Visit the Waikiki Aquarium with the Kids!
If a family trip to Waikiki is on the calendar, plan on visiting the Waikiki Aquarium with the kids! Located at 2777 Kalakaua Ave, the Waikiki Aquarium occupies 2.35 acres of State land on the shoreline of Kapi‘olani Park and offers marine-life fun for all ages.
The aquarium galleries showcase marine life specific to both the Pacific Ocean and Hawaii. The aquarium originally opened on March 19, 1904, and is the second-oldest public aquarium in the United States. Back then it was known as the Honolulu Aquarium, and was established as a commercial venture by the Honolulu Rapid Transit and Land Company, whose mission was to “show the world the riches of Hawaii’s reefs.”
Today, the name is the Waikiki Aquarium and a handful of beautiful exhibits are available to view for all ages. Here is a list of exhibits and galleries to explore:
- Ocean Drifters Gallery – features Moon Jellies, Lagoon Jellies, and Atlantic sea nettles.
- Amazing Adaptations Gallery – features a diverse collection of seahorses, seadragons, and pipefish.
- The Living Reef Gallery – (New as of February 2019), offers stunning views of abundant coral life from the Pacific Ocean.
- South Pacific Marine Communities Galleries – includes five exhibits that highlight critical habitats and ecological communities found in the region of Hawaii and the Pacific Ocean. The gallery includes Archerfish, Clownfish, Carpet anemone, Bubble coral, Panther Grouper, Red-tooth Triggerfish, and Giant Clams.
- Jet Set Gallery – features creatures that use jet-propulsion to move including the Hawaiian Day Octopus and Chambered Nautilus.
- Hawaiian Marine Communities – features the Christmas Wrasse, Bluespine Unicornfish, Collector Urchin, Longnose butterflyfish, Potter’s Angelfish, and Hawaiian Yellowfin Anthias.
- Hunters of the Reef Gallery – features Zebra Sharks, Giant Groupers, and
- Diversity and Adaptations Gallery – features Seahorses, Harlequin Shrimp, Hawaiian Turkeyfish, Eels, and Frogfish.
- Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Exhibit – features a 4,000-gallon public display that includes Bandit Angelfish, Masked Angelfish, Hawaiian Morwong, Crosshatch Triggerfish, Japanese Angelfish, and Table Coral.
- Edge of the Reef Exhibit – features a 7,500-gallon outdoor exhibit providing a home for Tang, Porcupine Pufferfish, Cleaner Wrasse, Pencil Urchins, and Reef Triggerfish.
- Marine Protected Areas and Conservation Exhibit – entails the aquarium’s only freshwater exhibit. This area features Hawaiian Stream Gobies, Asian Arowana, and Tilapia.
- Hawaiian Monk Seal Habitat – a beautiful exhibit that houses two male Hawaiian monk seals, Maka onaona and Ho‘ailona. Both of these seals were rescued as pups and have spent most of their life at the aquarium.
- Ocean Aquaculture – This exhibit features the Pacific Six-Fingered Threadfin, known locally as moi.
- Coral Farm – this exhibit features the Emperor Angelfish, Black Tang, Staghorn Coral, Flowerpot Coral, and Photosynthetic Gorgonian.
- Giant Clams – In this exhibit, guests will see Giant Clams, Convict Tang, and Black Sea Cucumber.
There they are…. the galleries and exhibits that will keep your little ones intrigued and busy for a few hours! The aquarium isn’t that big in size and you can get through it in under two hours if you have a jam-packed day but it offers so much when it comes to sea life education and hands-on fun and you could literally spend all afternoon there if you like.