With its breathtaking beaches and a culture that values ‘ohana, Oahu is the perfect place for a family vacation. Keiki can frolic around the island’s best pools, discover Hawaiian culture, create one-of-a-kind crafts, and explore with new friends. For a vacation or staycation filled with memories that will last a lifetime, here are Hawaii.com’s top five picks for family-friendly hotels on Oahu:

Image of turtle bay
(Photo: Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

Discover the beauty of the North Shore at Turtle Bay Resort

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, Turtle Bay Resort is the only resort on Oahu where guests can jump out of bed and atop a friendly horse. Oceanfront trails and seaside pathways lead families on horseback through miles of seemingly untouched Hawaii. Leisurely paced trail rides, evening and sunset rides are available for keiki ages 7 and up, but for those under 7 years old, Turtle Bay also has a pony experience and pony parties available. The resort’s 850 acres of land can also be explored on foot, off-the-beaten path on segways, or by bike. Enjoy the five miles of secluded beach on an outrigger canoe, surfboard, stand-up paddleboard and kayak. Continue to splash around at the keiki pool waterfall or 80-foot water slide. Turtle Bay has an activity for your whole family with kids golf, tennis, helicopter tours, ukulele and hula lessons, haku lei classes and more!

Take a ride on Waikiki’s longest slide at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

With six pools and the world-famous Waikiki Beach just a few minutes away, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is perfect for families wanting to soak up the sun and splash around. Jump into the Paradise Pool, a 5,000-square-foot family activity pool with the longest slide in Waikiki. For younger children, the keiki pool is a tiered pool off the Super Pool, a 10,000-square-foot beachfront pool. Camp Penguin leads keiki age 5 through 12 through fun and educational activities about Hawaii for a half or full day with off-property excursions to the Honolulu Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium, Bishop Museum, or Children’s Discovery Center. Activities vary by day and include a Hawaiian word of the day, exploring wildlife, feeding koi fish, scavenger hunts, lei making and more. The resort also boasts weekly fun-filled activities like kid-friendly sunset movie nights every Wednesday and Saturday, a fireworks show every Friday night, hula lessons, ukulele lessons, lei making, keiki games & crafts, and ocean activities such as surfing, stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking. The largest resort in Waikiki is also home to parrots, penguins and turtles.

Four Seasons Resort Oahu takes keiki on a memorable experience at Camp Kohola

West Oahu is the place for laid-back luxury and some of the island’s most breathtaking sunsets. Families staying at the Four Seasons Resort Oahu can take advantage of the complimentary Camp Kohola at the Hideaway, a supervised program for keiki ages 5 through 12 that takes them on a journey through the expansive resort grounds. Keiki can explore the state-of-the-art Camp Kohola centre that’s home to a media room, a Creativity Zone and a games room. The Family Pool at the edge of the beach gives families room to splash around while taking in panoramic ocean views. Unique to the Four Seasons Resort is the glamping experience, an on-property overnight excursion where keiki can gather under a blanket of stars in a luxurious tent for Hawaiian storytelling and stargazing, games, movies, dinner and a round of ‘smores. In addition to the complimentary snorkel gear, stand-up paddleboards, and hula lessons, the Four Seasons Resort focuses its efforts to welcome keiki down to the details providing child-size bathrobes, complimentary children’s toiletries and keiki menus.

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Photo: Sheraton Waikiki

Splash around in one of the kid-friendliest pools at the Sheraton Waikiki

Keiki will go crazy just thinking about the 15-foot high by 70-foot long water slide, sprinkler-like fountains and tropical landscaping comparable to some of the nation’s most elaborate pools at the Sheraton Waikiki’s Helumoa Playground. It’s the perfect place to spend the day as a family with a staging area for outdoor functions, two large whirlpools, chaise water sunning benches, a pool hut stocked with fun goods, and beautiful views of Waikiki Beach. The Sheraton Waikiki’s kid camp is equipped with certified teachers that lead keiki on trips to the Honolulu Zoo or Waikiki Aquarium and plan activities like lei making, bodyboarding and more. Poppins Hawaii Waikiki Keiki daycare is equipped with both English- and Japanese-speaking teachers to welcome keiki as young as three months old and for as little as two hours. At the Sheraton Waikiki, keiki can also take part in hula, ukulele lessons and lei making.

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Photo: The Kahala Hotel & Resort

Swim with the dolphins at The Kahala Hotel & Resort

Located about 10 minutes from Waikiki, The Kahala Hotel & Resort is the only resort on Oahu that offers guests a chance to swim with the dolphins. The resort’s private lagoon is home to a variety of local marine life, including dolphins, stingrays, sea turtles and colorful fish. Keiki have the chance to get into the water for an up-close experience with a family of friendly dolphins. As they splash around, Dolphin Quest trainers in cooperation with Sea Life Park teach guests about sea animals, the ocean and how to protect it all. Keiki can also join the trainers at feeding time to experience the excitement of feeding the sea animals. The daily children’s keiki club at The Kahala also lets keiki spend time outdoors learning about the ocean and Hawaiian culture.