Ask the Big Kahuna
“Answering the most common visitor questions”
Dear Big Kahuna,
I am a 5th-grade teacher and will be taking my family on vacation to Honolulu. Most of our trip will be dedicated to the beach and beach-related activities. But I would like to break-up our beach time with some education on the Hawaiian culture and history. I would also like to gather some information so I can report back to my kids in class! Is there a museum you would recommend for us in Honolulu or close to the city?
“In Need Of Knowledge”
Aloha “In Need of Knowledge,”
You are in luck. The largest museum in the state happens to be in Honolulu. The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum is a great resource for learning about Hawaiian culture and history. There is a two floor gallery where you can explore and learn about Polynesian origins through fascinating artifacts. Here you can learn about Hawaiian daily life, war, religion, music, and traditions. There is also a lot of other cool stuff, like the Hawaiian Sports Hall of Fame and the Science Adventure Center.
Another good Oahu resource for native Hawaiian history and culture is the Waimea Valley Audubon Center, located in Haleiwa and previously known as the Waimea Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Here you can take a historical walk (but it is only on certain days of the week, so call ahead).
While on Oahu, you might as well round off your education and get a lesson about marine life in the South Pacific at the Waikiki Aquarium, a geology adventure at the Diamond Head State Monument, and learn about the Hawaiian art scene at the Honolulu Academy of Arts.
If you are going to Maui, I also recommend that you check out the first capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii, located in Lahaina, at the Lahaina Restoration Foundation. Here you can take a walking tour to discover a number of restored historical buildings and cultural sites.
A+ for your question!