I didn’t realize there could be such a thing as too much sun, beach and pool, but on vacation my kids literally wake up as soon as the sun rises and they could spend the whole day in the sun and in the water until it gets dark. I thought a good way to make sure we didn’t totally burn up or burn out in Oahu would be to visit a couple museums while we were there. Thankfully I checked to see if our Pacific Science Center Membership (We have a Titanium Membership) provided a reciprocal benefit at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum and because it did I thought we might as well check it out. (FYI if we didn’t have a membership it would have cost us about $70 for entry and it might not have been such a simple decision to just go see what was there. I love how having reciprocal memberships make it easy to visit places that we might not always consider because of their cost-just one more reason to support out local museums and science centers.)
It turns out that the Bishop museum is a phenomenal place. We arrived just in time to catch a show in the planetarium. My guys are studying the sky and planets in preschool right now, so this was definitely up their alley. They really enjoyed seeing the night sky darken and all the stars appear on the ceiling. They liked hearing about the different constellations and they pointed out some of the ones they recognized in the REAL sky on our trip after this visit and it made us all look out the window a little more and stare up at the sky.
The museum was a conglomerate of buildings filled with exhibits that detailed life in Hawaii. The Hawaiian Hall had some spectacular models hanging from the roof and another building was preparing an exhibit on Doraemon from Japan. But the Richard T Mamiya Science Adventure Center was my absolute favorite.
There was a huge volcano model INSIDE the building that you could slide through. My guys were a little scared of the booming noises it made but they were very intrigued by what was inside the volcano too. I liked how you could see what was underneath the volcano in an exhibit on the floor below and my guys really liked interacting with some under-sea robots.
We easily spent a few hours out of the sun and sea playing at this museum and we learned so much about Hawaii in the process.
After our visit, we looked for nearby restaurants and realized the Liliha Bakery was only a 5 minute drive away. We chanced getting a seat at the counter (our back up was takeout) and we had a delicious lunch. Adventures like these peppered into our daily vacation beach diet seem to make holidays way more enjoyable for everyone. And when we arrived back at our hotel and the guys immediately wanted to head back to the water, we were ALL recharged enough to happily oblige.