Keiki Monday turns one! | A year of fun family activities on Oahu

A year ago, I launched Keiki Monday; a weekly blog feature detailing my families adventures as we searched for fun kids activities on Oahu : beaches, hikes, parks, events and a handful of art projects for rainy days. I originally started Keiki Monday to help others. I know how hard it is to come up with new and interesting ways to entertain small children while balancing the rest of your life. I ended up having a great time doing it!

When I started, I wasn’t sure if I would have enough activities for a full year, but what I discovered is that Oahu is just a great place to be a kid. You can find the archives here to see for yourself. I’m excited about the second year of Keiki Monday because I have a laundry list of places that I still want to investigate and share with you! In the meantime, let’s celebrate with a giveaway!

fun family activities on Oahu


Win a Free Photography Session!

To celebrate a full  year of Keiki Mondays I want to give away a free photography session!

Entering is super easy and painless. Simply leave a comment at the bottom of this post telling me your family’s favorite activity on Oahu, the age of your children, and why you love it.

The winner will be receive a free photo session of you and your family enjoying the activity you entered! You will be featured on Keiki Monday and receive a complete gallery of high-resolution digital images from your session!


Bonus Points

If you want to earn bonus points, “like” Little Bird Photography on Facebook and share this post on your timeline.



  • Make sure to leave a valid email address in your post so I can contact you if you win.
  • The winner must be available for a phone consultation before April 1st and your photo session must take place in April 2013.
  • The contest closes at midnight on Sunday, March 24th and the winner will be announced on Monday, March 25th.

The contest has ended. A big congratulations to Justina and thank you to everyone for your wonderful comments! Looking forward to another year of adventure on Oahu!

oahu activities for kids

It’s been a great year searching for fun family activities on Oahu and i’m excited to keep it going. I can’t wait to hear your ideas!

  • Rebecca Hawthorne - Our family’s favorite activity with small kids and two dogs is a no brainer “the beach” lol. We try to spend at least once a month all together at the hickam dog beach. Getting all together and letting the dogs run around and letting Ayden go wild playing in the water without worring about him getting in to deep since the water at the hickam dog beach is all shallow. And now with Kinsley crawling its a perfect setting for her cubbyness to crawl around with her brother :)

    Ayden 2
    Kinsley 8 months (she has grown so much since her newborn shoot)ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - With 3 active little boys, we get out a lot! I’d say their favorite activity is the boxcar racetrack at Kunia. The oldest loves being big enough to race alone, and the youngest finds it thrilling to help dad “steer”.ReplyCancel

  • Justina Kenui - Our ohanas favorite family activity is going to the beach. From when I was a kid my parents look me and my brother A LOT (sometimes even skipping school) I remember surfing with my dad as a toddler on the same board and feeling so safe. Not even worrying about wipeouts because I knew he was there. The memories I have as a child are the same memories I want my 3 boys to have of our ohana. So every Sundays (or every chance we get) we’re at the beach. My oldest is 13 then 11 and 2 yrs old. I swear we are part fish and if we don’t get in the water, our scales go dry…lol!
    The ocean is a very important part of our life, we love to surf, stand-up paddle, fish, camping and just burying each other in the sand is fun for us. My littlest loves the water and just recently we’ve been teaching him to surf. I love our days at the beach because it brings us together as a family ReplyCancel

  • Rani - Our family’s favorite activity is taking a walk in the evening. Meantime, our 7 month old baby boy likes listening to his mom’s singing with sitting in his stroller. Also, we sometimes go to pool for fun since he likes having fun in water!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Chavez - My family and I enjoy the outdoors! We love going on hikes to the “Pill Boxes” in Lanikai and we also enjoy having beach fun there as well! Lanikai is just a beautiful area.ReplyCancel

  • Tatiana Efremova - Our family favourite activity was biking North Shore before our daughter was born. Park in Haleiwa and bike all the way to the point where Kaena Point Hike starts. It’s gorgeous out there. Mountains on the left, ocean on the right. Stop couple times on the way at the beach to sit, relax and enjoy watching windsurfers. Good times. Now we are just waiting for our daughter to get a little bit older to be able to enjoy it as we do.
    But instead of biking trips for now we had a lot of fun looking for nice picnic spots and heading there for an ono picnic. Bring a ball, a kite or a bike/ride on toy and you are set for a good quality time with your family.ReplyCancel

  • Kris Packard - I am Gramma Packard, known as Di-Ta Papu to my almost 17 month old granddaughter Cara Packard. From having spent two weeks with them this past December, I know that one of Cara’s favorite places is the Honolulu Zoo. she loves the beach as well but it was too “cold’ when we visited to spend much time there. We live in Upstate New York where it snows a lot, something Cara does not know about yet!ReplyCancel

