Oahu Activities

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Moonlight Magic on Oahu…

The islands of Hawaii often beckon to visitors because of the sunshine, blue skies, and warm ocean waters, but there is another side to our islands that is often overlooked. There are some fun things to do, here on Oahu, on a tropical moonlit night too! Here is a list of our top ten recommendations for enjoying the moonlit nights…

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Photo credit: Don McCullough / Foter / CC BY-NC

• A moonlight horseback ride on Oahu’s North Shore at Gunstock Ranch
• A moonlight walk to a beautiful waterfall in the tropical gardens of Waimea Valley
• A moonlight dinner cruise
• A Pirate Ship Adventure with music, dancing, and fireworks! (adults only)
• Ha! Breath of Life!…a spectacular evening show at the Polynesian Cultural Center
• An authentic Luau complete with impressive fire-knife dancers at Chief’s Luau
• A full moon photography tour with O’ahu Photography Tours
• An island star gazing venue with Stars Above Hawaii
The Zoo by Moonlight Tour!
• Art after Dark …an art party at the Honolulu Academy of Art (last Friday of each month from 6-9)

Any and all of these activities promise to be a fun experience and something a little bit different too! So while you are enjoying our island, remember to enjoy some moonlight magic on Oahu!

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Oahu’s Military History

Many who visit here come for the beauty of the beaches, the variety of water-sports and activities, and to relax and soak up the sun in our warm tropical climate. However, Oahu has much more to offer, not the least of which is Oahu’s Military History. Almost all who visit are familiar with the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor and many veterans come to pay their respects. Other visitors simply want a chance to view this solemn tomb under the sea. Other military sights and memorials to visit at Pearl Harbor range from battleships to submarines to aircraft, mostly having to do with World War II.

Yet another spectacular memorial to our fallen soldiers is the National Cemetery of the Pacific, located just north of downtown Honolulu, in the extinct volcano called Punchbowl. It has been considered sacred land since the days when Hawaii was a sovereign nation. A heiau (temple) existed here and many ancient Hawaiians were buried here. Now they share this beautiful setting with over 38,000 American soldiers, many of whom died during World War II. Here you will find a serenity among the graves, leading to a majestic marble staircase, and a huge statue of Lady Columbia (representative of all grieving mothers). From this vantage point you will also find one of the most panoramic views of Honolulu!

Even our military memorials are places of beauty not to be missed, so when you are planning your itinerary don’t forget Oahu’s rich military history!

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Hiking Oahu

Hiking on Oahu

Take a Hike, Hiking on Oahu!

Oahu is much more than beaches and ocean, more than city lights and tourist sights, it is also a place to explore nature; to experience lush tropical foliage, see rare Hawaiian birds, enjoy spectacular vistas, and more! There are many hiking trails offering everything from beginner friendly to challenging but wonderfully rewarding hikes. Some are family friendly and can be easily included in your planned daily activities, allowing you to enjoy another aspect of this beautiful island of Oahu! Wondering which hikes might interest you, where to go, or what you’ll see? You can start with the nine hikes recommended by Seek Spot. We offer a brief description as well as information on location, directions, and an approximate time frame required to complete the hike. We feel sure you will find any of these hikes to be an exhilarating, enriching, and unforgettable addition to your visit! So grab your sunscreen, your water bottle, some hiking shoes, and go take a hike in Hawaii!

Hikes on the South Shore of Oahu

Hikes on the North Shore of Oahu

Hikes on Leeward Oahu

Hikes on Windward Oahu

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Lei Day In Hawaii

Lei Day In Hawaii

Here in Hawaii, the date of May 1st has officially been designated as Lei Day, but it is celebrated all month long. Known elsewhere as May Day, those who make Hawaii home celebrate by the giving of a lei. This time-honored tradition begun long ago by the ancient Hawaiian people continues to be embraced here as a way to show love, pride, prestige, and friendship. Lei are given in greeting and in farewell, in celebration and in sorrow.

You will find many lei-making exhibits and demonstrations at various places around Oahu. There is also the Annual Lei Day Celebration which takes place at Queen Kapiolani Park. At this celebration all are welcome to come and see many Hawaiian artisans demonstrating their craft, as well as Lei making contests and exhibits. There is music by the Royal Hawaiian Band, the Hawaii Steel Guitar Association, local singers, and performances of hula.

Whether or not you choose to join in the Lei Day festivities or decide to enjoy one of the myriad other activities offered on Oahu, we hope you will be sure to give a beautiful lei to someone special and share in the aloha as we celebrate Lei Day in Hawaii!

