Things To Do With Kids On Oahu

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sunrise Oahu Waikiki

Day 3 started bright and early. 

Pete and Ashley headed to Crossfit Oahu for a workout while Maddie and Emmy slept, and I got some work done. Pete and I feel very fortunate that both of our jobs have a great amount of flexibility so we can not only work where we want, but also at times that we like. For the most part, we work early in the morning (5am is when we start) and then we answer emails on the go. We end the day with a couple more hours of work when the girls go to bed. Now that we’ve been working like this for a few years, we can’t imagine going back to a traditional schedule. A split schedule as we call it really works well at home and on the road. 

Today it didn’t even feel like work though… since this was my work space and view. 


From the verandas to the service, everything has been wonderful. It’s going to be very hard for me to go back to working without the ocean in sight. I can’t wait to share more about this hotel in a future post. 

veranda Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites

After a delicious breakfast downstairs, we jumped in our car for an hour drive back up north. 

We were all pretty excited to be taking a Jungle Tour into the Oahu mountains with partner Kualoa Ranch. Full post coming soon, but I just had to share these pictures! We were loaded into an off-road vehicle and taken on a bumpy road to some of the most breathtaking views we’ve ever seen.


During the drive, we were told Hawaiian history and some insight into the culture. We left with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the people of these beautiful islands.

hawaii oahu with kidschinaman island oahu hawaiihike kualoa ranch

Pete and the girls took a little 5-minute hike to the lookout point when the tour made a stop and took this picture. 

american flag

After our exciting morning, it was time to head over to Pearl Harbor.

I had been there when I was about Maddie’s age, and the experience never left me. I remember bits and pieces of my family’s first trip to Hawaii, but I remembered almost every moment of my time at Pearl Harbor. It touched me deeply. So many things have changed for me personally since that time years ago, I’m now married and the mother of three… and I was alive during another attack on America…September 11th. I wondered if it would be different for me this time, and it was.

I was excited in a stoic way for my own children to experience Pearl Harbor.

I wanted them to be at a place that held such history and lessons. I wanted them to be able to pay respect to those that sacrificed everything for our freedom.  And they did. Even little Emmy took away so much from this stop. She is still processing it and has asked us over and over again why it had to happen and why so many people had to die. I don’t think there are answers to those questions, just an understanding of what happened. Not why. She stood in front of this wall for 15 long minutes trying to read all the names. She wanted to thank them all and tell them she was sorry that they had to die, but eventually, she came to the realization that too many people were listed on the wall. I totally agreed… there should have been no names on the wall. 

The older girls were very quiet for hours after even. It was a powerful reminder about life.

20160315_151805pearl harbor memorialuss arizona memorial

Some practical things to note if you visit Pearl Harbor with children. 

  • No bags are allowed, that includes purses and diaper bags. I did see someone walking around with a clear plastic grocery bag and some diapers etc. The rest of us were holding our wallets in our hands. You can bring a cocktail clutch sized purse if you have one with you. 
  • Make reservations online before you go. It cost us $7.50 to do this. There are tickets that are given out first thing in the morning, but on really busy days those go quickly. 
  • If it is too windy you will not be able to take the boat out to the memorial.
  • Strollers are not allowed in the theater or on the memorial.
  • Don’t leave valuables in your car. It is a high crime area (the parking lot).
  • Bring tissues and be prepared for some good, deep conversations with your children.

We finished the day with a walk around the hotel and then to dinner at a vegetarian/vegan restaurant called Simple Joy Vegetarian Cuisine. It was delicious! 

Here is a video recap of day 3:

Have you been to Pearl Harbor?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • It looks like you had another spectaciar day! That jeep tour and the scenery are awesome and I’m impressed some of you made it to crossfit this morning! I can’t wait to keep following along!

  • I have never been there but it is my dream to go and now even more after seeing your photos and experience. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • It sounds like you guys are having the time of your lives. You are doing so much 🙂

  • yes Pearl Harbor is a must do when in Oahu! I was able to go for free as they gov rout free tickets to the first 2,000 visitors. it did mean I had to get there at 630am. good to know that it is only $7.50

  • Jealous! Maybe one day we’ll get there. Your pictures are gorgeous. What a beautiful, fun, and educational place to visit.

  • What a spectacular day. Wonderful and memorable. Something you will not forget.

  • That’s such a lovely view, you will definitely not feel like working when you’re there. My favorite part of this post was the memorial. It’s nice to know how this has touched your kids, it’s a good reminder about life and the freedom that we have right now. Thanks for sharing your day 3, it was enlightening.

  • We visited Oahu about a year ago and I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was. We were given the opportunity to visit Pearl Harbor and it is an experience that I will never forget. It looks like your family is having an amazing time. The pictures are gorgeous and I can’t wait to continue following along. Thank you so much for making us a part of the adventure.

  • It looks like you are having an absolutely wonderful vacation in Oahu. What are you great place for your children to enjoy nature and to learn about history as well!

  • I’m sorry could you please edit my above comment to “what a great place” instead of what are you. I’m sorry for the typo!

  • I have never been to Pearl Harbor. I would love to learn Hawaiian history. Looks like a fantastic trip.

  • This is a fantastic trip. There are so many fun things you can do with kids in Hawaii.

  • We’ve never been to Pearl Harbor, but we would love to visit the place someday. We love visiting places with lots of history. We we have seen documentaries about Pearl Harbor and couldn’t wait to see the place in person.

  • Your family is truly blessed to be able to partake in these vacations. Your girls always looks so cute and happy!

  • I have always wanted to go to Hawaii. I would love to visit Pearl Harbor.

    I love being a blogger. I am able to work any where that there is an Internet connection. I’m hoping my husband can quit his job soon too.

  • It’s so fun to read about your experiences there! I want to be in that piece of paradise, too. The pictures make it look so tempting!

  • Such an amazing and cool trip! Looks you are having a great time. Glad you shared it!

  • That’s good to know about the purses. I’d like to visit. In fact, Hawaii has been on my bucket list for awhile.

  • I’ve never been to Pearl Harbor and hope someday to be able to take the family. My husband loves visiting places with history.

  • I always wanted to go to Hawaii there is so much thing to do and see aside from the beautiful beach and delicious food. I can tell that your family is having a blast. I wish we live closer I would have been to the beach every day.

  • This looks like such a fun day! I am so glad that you are enjoying your trip and time with your family!

  • That work view is on point! We took our girls to Hawaii a couple years back and can’t wait to return especially since they’re older. That ranch looks amazing and something we would enjoy with the whole family!

  • I have been riding horses since age 5 it is one of the first excursions I book when I travel, one of my favorites was horseback riding through ancient ruins in Cancun – one of the most unique horseback riding trips I experienced. I will definitely be sure to book a horseback riding session when I am in Hawaii too!

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