Tahiti by the stars and constellations. Adult tickets are $19.95, children are $14.95 (ages 4-12) and kids 3 years and younger are free.
Ala Moana Center- Fair warning, this mall is open-air, meaning the shops are not fully enclosed in a building, so if it’s raining, you’ll probably get a little wet. Ala Moana is a popular place for locals and tourists alike to check out when the storm clouds appear because there is so much to do here. You can literally shop all day if you want to, since this mall houses nearly 300 stores and restaurants, but there is also a variety of entertainment as well.
Check out Mai Tai’s on the top floor for live local music and happy hour (from 4pm-7pm) 7 days a week. Also, in the heart of Ala Moana is Centerstage, which showcases performances year round. From live bands and school choirs to dance performances and pageants, Centerstage has great entertainment for that rainy day activity. Check out the lineup at their website, www.alamoanacenter.com.
Thankfully Oahu is a hub for indoor entertainment. There are tons of museums to choose from (I also recommend the Iolani Palace, Mission Houses Museum and the Honolulu Museum of Art too!), an abundance of movie theatres and plenty of other smaller indoor shopping malls (like Pearlridge) to avoid the wet weather. You won’t be shy of things to do on a rainy day in Oahu, so get creative and have some fun!
Please note, I don’t recommend you do ANY of these indoor activities during a hurricane. These are merely suggested as rainy day things to do. Stay safe!