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Explore Oahu with Honolulu Honu Divers

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There are so many beautiful sights to take in on your Hawaiian vacation; mountain ranges, palm trees, white beaches, blue seas, and colorful flowers around every bend.  Some of the most beautiful sights, however, are a bit more tucked away – hidden under the surface of the beautiful waves of the Pacific Ocean around Oahu.

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If you’re looking for a truly unique, once in a lifetime activity to make your vacation memorable, Honolulu Honu Divers can show you a side of Oahu you otherwise wouldn’t see; the underside!

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Hector established Honolulu Honu Divers based on his absolute passion and love for the underwater world.  He has truly set himself apart from the other dive companies on the island by following a strict 1:1 or 2:1 dive ratio meaning that the only time you will ever dive with someone other than just him is if you book with a dive buddy you know!

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Whether you want to explore the different dive spots around the island by boat or stick to a shore dive, the personalized one on one experience of Honolulu Honu Divers can’t be beat.  Call today and let Hector “show you the time of your life.”

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Pearlridge’s “BUTTERFLIES!” Display is Now Open

Pearlridge’s “BUTTERFLIES!” display is now open and it’s an experience that will make your heart flutter: the chance to get up close and personal with hundreds of rare butterflies as they flit freely, feeding and playing. This spring Pearlridge Center’s popular butterfly exhibit, “BUTTERFLIES!” returns with its enchanting Butterfly Conservatory and new educational classes by local experts.

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Photo Credit: Pearlridge Center

 

 

For the first time, guests experiencing “BUTTERFLIES!” can also participate in classes by local experts Darlene Loo-McDowell, Dancetta Feary and William Haines. Shoppers will also learn how to propagate their own butterfly gardens and have the opportunity to purchase the plants needed. All classes are free with $3 purchase of butterfly house tour.

“BUTTERFLIES” is open to the public Saturday, March 7 through Saturday, April 4, from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $3 per person. One keiki under the age of eight is free with each paying adult.

“Since it first started three years ago our butterfly exhibit has really taken flight and is an activity families and even adults look forward to visiting,” said Kelly Kauinana, marketing director for Pearlridge Center.

“This year we’re taking the experience one step further by providing our shoppers with the tools and tips to grow their own butterfly garden at home. As scientists continue to see the Monarch’s decline, ‘BUTTERFLIES!’ is a great opportunity to educate the next generation on this majestic creature. It is our hope that these classes will build a foundation that can help the Monarch Butterfly population flourish.”

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Photo Credit: Pearlridge Center

 

Exhibits and workshops included in this year’s “BUTTERFLIES!” exhibit are:

Butterfly Conservatory:

Pearlridge Center’s Downtown Center Court will come to life with the addition of the 18’ by 18’ Butterfly Conservatory, home to hundreds of live butterflies. Here, keiki will witness the butterfly’s life cycle firsthand as it transitions from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly.

According to the Butterfly Society of Hawaii, there are 17 species of butterflies in Hawaii. The exhibit features five found locally, including the Monarch Butterfly – which is growing increasingly rare — the white monarch, citrus swallowtail, painted lady, and Kamehameha Butterfly. All butterflies in the exhibit are raised by farmers on Oahu and Maui.

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Photo Credit: Pearlridge Center

 

Gardening for Butterflies: Sundays, March 8 & March 22 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Grow your love for butterflies at a special session with seasoned butterfly gardener Darlene Loo-McDowell. Loo- McDowell will share information on the proper plants to help feed caterpillars and butterflies, as well as information on their care. Class sizes are limited and RSVPs are recommended. To RSVP call (808) 554-3307. All classes are free with $3 purchase of butterfly house tour.

Loo-McDowell has worked with Pearlridge Center’s Conservatory for the past three years and many of the butterflies in the Conservatory come from her garden.

Butterflies, Bobo Birds, and a Special Butterfly Observatory Tour: Saturday, March 28, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Join Dancetta Feary to learn all about local Monarch Butterflies, their predators, and what we can do to help grow the population. This presentation is complete with a special tour in the Butterfly Conservatory where Feary will share how to feed butterflies as well as some fun butterfly facts.

Feary, has long been one of the islands’ foremost protectors of the Monarch Butterfly and has been involved in breeding the White Monarch, one of the world’s rarest butterflies. Class sizes are limited and RSVPs are recommended. To RSVP call (808) 554-3307. All classes are free with $3 purchase of butterfly house tour.

Photo Credit: Pearlridge Center

Photo Credit: Pearlridge Center

Experience the Kamehameha Butterfly Up-Close: Saturdays, March 14 & March 21, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Join William Haines from the University of Hawaii and see our state butterfly, the Kamehameha Butterfly up close. Through the Pulelehua Project, Haines has been working to locate and research the Kamehameha Butterfly, in a quest to help one of the islands’ only indigenous butterflies.

