One of my favorite places to take my grandchildren in Hawaii is the Waikiki Aquarium. It took me over ten years to discover it. This aquarium is right by the beach in Waikiki, so it just seems like an extension of the sea life found a few yards away. The entrance fee is nominal and well worth it for under $10 per person.
As you enter, each person who requests one is given a handset. You merely punch in the number of the display you want to hear about and plug yourself in to your personal guide.
There are large and tiny glass and water displays throughout, where you can wander into the undersea world of blowfish, eels, squid, sharks and seahorse without ever feeling threatened. My favorite display is a wide round and tall tube which houses the mesmerizing jellyfish. They look quite innocent and lacey with ribbons trailing behind them in all their flourescent glory.
The aquarium is clean and well kept. Friendly staff are on hand to help children with their questions. The displays continue on into the courtyard with lush gardens in between the displays. Occasional groups of local elementary school children take field trips to the Waikiki Aquarium. It is also located directly across form the Honolulu Zoo, which is another low priced, educational and fun activity for the family to enjoy together.
The whole family can enjoy this stellar educational journey. The aquarium promotes awareness, research, conservation and public education. It is an example of what an aquarium should be for all visitors, nationally and internationally.
The director, Andrew Rossiter, shares that the aquarium was founded in 1904, and it is the third oldest aquarium in the United States. It has been part of the University of Hawaii Manoa since 1919. Many marine biologists are involved in obtaining the sea animals. Invertebrates and fishes are involved in several research projects for students of the University.
They have recorded over 320,000 visitors a year to the aquarium. Each leaves with a better understanding and appreciation for the Hawaiian Islands and the marine life in surrounding waters. Monk seals entertain guests in outdoor displays. There are also coral farms with such a wonderful variety of colors and textures. Giant clams and sharks can also be viewed in this amazing tropical wonderland.
The Waikiki Aquarium is one of the most affordable family attractions in Waikiki. During the summer months there is live music, featuring some of the top entertainers in Hawaii. To plan your visit, head over to the Waikiki Aquarium website now.