  • Emily - Our favorite spot to play and see nature is at the Farmers Market and Wiamea Valley Waterfall hike. Easy to do with a 20 mo old and a peaceful walk in a batanical garden. The farmers market on Thurs (3-7) is a perfect treat after the walk to the falls. We grab some baked goods or a healthy dinner and enjoy some live music. Always fun to run and play in the grass too!
    Alice Rose (20 months)ReplyCancel

  • Liz W - We love Friday night fireworks in Waikiki! We usually head to the Barefoot bar and get dinner at the snack shack – they have live music leading up to the fireworks and the kids (almost 1 & almost 3) dance and swim at the Hale Koa kiddie pool until fireworks at 745pmish. Late night – but fun when we have visitors in town and can sleep in on Saturday AM. Also love the Tropical Farms tour!ReplyCancel

  • Lisha Osterhout - Well most everyone has mentioned fun at the beach. Well that’s a given in this family as well. After all we are in Hawaii. But I think our favorite time would be when we are all together. We love the outdoors. So whether we’re playing on the playgrounds or riding the train at the historic society, or playing in the baby pool at home. As long as our baby boy is having fun that’s all that matters. He is 100% boy and loves to run and play.
    Liam 15 mos.ReplyCancel

  • Katherine - So many fun activities here we enjoy – zoo, children’s discovery center, aquarium, hiking. But our favorite family activity is the beach. Our 2-year-old girl loves the water, even the waves in the face! Even when it is “cold”! She has an adventurous spirit that thrives in the sand and waves. Hopefully #2 arriving in August will enjoy the same!ReplyCancel

  • Ana - We love going to Temple Valley. My boy loves looking at the waterfalls, the bamboo forest and digging in the gravel!ReplyCancel

  • Erin Zavala - Hi, my name is Erin Zavala and I am a military Mom to two children ages 5 and 14. One of our all time favorite activities on Oahu is to visit the Byodo In Temple at the Valley of the Temples Park in Kaneohe. My kids enjoy exploring the impeccably maintained grounds and feeding the swans, koi and cats and my husband and I are in awe of the serene beauty and gorgeous Japanese architecture!ReplyCancel

  • Maria - Our favorite activity is of course the beach! We go swimming there, we go walking there, and we even go to just sit sometimes and maybe have some good food too! My my husband is Al and my son is Adam, who is 13 mos. now and loves to get out!ReplyCancel

  • Nikki - Our kids are 8 years apart so to find a balance is quite difficult at times. Our son is 6 and our daughter is 14. There is one thing they look forward to each year (Kawaii Kon). They love dressing up. This was just this past weekend and they had a blast. The park and the beach is our go to places when it’s warm out and they love (strangely) helping me on my photo shoots.ReplyCancel

  • Angela - Living on this beautiful island, we enjoy lots of outdoor activities. One of our favorites is within walking distance from our house – Ulupo Heiau. This magical spot is a great place to get glimpse of history, explore and run around. My boys are 3 and 1, so space to run is important!ReplyCancel

  • christy - we love to surf, surf, surf. savannah is 22 months. her baby sister is due in less than 2 weeks. hubby and i are hanging in there…we keep it light and laugh alot!ReplyCancel

  • Susan - Our families favorite activity is simple. We love to swing in the swings. We love them at the park, we love them at the playground but most of all we love them in our own backyard. There is nothing that puts a bigger smile on the girls faces, both 21 months old, then a swing high into the air.ReplyCancel

  • Heather - We love going to Magic Island on the weekends. The water is calm and my 3 year old daughter is in it from the moment we get there until the moment we leave, regardless of how cold the water feels to mom and dad.ReplyCancel

  • NICHOLE - Our family loves going to the beach on the North Shore. Why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of the island’s beautiful ocean sun, surf, and sand? With three children, ages 1, 8, and 12, there is something for everyone! We love bodyboarding, sand-sliding, building sand castles together and just enjoying every moment we have as a family. No matter how old we all may get, we will never be too old to enjoy this favorite activity of ours! Our day isn’t over until we enjoy shave ice from our favorite place Aoki’s!ReplyCancel

  • Maura - My daughter’s new favorite place is the aquarium…she loves seeing the frogfish and seahorses, holding the hermit crabs, saying hi to Maka the monk seal, and running around in the grassy area :) There really is so much to do in Hawaii, we are very blessed to live here!ReplyCancel

  • Maura - Sorry, my daughter is 3 years old, and my son is 7 months old…he stares in wonder at all the fish from his stroller :)ReplyCancel