Haines has contributed to developing maps and information on where to plant the Mamaki plant, the host plant for the Kamehameha butterfly to help increase the population of this regal species. His exciting presentation includes a discussion of the best hiking locations and elevations to find the Kamehameha Butterfly. Class sizes are limited and RSVPs are recommended. To RSVP call (808) 554-3307. All classes are free with $3 purchase of butterfly house tour.

Butterfly Field Trips:

Students will encounter butterflies in the Conservatory and explore and observe the stages of its life cycle through a collaborative activity. This field trip meets NSTA National Science Education Standards (c.2.1) Life Science / Life Cycle. Educators may request an in-class assessment activity at the completion of the field trip.

Field trips are available March 9 – April 2, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., with the exception of March 26, Prince Kuhio Day. The cost is $4 per student, which includes admission to the Butterfly Conservatory and one-hour curriculum. Butterfly classroom kits and lunch options are an additional charge. For questions or to schedule your visit please call (808) 554-3307 or visit www.adoptabutterfly.com.

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Hawaii Duck Tours’ 15th Birthday Giveaway!

Hawaii Duck Tours has been splashing around Maunalua Bay since 2000.  Read on to hear about Hawaii Duck Tours’ 15th Birthday Giveaway!
Hawaii Duck Tours is giving away free body scrubbers for those who book Maunalua Bay Duck Tour in the month of March and April, 2015.
Come take a ride on one of our unique amphibious vehicles known as a DUCK and experience all the sights and sounds that Honolulu has to offer. You’ll proceed in our open-air vehicle past some of the major landmarks of the other side of Honolulu and the various districts that make up the South Eastern Shore of Oahu.
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Here are three steps for how you can obtain the free gift. 1) Book “Maunalua Bay Duck Tour” (link: https://fareharbor.com/hawaiiducktours/) in March or April, 2015. 2) Select Seek Spot for How did you hear about us? 3) Leave a comment on “Facebook” (link: https://www.facebook.com/HawaiiDuckTours) letting us know you how many body scrubbers you’d like to order. *One free gift per one person. Order more? $5 per item, but you’ll get 10% discount. Quack, quack!

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11 Family Friendly Spring Break Activities

Mid March means Spring Break on Oahu, a time that can be both exciting and overwhelming!  The kids are home from school and ready to be entertained –  luckily, there are plenty of family friendly events going on around the island to keep your keiki busy.

We’ve compiled a list of 11 family friendly Spring Break activities, from historical to hands on.

HISTORICAL
Take your kids for some fun extra credit.  Show them they can have fun while learning about the wonderful island of Oahu.

1. National Memories Exhibit Opening
Opens March 14th

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Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is the first stop of the “National Memories” 2015 United States tour. The exhibit, which first went on display in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen in 2010, has toured Mainland China and Taiwan. Through the use of imagery and more than 100 historic photos taken by the 164th US Signal Photo Company in the China Burma India Theater, “National Memories” brings to life the camaraderie that existed between Chinese and U.S. soldiers as their countries joined forces during World War II. The Museum’s permanent “Flying Tigers Exhibit” featuring a WWII-era P-40 aircraft, will anchor the photographic display.

2. 125 Years Through the Eyes of the Bishop Museum
March 11th- March 16th
125For 125 years, Bishop Museum has chronicled life in the Hawaiian Islands. Over that time we’ve seen tremendous changes to Hawai‘i, our people, our cultures, our environment, and our place in a global society.  The emphasis of the exhibit will be the common lived experience of life in the Islands. Rather than create a linear chronological sequence through the period, the exhibit will examine change thematically, with more than a dozen large graphic panels exploring topics like Communication, Work Life, and Transportation.

3.  Kapolei Prince Kuhio Ho’olaule’a
March 14th

Part of the Prince Kuhio Festival which honors the life of Prince Kuhio, “The Citizen Prince,” this is a free, all day event that includes hula, local entertainment, traditional food prep lessons, local vendors, crafts, and traditional Hawaiian games.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Looking for something different to do outside with the little ones besides plopping them on the beach?  Look no further!

4. North Shore Keiki Surf School Camp
Call for details

North Shore Keiki Surf School specializes in teaching children how to surf and they’ll be holding a Spring Break camp!  Take some time for yourself and rest assured your children are in great hands as they spend the day in the beautiful waters of the North Shore.

