While toys often take the cake in terms of presents for kids during the holidays, we thought some of the most kid-friendly experiences on the island might help inspire some new gifts (mostly in the form of gift cards/certificates) this year with these Big Island kids activities. Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure or indoor excitement, these nine incredible outings might just knock that Lego Star Wars Razer Crest set down a few ranks on the wow-factor scale and help create lifelong memories for you and your family.
Pāʻani VR & Aloha 9D-VR
144 Kamehameha Avenue, Hilo, HI | (808) 464 6121
You haven’t experienced video games until you’ve tried virtual reality gaming. Pāʻani VR arcade gives you the ultimate, fully-immersed experience of being inside a video game with their top-of-the-line technology. A trip to Pāʻani VR VR will certainly be one for the books! Treat your kids this Christmas to a trip to an alternate reality where they can be the main characters. Pāʻani VR also offers enriching experiences for adults, like their Kūpuna Tours, where nostalgia meets virtual reality. The Kūpuna Tour allows players to visit places such as their childhood homes, wedding venues, or virtually anywhere. To add to the fun, another virtual reality company, Aloha 9D VR, also operates under the same roof! That means you get the best of two entertainment systems with no commute time.
75-5591 Palani Road, Kailua-Kona, HI | (808) 326-2695
KB Xtreme is your one-stop destination for all things bowling, food, karaoke, arcade games, and drinks (for the adults)—the possibilities are endless. Order a plate of kalua pork and cabbage and enjoy watching your kids bowl the night away or even host a Christmas party for an evening of arcade games and endless strikes.
TILT AT PRINCE KUHIO
Prince Kuhio Plaza | 111 East Puainako St, Hilo, HI | (808) 956-3444
Imagine this: you enter a classic arcade room and it’s immaculately clean. The card ticket system is totally dialed in. You win a surprisingly desirable arcade prize that you’re likely to keep longer than three weeks. Tilt Amusement Center at Prince Kuhio Plaza brings a new meaning to arcade entertainment to the town of Hilo, and makes a great place to spend an afternoon.
HORSEBACK RIDING TOURS
This one ain’t just for the tourists—saddle up the whole family and take a tour of our beautiful island on horseback. From the rolling hills of Kohala to the beautiful valley of Waipi’o, here are a few of the most stunning scenic rides on the Big Island (horses are included, cowboy boots are encouraged). Create some Christmas magic this holiday season and bring your family to one of these stables for an unforgettable outdoor adventure.
Kohala Mtn. Rd. (Hwy. 250) Mile Marker 13.2, North Kohala, HI |808-889-5354
Highway 250 Mile Marker 12, Waimea, HI | (808) 889-0022 (Kohala location)
48-5416 Kukuihaele Rd, Honokaa, HI | (808) 775-0419
Waipi’o On Horseback
HI 240 Mile Marker 7.5, Honokaa, HI | (808) 775-7291
47-4841 Old Mamalahoa Hwy & Dahana Ranch Rd., Waimea, HI | (808) 885-0057
Wailea Horseback Adventure
31-313 Old Mamalahoa Hwy, Hakalau, HI | (808) 775-1007
Horseback 2 the Sea
92-9069 Pueo Rd., Captain Cook, HI | (808) 989-1188
808 BOUNCE INDOOR FUN CENTERS
Prince Kuhio Plaza | 111 E. Puainako Street Hilo, HI 96720 | (808) 315-4404
Located in Hilo, this indoor entertainment facility is perfect for younger children. By upholding CDC sanitary standards, 808 Bounce continues to be the local hub for families to achieve hours of supervised fun and relaxation for parents.
LAUPAHOEHOE TRAIN MUSEUM
36-2377 Mamalahoa Hwy. Laupahoehoe, HI | (808) 962-6300
Learn about the rich history of the Big Island’s famous railroad system located along the Hamakua coast. Here, you and your family can find old photographs, stunning memorabilia, and priceless artifacts. Pro tip: ask one of the docents to let you and your kids see the train room and the caboose during your visit! Admission for adults: $6.00, seniors and kama’aina: $5.00, students: $3.00, family rate: $15.00 with special rates for tours.
BLUE HAWAIIAN HELICOPTERS
68-690 Waikoloa Rd, Waikoloa Village, HI | (808) 961-5600
While on the pricier side, this is definitely a creative Christmas gift for the books! Take your children on an aerial tour of the Hawaiian landscape like they’ve never seen before—tour prices start at $399. Experiences are some of the best gifts to give young minds, especially this holiday season.
HAWAI’I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI | (808) 985-6000
At the center of two active volcanoes, this park is the best (and most affordable!) way to take your family on an adventure for the holidays. Hike through the rainforest right to one of the young, barren craters and create memories of a lifetime at one of the most fascinating national parks in the country.
ALOHA ADVENTURE FARMS
77-6261 Mamalahoa Hwy, Holualoa, HI | (808) 796-0110
When you mix lessons in ancient Polynesian practices with ATV tours, you get Aloha Adventure Farms—perhaps the most unique yet classic way to spend a day on the Big Island. Take a drive through the villages of Hawai’i, Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa all in one afternoon and leave these sacred grounds with a greater appreciation for these beautiful cultures.
FUN FACTORY HILO
315 Makaala St #107, Hilo, HI | (808) 969-9137
There’s something timeless about visiting a classic arcade: the long spool of game tickets, the prizes, and of course—the games. Take your kids on a trip down memory lane and keep the fun alive with a visit to Fun Factory Hilo!
Check out our previous articles for more holiday gift ideas:
12 Days of Christmas Ultimate Gift Guide: Day 1 — For the Big Island Subscription Box Lover
12 Days of Christmas Ultimate Gift Guide: Day 2 — Big Island Bookstores for the Book Lover