- 1 Children’s Discovery Center, Hawaii
- 2 Come take a sneak peek with us!
- 3 SAVE THIS PAGE TO YOUR FAVOURITES
- 4 The Inside Scoop: Hawaii Children’s Discovery Centre
- 5 OPENING HOURS
- 6 ADMISSION
- 7 Here’s a few hot tips for you!
- 8 Roam the Gnome’s Toadstool Rating Guide – as voted by the kids!
- 9 Have you been to the Children’s Discovery Centre in Hawaii?
- 10 What did you think?
Children’s Discovery Center, Hawaii
Fifteen minutes west of Waikiki (towards the airport) is a place of childhood dreams. Just a little further north along the Ala Moana Blvd, beyond the Ala Moana shopping centre, and the Ward Complex, hides this colourful building. Honestly, you’d never know it was there if you weren’t looking. Yet inside lie treasures beyond your wildest imagination. Your children will LOVE this place. I guarantee it.
If you’re looking for fun things to do with kids in Hawaii, the Children’s Discovery Center must be on your list.
Come take a sneak peek with us!
Inside the Children’s Discovery Center, there are three (yes, three!) levels of fun.
The FIRST FLOOR is all about good health, in an exhibit called “Fantastic You”.
There’s giant teeth to be brushed, the insides of a juicy mouth to climb inside, a make-believe doctor’s surgery, and a dentist too. And that’s not all. But my son was much too excited about the potential of trucks and cars further on to bother much with this area at all (Hot tip: And knowing what’s around the corner, I’d say Ned’s instincts were right. Try not to spend too much time here at first. You can always come back.)
The SECOND FLOOR exhibit, “Your Town” gives kids the chance to be a grown-up for the day, having a go and trying out all the different roles and places that adults visit during daily life. The kids can run the post office – writing letters, weighing packages, and selling stamps.
They can be a lawyer and attend the Court of Law (complete with hammer and lectern). There’s a police station too. Plus, a whole bunch of hands-on toys for toddlers- trains to push, miniature cars to drive on a car-shaped bonnet road, blocks to build with, a farmyard set-up complete with animal costumes, and a farmhouse too.
Just around the corner, was the “Corner Shop”. Parked outside, a lone car stood waiting to collect the shopping. Push trolley carts stood ready for customers to collect their goods and make their way to the checkout. There were frozen foods, dairy products kept in the fridge – even a deli, with cling wrapped packed ‘sausages’ and ‘meats’. Kids can even weigh their own vegetables!
Next to the store, was the “Fire Station”. Quick! Can you hear the sirens too?
Lucky. There’s a fireman getting his gear on now. The Firemen have a mascot dog that is always happy to tag along on the journeys. And when firemen are tired from all their work, they simply pop upstairs above the store for a little nap!
Beside the Fire Station was the local mechanic. He was in the business of training apprentices, it seems and Ned was more than happy to oblige. He filled the oil, and changed the spark plugs and added window washer too. He learned how to change tyres by following ‘Work Orders’ located at the back of the mechanic shop. He also learned how to replace the muffler.
But it wasn’t all fun and games just for boys. Along the way, we found a castle and turret, leading into the most delightful storybook nook with a story chair big enough to fit a friendly giant, and a warm and toasty fire too.
Kids can even star in their own theatre production, on a ‘stage’ purpose-built for impromptu performances and most importantly, chairs for mama’s and papa’s so they could watch their budding actors up in lights. The dressing rooms were filled with costumes too.
But if you really wanted to be a star of the screen, instead of the stage, you can read the news, or predict the weather and be seen by…the people watching from the other room!
When all this fun is done, it’s time to head on up to the THIRD FLOOR
When we visited in 2012, the dockyards were booming with busy, industrious workers keen to finish their shifts. They had to lift the cargo by forklift to the scales, then use the pulleys to load the cargo onto the ship. But of course, that’s just the beginning. Once loaded, the captain had to steer the ship ocean-bound, and crew had to man the flags, and watch for obstacles. It was tough work!
When the work at the docks was done, there were bubbles to blow, pineapples to collect from the fields. (Hawaii is famous for its pineapples, of course), an airplane to fly, and new lands to explore in the exhibit Hawaiian Rainbows.
(Update: Since our visit, the Children’s Discovery Center has added a new exhibit called Rainforest Adventures, to teach children about the importance of rainforests around the world while learning about natural resources and taking care of the earth. It has a Little Explorers play area for toddlers too.
I’m not sure if this replaces the Dockyards or not, but I can’t find any mention of the Dockyards any more. This new exhibit looks like heaps of fun but it would be a real shame if the Dockyards and Cockpit has gone to make way for it. If you visit, do let me know!)
SAVE THIS PAGE TO YOUR FAVOURITES
If you are heading to Hawaii anytime soon, bookmark this page and be sure to head on out to the Children’s Discovery Museum. Entry is $10 per person, and is probably the best value $20 (for both of us) I’ve ever spent. That’s no joke but be sure to take your own snacks or lunch. A coffee, if you visit early in the day. There’s plenty of opportunity for mama to kick back and relax too.
The Inside Scoop: Hawaii Children’s Discovery Centre
Location: 111 Ohe Street, Honolulu.
The Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center is located across from the Kakaako Waterfront Park in downtown Honolulu on the island of Oahu.
Tuesday through Friday…..9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday……10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
General Admission ……………………..$10.00
Kama’aina & Military (w/ I.D)…………$8.00
Senior Citizens (62+ w/ I.D.)…………$6.00
Children under 1 …………………………Free
HCDC Members …………………………..Free
Here’s a few hot tips for you!
Admission to the Discovery Center is FREE with the Go Oahu Card, a multi-attraction pass that offers admission to over 25 of the best attractions, activities and tours for one low price.
For safety reasons related to accessible exit and entry, Children’s Discovery Center cannot allow strollers in the historic building. Stroller parking is available in the lobby.
From Waikiki and Ala Moana Shopping Center, take #19 Airport, #20 Airport, #55 Kaneohe, #56/#57 Kailua busses to Ala Moana Boulevard and get off in front of Cutter Mazda Volkswagon on Koula Street. Cross Ala Moana toward Pflueger Acura and follow Ohe Street toward the ocean until you come to a blue and pink concrete building with a smoke stack, which is across from the Kakaako Waterfront Park.
From Downtown, take #19 Waikiki, #20 Waikiki, #55 Honolulu, #56 Honolulu, and #57 Honolulu to Ala Moana Boulevard and get off at Coral Street. Walk toward Diamond Head in the direction of Pflueger Acura, and make a right onto Ohe Street. Walk toward the ocean until you come to a blue and pink concrete building with a smoke stack, which is across from the Kakaako Waterfront Park.
Please use the changing tables in the restrooms to change your child’s diapers.
Parking is free and located in the Kakaako Waterfront Park parking lot. Both the main Kakaako parking lot and the smaller lot next to the Center will be available for your use.
Aloha and Mahalo. Enjoy!
Roam the Gnome’s Toadstool Rating Guide – as voted by the kids!
Have you been to the Children’s Discovery Centre in Hawaii?
What did you think?