Best of HONOLULU Family 2017

Our sister publication HONOLULU Family also does a Best Of issue. Every year, it rounds up the best stuff in town for families. Here are 6 favorite picks.

Face Painters

Face painters

This local company offers everything from balloon twisting and magic shows to projector screen and toy-animal-ride rentals. But it’s the hand-painted face and body art that earned accolades from our voters. ColorWhims artists can whip out butterflies and dinosaurs galore, but, in minutes, they can also do intricate face masks and full-face characters. Got a Moana fan in the family? ColorWhims can decorate the little ones with arm tattoos in true Maui style. Owner Sandy Rosa suggests reservations at least two months in advance.

(808) 295-5479,


Favor Sculpted on a Stick

Photos: David Croxford

Lollipops aren’t just a sweet surprise, they’re an art when Chika Tanaka of Candy Art Hawai‘i sculpts dragons, flowers and even Hello Kitty while you watch. The art of amezaiku does take some time, but husband Nathan can keep kids occupied with balloon art while they wait. They can also whip up more complicated designs as favors for baby lū‘au, weddings and every occasion in between. Also, check out the duo’s intricate clay bouquets for a permanent keepsake for proms or weddings.,


Local Shop for Teachers’ Gifts 

Teachers gifts

The sticky-notes section alone at The Paperie is enough to earn this 20-plus-year stationery shop the honors. Owner Eldon Ching has a little display in the back just for teacher gifts, but there are adorably affordable finds everywhere. With Paper Flavor totes, Rifle Paper Co. notepads and planners, locally made Washi clothespin magnets, unique kids’ books, a full assortment of colorful pens and, of course, sticky notes and flags in stock, chances are you’ll walk out with a little something for yourself. 

Kāhala Mall, (808) 735-6464,


Mess-Free Meal


You can get shoyu pork, fried rice and kau yuk, but family-owned Honolulu Kitchen is known for its palm-size, deep-fried manapua stuffed with fillings that include honey chicken, pastele, Oreo with cream cheese and custard. Once your kids pick their favorites of the more than 40 flavors, top them off with colorful keiki characters hand-drawn by owner Steven Wong’s nephew, Joohno Song. He can draw characters including Pokémon, Moana and Hello Kitty for special orders. You can even put your own face on the treats, that is, if you don’t mind watching people bite into your profile.

94-861 Farrington Highway, Suite A, Waipahu, (808) 671-5241,


Date-Night Coding Class

Coding class

Ask your kids. Coding is cool. At this Computational Thinkers Kāhala studio, little thinkers as young as 3 can learn how to use computers and algorithms to do everything from chemistry to music, fashion design and art. Computational Thinkers offers regular classes for adults and kids but we love the date-night evening power labs where keiki can play educational games for an hourly rate while you grab dinner, run errands or catch a movie Friday, Saturday or Sunday evening.

4224 Wai‘alae Ave., #2, (808) 664-0310,


Free International Film Days

Kids 17 and younger can always get in free to the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Doris Duke Theatre. But, on the third Sunday of every month, Family Sunday, the theater features family-friendly films from around the world.

901 Kīna‘u St., (808) 532-6097,


For all the Best of HONOLULU Family, visit Join us on Saturday, Aug. 5 for a festival celebrating the Best of Honolulu. Click here for details.