  • Sunny - One of my daughter’s favorite place to go is the Honolulu Aquarium. She is currently 18 months and loves looking at the colorful fishes swimming around. I really enjoy allowing her to take the lead around the aquarium. I learn so much about what she’s interested in and what fascinates her at that particular time of development :) Going out on activities like this and many others really helps me to bond with my daughter in a special way!! I also learn so much from her and feel really blessed to be her mother :)ReplyCancel

  • Gabrielle Toloza - Our Daughter Isabella who just turned 2 years old has many favorite places to go. At the moment playing at any park or playground seems to be her favorite as she requests it every morning, noon and night. She likes triangle park, lanikai park and the park at on Hickam Air force Base the most where she can walk along the water and watch the big ships come in. They have a great slide, swings and a younger kids friendly playground that we love. Thank you for offering this opportunity and for sharing all your Keiki Mondays : )ReplyCancel

  • Alissa - My family loves to hike Hau’ula loop trail. We have gone many times and it is always a wonderful experience. A great way to enjoy nature and slow down from the day to day hustle.ReplyCancel

  • Heather - My daughter is four months old and our favorite family activity is going to the Honolulu Zoo. She loves to peer out of her kangaroo pouch “ergo baby carrier” at all of the animals, especially in the Keiki area where we can get up close to the farm animals. We’ve been bringing her since she was three weeks old and it’s such a fun and affordable way to spend the day as a family.ReplyCancel

  • Krista Graham - Our 14 month old, Finn, is always on the go. So what’s our favorite family activity on Oahu? To actually be on the go! Tooling around Kailua on our bikes with Finn in the bike trailer has provided countless hours of fun. Finn loves to see the sights as they go whizzing past, with the breeze blowing through his helmeted hair. While the destination is usually pretty fun, such as parks, the Kawai Nui Marsh, or the beach, it’s really all about the journey to get there.ReplyCancel

  • Tracy - My son is 8 months old and we try to stay active and outdoors as much as we can. I am trying to pause and find joy and memories in the everyday things like taking a bath, playing on the floor together, meal times, etc. It is hard but I try to remind myself to be present and in the moment we are having instead of rushing to get somewhere. Of course I love the moments when we get “there” too!ReplyCancel

  • Kau'i - When you live in a paradise surrounded by water it’s hard not to want to play in the ocean everyday! I’ve been blessed with 2 mermaids (Keaka 14 and Isabella 17 months) and one little merman (Ezekiel 8) who love being in the ocean! We enjoy canoe paddling, kayaking, stand-up paddling, surfing, exploring tide pools, building Hawaiian snowmen and just wadding around in the ocean. One place our family especially enjoys is the Kaneohe Bay Sand Bar (Ahu o laka), the perfect playground for in mermaid or merman!ReplyCancel

  • Uluwehi - My 2 year old son is a VERY energetic little boy. Our favorite thing to do, in the words of my son, is “go up the mountain.” Hiking up the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail is amazing every single time we do it, which is usually once a week. It helps me to teach him how lucky we are to call this beautiful place home. Usually I will push him in his stroller til about the halfway rest point and he will walk up the rest of the way. Once at the top, we look out at the ocean for whales, boats, and sometimes we can see Maui and Moloka’i on a clear day.

    Recently, we took a detour from going up the mountain and followed the path that goes to the beach below the first turn. He walked the whole way there and back (it was probably a mile both ways) and splashed in the cleanest water I have ever swam in. It was unbelievable. This new adventure will definitely be incorporated into our weekly repertoire.

    Both are outdoor activities that allow my son to not only experience the beauty of Hawaii, but to learn and appreciate everything we are blessed to have.ReplyCancel

  • Aaron - North Shore day trips are definitely the favorite of our family! The day usually starts with Sully (our 19 month old son) waking us up even though we’re hoping to sleep a little longer. We’ll do a quick and easy breakfast at home and then load the Subi (Subaru) and get on the road! Sometimes we’ll pick up our lunch early at Mike’s Huli Huli Chicken in Kahaluu. One whole chicken and a side of rice to go and we’re cruisin’ up the Kam again. If we’re still hungry for more breakfast food we’ll stop at Ted’s Bakery near Sunset Beach and spoil ourselves with a yummy pastry. Just like it is for us, I’m sure it’s a favorite past time of many parents to give their kids a treat like this. Then it’s on to Turtle Bay and short walk, on a stroller-friendly path, to a nicely secluded beach where we’ll set up our beach camp. By “secluded” I mean it would be a busy day if we saw more than 3-4 people pass by throughout the day. We’ll just play on the beach and in the water as a family, take a nap on the beach (our little one loves to nap in the stroller), and of course enjoy our huli chicken for lunch. If we didn’t pick up a huli chicken then we’ll head in to Haleiwa for lunch at Giovanni’s for the best shrimp on the island or Kua’aina where Sully could probably eat a large order of fries himself if we’d let him. Then we’ll hit Aoki’s for shave ice and stroll thru our fav shops and just chat with people we know or meet, many times thanks to Sully since he just seems to make friends where ever he goes. For dinner we almost always do Haleiwa Thai where Sully’s fav is the coconut rice. If the weather is good then we’ll get it to go and take it down to Haleiwa Beach Park to eat and watch the sunset. :)ReplyCancel

