Sunday, June 7, 2015

Things We Did While on Oahu (Toddler Included)

Our PCS move is creeping up on us...4 weeks away until we move off island. Sad face. As Jason and I sit in our "home" we have made for the past year and a half, while we have no TV and no couch, I decided to write a blog of all the fun places we did, specifically with Nate in tow.

Before we moved here, I joined FB groups and did research on "kid-friendly" activities to do on Oahu. Let me just say, "kid-friendly" is a vague description. It really covers a wide range of ages. Wondering if a toddler was considered in the category for each activity, we asked around or just tried it on our own.

So this list is a compilation of "toddler-friendly" activities we did with Nate from ages 1-2 1/2 years old. If you are visiting, moving, or live here already with a toddler or just want a list that is all together, here ya go! If not, it is basically a list of memories that I got to experience with my son.

I'll break it up into groups.

INDOOR ACTIVITIES: Despite the amazing weather, it does rain here or it is too hot to be outdoors for a long period of time. Here are a few inside places we went to.
1. 808 Bounce Basically a huge area with a bunch of inflatables to bounce on. $10 everyday except Tuesdays which are "Toddler Tuesdays" for $5. Only have to pay for the kid, huge plus for me.
2. Windward Mall Train ride that goes through the mall, indoor play area, arcade, and a pet store.
3. Chuck E. Cheese. Self-explanatory.
4. Discovery Center Three stories of entertainment. A tad on the expensive side, in my opinion, especially because everyone has to pay over 1.
5. McDonalds. Not a great activity, I know. But some days, you want to get out of the house and let them climb and burn some energy. Or have some mom-time to talk with other moms.

1. Beaches. This may seem obvious. I list the beach first because a "toddler-friendly" beach is hard to find, meaning...small waves. and it's Hawaii. Beaches are a must.
a. Hickam (you need military access)
b. Bellows
c. Ko'olina lagoons
d. Kailua  (biggest waves out of the four mentioned)
2. Parks. They are everywhere. Drive around, find one, stop, and play.
3. Zoo Small, but cheap and has a playground.
4. Waikiki Aquarium  Also small, but still fun. Pack a picnic to eat there or walk to the beach across the street.
5. Dole Plantation
6. Sea Life park A super small Sea World type of place. Perfect for little ones and has a playground.
7. Botanical Gardens Walk, have a picnic, feed a ton of birds and coy fish.
8. Hawaiian Railway 90 minute train ride around some of Oahu. Long ride, but you can bring your own food and drinks.

HIKES: This is a difficult one because I can't tell you how in shape you are. I also babywear so doing hikes while carrying Nate in a SSC(Soft-structured carrier) is often how I accomplished them when he was smaller. At 2 1/2, I still bring a carrier, but he can walk most of the way on all of these. On all of them I  bring water, hat, sunscreen, extra clothes(leave in car) and a small snack. None are stroller friendly, except Pali Highway and even that one is iffy with a stroller. Do these at your own risk and there are more hikes people say are kid-friendly. These are just ones I have personally done and feel comfortable wearing a toddler or letting them walk on.
1. Diamond Head
2. Moana Falls
3. Makapuu Lighthouse
4. Aiea Loop
5. Friendship Hike
6. Pali Highway Lookout

MILITARY SPECIFIC: These are things/places/activities to do on base and require a military ID.
1. ASYMCA Playgroups on different bases Monday-Thursday. Different bases have different times and days. $2/playgroup per kid.
2. Splash pads. Schofield and Hickam are my favorite 2.
3. Camping at Bellows AFB
4. Hickam beach and/or Dog Beach
5. Parks. Drive around a military base, there is a park around every corner.

We did so many things! Hawaii will hold a special place in my heart. We were able to do a lot here without a toddler being a "burden" on living an active and fun lifestyle.

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