Hawaii

Learn to Surf

If you can swim, then you can surf. At least that’s what the folks at Kauai Surf School believe. Families can arrange for group sessions so the whole crew can wipe out and encourage each other to hop back up again. Group lessons maintain a ratio of 4 students for every instructor, ensuring that everyone has ample time to catch some waves. Parents must accompany children under 12 in group lessons. The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort is a family-favorite with an outrageous pool complex including saltwater lagoons and freshwater pools with waterfalls, grottos and a 150-foot slide. Parents don’t need to feel guilty about dropping off the keiki, or kids, at Camp Hyatt where kids ages 3-12 can learn the hula, meet the resident parrots or make cool cultural crafts.

Kauai Bon Dance

Typically held from June through August, a bon dance is a traditional Buddhist ceremony to honor the spirit of one’s ancestors. It is a Japanese tradition. Seasoned dancers refresher classes will be held starting in April. However, if you have a spouse or friend who are beginners and who may be reluctant to participate unless you accompany them, please join. All are invited to attend an actual dance beginning the end of May, join in and sample tasty local Japanese comfort food at these annual celebrations honoring the spirits of family members who have passed away, hosted on summer weekend evenings at Buddhist temples statewide. >MORE

Hands-On Activities teach History   

Kona Coffee Living History Farm is the only living history coffee farm in the nation. Living history gives visitors an opportunity to experience history “brought to life” by costumed interpreters who demonstrate traditional crafts, agricultural activities, and the everyday tasks of people from the past. Experience the exhibits at both historic sites, the H.N. Greenwell Store Museum and the Kona Coffee Living History Farm. The interpreters interact with visitors as they learn about Kona’s history through the hands-on activities. Besides the stone-oven baking, other programs include off-road jeep trips, Hanohano `o Kona (Honoring Kona) Lecture Series, and other special programs of historical and cultural interest. Sample the farm’s 100% Kona coffee and purchase some to take back home. >MORE

Get Lost

In the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum.  A few hours in this 126-year-old O’ahu museum’s massive collection of Polynesian scientific and cultural artifacts offers an exhaustive glimpse into Hawaiian history.  >MORE

Step back in time

Take a docent tour of Hawai’i’s Plantation Village. A story-filled walk through the period-authentic multiethnic residences and structures of this replica early-20th-century sugar plantation village on O’ahu is the stuff of time travel. Visit www.hawaiiplantationvillage.org

Celebrate King Kamehameha the Great

The Hawaiian Islands’ first king and founder of the Kingdom of Hawai’i is celebrated each June with statewide events, including a now century-old O’ahu floral parade. Visit www.ags.hawaii.gov/kamehameha  

Get some Hawaiian cultural knowledge at the Kaua’i Mokihana Festival

The mission of this weeklong fest is simple: offering all attendees myriad opportunities to learn about Hawaiian language and culture through hula, music and inspired talks. Visit www.maliefoundation.org

Discover Lāna’i’s non-pineapple history at Lāna’i Culture & Heritage Center

You’ll learn about the fruit’s early 20th century domination of Lāna’i community and labor, AND the isle’s lesser known ranching, geological and Hawaiian cultural histories. Visit www.lanaichc.org

For information on the Hawaiian Islands, please visit www.gohawaii.com