  • Charisse - My family love visiting Moanlua Gardens! It’s a fun outing that be a short outing or a whole afternoon! Admission and parking is free. There is a gift shop where you can purchase a cup of koi pellets to feed the koi. They also sell cold slushie drinks- mango=yum!! At the park my oldest (4 years old ) loves feeding the koi, counting the ducks, running in from tree to tree, jumping from the tree root, checking out the stream for fish and tadpoles. The park has many large trees with benches that provide shade for us to take a break and have a snack. One of the best perks of this location is there is so many photo opportunities there ! Great lighting & so much natural background :)ReplyCancel

  • nita - After last weekend taking my boy, Sullivan 19 months, camping has to be my new big favorite thing to do with him. Friday the day we went, all day I prepared him. I told him we were going camping and we were going to go moi moi in a tent outside. He says “side” for both inside and outside. He would repeat me and say “moi moi side.” Very cute. I packed and told him what all I was packing and why. He was very into watching me and asking me “sat?” for “what’s that?” We picked up a little folding camping chair for him and headed to Bellows where we had our beachfront reservation. We were setting up camp and he was so happy to just run around us checking out everything we were doing. I started setting up the bedding in the tent, he walked over. He looked in saw me and I told him “this is the tent where you are going to go moi moi with Mommy and Daddy outside. He had the most excited reaction I have ever seen. He squealed, did a whole body dance and spin with feet stomping, lifted his hands continuing his excited noise while out of lack of control, gasping and stumbling into the tent. He immediately laid down looked up at me and just smiled big. We made smore’s that evening which he loved and sang songs to him by the fire. In the morning he woke up saying “side, side” because we were outside. He loved being outside so much! His personality was peaceful, excited and happy. After breakfast we ventured down to the beach. This specific spot was so perfect for him to run back and forth into the waves and away from the waves. It was perfectly flat and only a few inches deep for well over 40ft out. He would sit down and the water would be just above his waist when the waves would come in. He played for literally hours. We all napped on the beach, Sully in his stroller. It was marvelous weather no rain, not scorching hot but sunny. Our camp was so close, it was so easy to run and grab lunch or things and leave our stuff there on the beach 20yards away. We stayed 2 nights and it was quite blissful to have such a happy boy, the new experience, perfect weather and create wonderful memories. Sunday afternoon when we were packing the car, it was obvious that Sullivan was concerned. I told him we were going to go home and he did not like that. When the tent collapsed, he cried the saddest, sweetest most innocent cry. His precious heart’s reaction was so honest. We promised we would go camping again. And we will, in two weeks!ReplyCancel

  • Renee Breeden - My 101/2 month old loves to dance and sing. Our favorite activity on Oahu is to find someone playing the ukelele and sing and dance….spread lots of love and aloha!
    For Makoa’s (kioeaka’wa’akahikomaiHokupa’a) first birthday in April it is my goal to learn how to play “Happy Birthday”….my present to him. :o)
    Much Aloha, Renee
    [email protected]ReplyCancel

  • Lael Sommer - My family’s favorite thing to do on Oahu is spend time at a little beach located in Kaimalino. We like to call it Mikey’s Beach, but it is more commonly known as Turtle Beach. We came to develop this name because when my brother and I were younger, we used to play with a boy named Mikey, who lived in one of the houses located there. Today, we enjoy going there as a family and admiring the beautiful scenery. There is an incredible view of the mountains and Kailua Beach. Each of us has something we really enjoy doing at Mikey’s Beach. For example, my mom is very creative and makes a lot of beach crafts, so she likes collecting seashells to add to her pieces. My younger brother, on the other hand, really enjoys adventuring and has recently taken up filming and directing videos. Whenever we go there, he is always skipping rocks or looking for little creatures in the water. The most recent time we went as a family, we were filming for his “Thrift Shop” music video. The times I go, I really enjoy swimming with turtles, kayaking, playing ukulele and singing, taking pictures, and having time to reflect while admiring the captivating scenery. While we all have different interests and things we like to do there, I think we enjoy going so much because it gives us a chance to get out of the house, spend some time together, and take in one of the most breathtaking panoramic views Oahu has to offer.ReplyCancel

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