When we first got to Oahu we were staying in the Ala Moana Hotel – bored – and looking for something to do to entertain our kids (7 years old and 21 months old). So, on July 29th we checked out the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center! General admission is $10.00 although military members get in for $8.00 (active duty, with ID). Kids under 1 year old are free. So it wasn’t exactly CHEAP but it was fine. Especially since the place is HUGE. The hours vary – but we were playing there from around 10am until 1pm, which was enough time to see everything.
The center has something for all ages of kids. Using state-of-the-art technology, the Center provides a “window to the world” and the opportunity for children to explore and discover things about themselves and the world through play. The Discovery Center has four major galleries, each filled with hands-on, interactive exhibits.
There are a couple play areas just for little ones under five years old and also sections for your under three-year-olds. The Tot Spots are awesome places filled with lots of cool sensory stimulation! My 20 month old had a BLAST playing in them!
Fantastic You is an area where you can take an “inside look” at the wonders of the human body and learn how the different parts of your body work together!
Your Town was by far the favorite of my seven year old! Here, your little one can be a grown-up for a day and learn how a community functions. My son loved dressing up like a police officer as well as a postman (and delivering the mail!) – we spent the most time in this section I think!
Hawaiian Rainbows is a favorite with preschoolers, and gives them the chance to dress up and play house in kid-sized versions of typical homes in India, the Philippines, Japan, China, and Korea. Stir-fry felt noodles for dim sum in the Chinese house. Have a tea party in the Japanese house. Or stamp cloth like traditional Indian fabric makers. And the “Tot Spot” has interactive activities for the youngest visitors, even pre-walkers.
Rainforest Adventures is the newest area in the Discover Center and includes a large water table (that looks like a waterfall), a climber where kids can look though binoculars and “watch” for rainforest animals, and also a toddler area specially for little ones under the age of three years old.
Kids can easily spend hours on end here, so plan ahead for snack times and bathroom breaks. Food, drinks, and gum aren’t allowed in the Discovery Center, so you’ll have to eat anything you bring outside. There is a café on site, too—and it’s cash-only.
I’m planning on buying a season pass for this place. It was THAT awesome!