Playground Guide: Kuli‘ou‘ou Neighborhood Park
This park boasts a new(ish) play structure and lots of green space to run wild!
We frequent the Kuli‘ou‘ou Neighborhood Park (501 Kuliouou Road) any chance we get! I have to admit that I feel simultaneously blessed and cursed that it’s within walking distance to my house. It seems like if there’s any moment of calm, my 3-year-old son is asking—err, pleading with—us to take him to this park. Though, the park has something for the whole family, even pets, so it’s a great way for us to sneak in some exercise, play with the dog and let our oldest get out some energy.
What You Need to Know
Playground Equipment: The play structure is fairly new. I believe the older one was replaced in or around 2019. It has a slide, a short rock climbing wall and other uniquely shaped ladders and bars on which to hang. The structure’s foot bridge is especially fun, if not a challenge, for older toddlers. Much to my son’s dismay, there aren’t any swings.
Other Amenities: The park also has two tennis courts, a basketball court, and a sports field. It does have a bathroom that’s kept quite clean, but BYO soap or hand sanitizer! There are two water fountains, one by the courts and play structure, and the other by the sports field. There’s a picnic table underneath a big beautiful tree on the sports field side of the park as well.
The major thing this playground lacks is a place for caregivers to sit. Besides the aforementioned picnic bench, there are no other benches, so most people are left standing as they watch the kiddos play. If you plan to be there for a while, you might want to bring a blanket.
Unique Offerings: There’s a short bridge over the Kuli‘ou‘ou Stream—often with a family of ducks waddling around in it—that leads to the extra large sports field. When it’s empty, it’s a great place to let the keiki get out that last bit of energy. We’ve even watched a helicopter land on the field, after it rescued a hiker from the Kuli‘ou‘ou Ridge Trail. Let me tell you, that was thrilling to all the kids at the park.
Best For: The playground equipment is probably best for ages 5-10. Toddlers will likely need close supervision, especially across the foot bridge and up the ladders.
Best Time To Visit: As is with a lot of playgrounds in Honolulu, this one is quiet during the middle of the day when kids are typically in school. Not to mention, the lack of shade on the play structure. Later in the afternoon there are more keiki playing on the structure, and by 5-5:30 p.m., people of all ages are on the basketball and tennis courts.
Parking: There is not a dedicated parking lot, but there’s usually plenty of street parking. I notice many people walk their younger kids over in a stroller or wagon (myself included), and I often see older ones come on their bikes. I’ve personally never been there on a day when you couldn’t find parking.
My Favorite Thing about this Playground: There’s plenty of open space for kids—and dogs—to run around. If the kiddos get tired of the play structure, they can scooter along the pathway or on the basketball or tennis courts if they’re empty! Then when they get tired of that, they can fly a kite or just run around on the sports field. My son especially likes to run up and down the side of the mountain. If your kid is at an age where you still have to chase them, don’t say I didn’t warn you!