Fun Things To Do On A Rainy Day
Dolly Parton once said, “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” In Hawai“i we don’t just put up with the rain, we embrace it. Most of the year Hawaiian rain is either at night or a light afternoon shower or “liquid sunshine” which brings out some of the most gorgeous rainbows in the world.
Waikiki receives most of its rain from occasional winter storms. Because of Oahu's microclimates, the rain may pour in one place, while the sun shines in another, just minutes away. Even if it rains all day at Waikiki or an island-wide storm hits, you don't need to let rain wash out your vacation. If you happen to visit during the rainy season of November to March, here’s a few suggestions on how to spend a rainy day.
Oahu is home to the Bishop Museum. With hands-on exhibits in natural sciences, a children’s discovery center, planetarium, ancient Hawaiian artifacts, and one of the largest insect collections in the United States this is a great way to spend a day, rainy or not. The daily 2000 degree lava making demonstration and the complete sperm whale skeleton inside a cutaway paper mache skin are just two of the unique items at this largest museum in Hawai“i.
Wednesday to Monday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Adult: $19.95 Senior, 65 & over: $16.95 Junior, ages 4-12: $14.95 Child, age 3 & under: Free
Hawai‘i is the only state in the nation that was once an independent kingdom. Iolani Palace, a National Historic Landmark, was home to the Hawaiian kingdom’s two final monarchs. Built in 1882 by King Kalakaua, his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani, resided at the palace until the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown in 1893. As the only royal palace on American soil and home to priceless heirlooms from the Hawaiian royal dynasty, a tour of the Iolani Palace is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity, and a great way to spend a rainy day in Hawai“i.
Monday – Saturday 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Adult: $21.75 Guided Tour (reservations required) Child $6.00 (5-12)
Adult: $14.75 Self/Audio Tour Child $6.00 (5-12)
Queen Emma Summer Palace
Hānaiakamalama was the “mountain” home of Queen Emma Na‘ea, wife of Kamehameha IV. Queen Emma used the home as a retreat where she could escape from the oppressive heat of Honolulu into the coolness of Nu’uanu. Queen Emma Summer Palace is on the National Register.
9:00 am–4:00 pm Closed major holidays
Adult: $10.00 Docent-guided tour Kama‘aina/Senior $8.00 Child under 17 $1.00
Adult: $8.00 Self-guided tour Kama‘aina/Senior $6.00 Child under 17 $1.00
Reservations required for groups of 10 or more
Mission Houses Museum
Nearby Iolani Palace, take an escorted historical walking tour into the life and work of the Protestant missionaries who settled in Hawai“i in 1820. The Mission Houses Museum displays three original frame homes that were built in New England and shipped to Hawai“i to house the missionaries. Nearby you'll see the island's original schoolhouse and the printing house where the first alphabet book and Hawaiian hymnal were printed.
Tuesday -- Saturday Tours at 11:00, 1:00, and 2:45
Adult: $10.00 Seniors/Military/Kama`aina $8.00, Students (age 6 through college) $6.00
Honolulu Academy of Art
The Honolulu Museum of Art is Hawai“i’s largest private presenter of visual arts programs, with an internationally recognized collection of more than 50,000 works spanning 5,000 years.The permanent collection boasts an incredible array of works, including Japanese Woodblock prints, Asian art, Medieval and Renaissance art, 17th and 18th century art, 19th and 20th century art, European and American Prints and Drawings, Hawaiian art, and an impressive textile collection.
Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4:30pm; Sunday 1-5pm.
Adult: $10.00, Students/Military/Seniors: $5.00, Children 12 and under: Free
The US Army Museum of Hawai“i
This free museum has exhibits and educational programs emphasizing the roll Hawai“i played in military actions from WWI through the Vietnam Conflict. The museum is located in Battery Randolph at Waikiki’s Fort DeRussy.
Tuesday through Saturday 9:00 – 5:00
The Haleiwa Surf Museum
This vintage surfboard museum located in the North Shore Marketplace in the Strong Current Surf Shop. The free museum contains surf memorabilia from the 1960’s. There are surfboard, pictures, and videos that chronicle the history of this spectacular sport.
Seeing tropical fish and plants is a great activity for every one of all ages. Each paid tour includes a free audio tour wand. Waikiki Aquarium is open daily from 9am to 4:30pm. The aquarium is located at 2777 Kalakaua Avenue, on the shoreline in Waikiki’s Kapi‘olani Park in Honolulu.
The Waikiki Aquarium, located on the Diamond Head side of Waikiki, is easily accessible and has plenty of parking. There are over 3,500 marine animals, including tropical fish, reef sharks, corals, the famous Hawaiian monk seal (they are endangered), jellyfish, squid, and octopus. The sea life is captivating, and the place is historic. Opened in 1904, it happens to be the third oldest aquarium in the United States. Undoubtedly, many of their 320,000 annual visitors came to find refuge from rainy Oahu days.
9:00 – 4:30 Daily
Adults: $9.00 Children 5 to 12: $2.00