5. Keawe Adventures
Call to book
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Whether you want to visit Pearl Harbor, explore the North Shore, go fishing, hiking, or snorkeling, Keawe Adventures has a tour for you! Let them help you build your dream Hawaii Vacation or Staycation this spring break with one of their premier private guided tours on Oahu. 

6. Hawaii Duck Tours
Call to book

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Explore Oahu in a way you never have before with an amphibious tour from Hawaii Duck Tours!  If you book any time in March or April, mention Seek Spot, and like them on Facebook, you get a free Rubber Ducky Scrub – sure to be a hit with your kids.

7. Gunstock Ranch Horse Day Camp
March 17th

This day camp is geared for the beginner rider ages 7-13 years old. It is the perfect introduction to learning about horses. This day will be filled with horse fun, education, and adventure. Students will be oriented and taught safety around horses. They will also learn how to properly mount and dismount, learn basic commands of making a horse do what they want, and go on a trail ride. Students will also learn through hands-on experience basic care for horses, how to saddle, and ride in the Western style.

8. Pipeline Womens Pro
Holding Period: March 16th-24th
pipelineWatch the best female surfers duke it out at one of the most famous surf breaks in the world – Banzai Pipeline.  Make sure you check the website before showing up to see if the event is on!

9. Learn To Play Hockey with Jami Yoder
March 14th

Okay, so this one isn’t exactly outside, but if your kids need a break from the hot sun, let them learn to play hockey with Team USA’s Jami Yoder!

HANDS ON
Let your kids’ creative side flourish with these hands on activities.

10. Explorers Club: Astrophotography
March 19th & 20th
All day STEM programs for 3rd through 8th graders. Students explore topics in science, technology, engineering and math.  This session will focus on learning about celestial objects and using technology to enhance images of the cosmos.

11. Paint The Night Away
March 20th

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Fun for the whole family!  On March 20th, you and your keiki can create a beautiful Mermaid painting at Haleiwa Joe’s 3rd Friday Art & Music Event.

12. Honolulu Music, Arts, & Food Festival
March 13th-15th

Explore the “5 festivals in 1” and enjoy more than 17 bands, arts & crafts vendors, local artists,  food from some of Honolulu’s best restaurants, petting zoos, games, pony rides, bully dog show, wine and drinks for the parents, and so much more!

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Walking Tour of Historic Hale’iwa

The North Shore Chamber of Commerce (NSCOC) and Historic Hawai’i Foundation (HHF) will host a walking tour of Historic Hale’iwa on Saturday, March 14 with tours starting at 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Refreshments including local, North Shore delicacies will be served. The event aims to pair people with places that tell the rich history of Hale’iwa and share information and stories about the buildings, sites and people who helped shape the history.

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The tour is geared toward kama’aina who would like to learn more about the historical treasures in their own backyard as well as visitors with an interest in history. Antya Miller, Executive Director of the North Shore Chamber of Commerce, shares the reason for the tour. “Although I grew up in Haleiwa and Waialua, I never learned the history of the town or district. While doing the research for the Haleiwa Walking Tour, it was so much fun to hear the stories from people I’d known for years, to research the buildings and people who lived in them.”

Tickets for the tour are $25 for NSCOC and HHF Members and $50 for General Admission. Tickets may be purchased online by going to www.gonorthshore.org

Questions about the event may be directed to the Chamber at 637-4558 or to info@gonorthshore.org 

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Michelle Wie to Play in LOTTE Championship

When asked to think of famous Hawaiian athletes, I think it’s safe to say we all immediately conjure up images of surfers in our head.  But did you know that Hawaii has produced a long list of top athletes in all the major sports?  It’s not just water sports we excel in!

In the world of baseball, 1986 was a big year for Honolulu born Ron Darling and Sid Fernandez, two pitchers that played for the World Series winning New York Mets.  Sid was the first Hawaiian to play in an All Star game.

Years later, history was made again when Brian Ching, a North Shore native, became the first Hawaiian to be drafted by the MLS.  Continuing this trend, B.J. Penn, hailing from Kailua, was the first winner of the World Jui-Jitsu Championships that wasn’t from Brazil.

In terms of wahine, Michelle Wie from Honolulu was both the youngest player to ever play in an LPGA event and the youngest (and fourth ever female) to play in a PGA event.

Michelle Wie won the 2014 LPGA LOTTE Championship.  Photo courtesy of Ko Olina.

Michelle Wie won the 2014 LPGA LOTTE Championship. Photo courtesy of Ko Olina.

 

Michelle Wie to play in LOTTE Championship!

You can see  Michelle play in the 2015 LPGA LOTTE Championship at Ko Olina on April 12-18th.  Michelle won the event last year, no doubt fueled by the support of her home island.

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