We were fortunate enough to be hosted by the Waikiki Aquarium for a family visit last week!
The Aquarium is located down Kalakaua Ave, next to a beautiful beach park. There is parking available on that Avenue, or the Aquarium also has limited free parking available for a time limit of 1 hour. You can see the Aquarium in 1 hour, so this is a fantastic option if you’re driving!
At the entrance a photographer will take your family photo (so they can offer you some photos to purchase at the exit), and you’ll also be issued a free Audio Tour Wand with your ticket. I was pleasantly surprised when they quickly programmed two of them into the Children’s Audio Tour!
At each exhibit a number was posted to inform us which number to enter into our wand—and then it spouted out some info for us. This allowed us to hop around to any exhibit without worrying about going in a particular order. Here are the girls busily occupied with their wands (the size of a cordless phone).
The girls absolutely loved the Kid’s Audio Tour, and our visit quickly became a fun game of running around and listening to the information for each exhibit. They would exclaim, “This one can swim 500 meters under the surface,” “this one can eat really big fish,” etc. I love learning that happens without requiring me to read a display to “teach” my kids. Maybe it’s just me…but my kids are much more responsive to teaching that comes in forms like this!
The exhibits were beautifully done, and the whole facility was family friendly.
Our children absolutely love aquariums, and Ethan’s favorite may have been watching the staff in a scuba suit doing some aquarium upkeep!
Can you see the octopus hidden in this picture?
He is in the center…completely blending into the rock (you can see a little brownish/orangish spot in the middle of his head). Talk about camouflage!
We learned a lot about coral, which seems to be a specialty and focus of the Aquarium, and we also enjoyed the huge variety of fish and creatures!
There is an interactive area for kids near the end of the exhibits, and there is also an outdoor area where the kids are allowed to touch a few different creatures. In this case, the kids loved the hermit crabs!
The Aquarium is open daily from 9am to 4:30pm daily (facility closes at 5pm). General admission is $9 for adults, $4 for youth (13-17 yrs), $2 for Juniors (5-12 yrs), and free for 4 and under. The Aquarium reciprocates with other aquariums and zoos throughout the US, so if you have a membership anywhere else you may be able to get free or discounted entrance in Waikiki!
Visit their website at http://www.waquarium.org for more information, and follow them on Facebook to stay updated on their fun special events. For example, they have weekly Wednesday afternoon activities designed for kids, as well as great special Family Programs like touring the Aquarium with a flashlight, or learning about the behind-the-scenes care of the exhibits!
Overall, we had a great time here—and our 1 hour parking limit upfront was just about perfect for the time that it took us to peruse and enjoy the Aquarium! If our kids weren’t so eager to run from one exhibit to another, you could spend up to 2 hours here…but not much more than that.
If you’re looking for a great opportunity to escape the midday sun, keep your kids entertained, and actually learn something in the process—the Aquarium is a winner! Enjoy!
The Waikiki Aquarium provided us with tickets to visit their facilities and review our experience.