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Waikiki Beach is the Vegas Strip of Honolulu. It has tons of restaurants, shops, and activities conveniently located in one spot. But, it also has crowds of people everywhere you turn. If you, or your kids, need to escape the zoo of humanity, head to the Honolulu Zoo! It is a tranquil oasis in the heart of Waikiki.
Why Visit Honolulu Zoo?
Why should you take time out during your beach vacation to go to the zoo? You can go to the zoo in any city. But Honolulu Zoo is not just any old zoo. It is a wonderful place to take a break from the crowds. There is plenty of space for your kids to burn off some energy without you worrying about them bumping into anyone. With lots of shade, your skin can take a break from the sun. Spending time with the animals at the zoo can also give your family a change of pace from the beach.
Need another reason to visit Honolulu Zoo? Your kids might learn something new during your visit. I know that my son has never left a zoo without learning something! Zoos are also a great place to sneak in some reading practice for your kids by having them read the various signs you come across.
Why We Love Honolulu Zoo
My family loves zoos! We go every chance we get. They are great places to spend quality family time, get some fresh air and exercise, and they are great places to learn. Honolulu Zoo quickly became one of our favorites. It’s design is unique and beautiful. It slowly pulls you in further while inviting you to slow down and enjoy your surroundings. There is a relaxed, peaceful feel to the entire zoo, which is a welcome change from the craziness just outside of it.
The sidewalks wind their way around the exhibits, which provides plenty of space for kids to just be kids. As a parent, this also helps me to relax. The winding pathways also create a sense of surprise about what is waiting around the corner. At one point, during our visit, my son spotted a peacock walk around a curve in the path up in front of us. He immediately went on the hunt for it. He followed it for about 10 minutes before he finally caught up to it and its friends. The peacocks just roam the zoo freely. My son thought this was hilarious!
Honolulu Zoo is relatively small, so you can easily see everything in about 2 hours. The zoo is shaped a little bit like a slice of pie, with the entrance being at the tip. The design of this zoo is brilliant because the animal exhibits are set up as little islands with winding walkways in between. This makes it easy to lose sight of other visitors and helps make you feel like you have the zoo all to yourself.
The largest exhibit is the African Savannah, which is located along the back of the zoo. It includes many different animals native to Africa. Here, you can see hippos, giraffes, zebras, black rhinos, and chimpanzees. You will also find African wild dogs, lions, meerkats, and baboons.
Keiki Zoo and Playground
Next to the savannah is the Keiki Zoo. It is a cute little area with farm animals, a petting zoo, and interactive exhibits. Your little ones will love the Keiki Zoo. Across the way from the Keiki Zoo is the playground and picnic area. It has a variety of play structures and is a great place for your kids to imitate their favorite animals! There are plenty of benches around the playground for parents to get off their feet and rest.
In the middle of the zoo, you will find tigers, elephants, alligators, and large tortoises. The tigers are actually right next to the playground. So, your children can watch the tiger while playing. The orangutans, primates, ring-tailed lemurs, and parrots also live in this middle section of the zoo. We especially loved the ring-tailed lemurs.
Front of the Zoo
At the front of the zoo, just inside the entrance, you will find the gift shop and stroller rental. Beyond that is a duck pond, flamingo exhibit, and a few other bird exhibits. This is a beautiful entrance that immediately makes you feel calm and relaxed. It also slowly pulls you in and invites you to explore further.
The Honolulu Zoo is conveniently located in the midst of Waikiki. It is right across the street from Waikiki Beach. You will find it in the Queen Kapiolani Park between Kapahulu and Monsarrat Avenues. The zoo has its own parking lot that charges a small fee for parking during the day.
Admission and Hours
Honolulu Zoo is open every day except for Christmas Day. The hours are 9:00 am-4:30 pm. Admission is $19 for adults, $11 for children ages 3-12. Children ages 2 and under are free. The zoo offers discounts for military families.
The Honolulu Zoo is a fantastic attraction in the heart of Waikiki. It is a peaceful oasis to give you some welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of crowded Waikiki. It is beautiful with lots of space for your kids to run and play. The zoo is small and only takes about 2 hours to explore it all. If you are looking for a break from the beach activities, this is the perfect destination. And it is just steps away from the beach! Find more information and plan your visit to the Honolulu Zoo, visit their website. For more things to do, see our posts on the Waikiki Aquarium and things to do with kids in Waikiki. For family friendly restaurant recommendations, check out Lulu’s, Duke’s, and the Maui Brewing Co. Happy travels!
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