Things to Try with Your ‘Ohana in Honolulu 2022

A local family’s plan for a new year full of fun and adventures on O‘ahu.


New Year’s Eve is not a big celebration for our family. We usually watch the Times Square Ball Drop live here at 7 p.m., blow some noisemakers with our 5-year-old son, Duke, and are in bed fast asleep by 10 p.m. But what we do get jazzed about is making plans and goals for the new year ahead. We are optimistic about 2022, and even Duke has gotten involved in listing all the things he wants to do. (No. 1 being to visit Kid City again and again and again!) Part wishes, part resolutions, here’s our must-do list for 2022:


Things To Do In 2022 Hawaii Childrens Discovery Center Photo Laura Dornbush

Photo: Hawai‘i Children’s Discovery Center


Family Memberships

After letting our annual memberships lapse for the past two years during the pandemic, we are excited to visit the Honolulu Zoo and Hawai‘i Children’s Discovery Center in person again.We love the memories we make at these two family-friendly attractions and want to support them by becoming members.


Judd Trail Stream Crossing Photo Laura Dornbush

Judd Trail. Photo: Laura Dornbush



Duke is now at an age where he can handle short hikes and enjoys the challenge—most of the time. We are looking forward to exploring more of this beautiful island we call home. Check out our tips from some of our favorite hikes: Judd Trail, Camp Pālehua and Mānoa Falls.


SEE ALSO: 🥾 Hawaiʻi Family-Friendly Hike: Camp Pālehua in West Oʻahu


Things To Do In 2022 Whale Watching Photo Laura Dornbush

Photo: Laura Dornbush


Whale Watching

Right now it is humpback whale season in Hawai‘i (November through May), and we are eager to get out on the water to spot the gentle giants on a whale-watching cruise. Duke is hoping to spot a baby whale.


Eat Healthy

Well, let’s be honest, this New Year’s resolution always makes the list, but doesn’t always make it past February. Yes, once again our family will try to incorporate more plant-based meals into our weekly rotation and introduce new foods to Duke. Try our family’s favorite: mushroom stew.


SEE ALSO:🌱 7 Tips for Kid-Friendly Plant-Based Eating in Hawai‘i


Photo: Courtesy of Halekūlani Hotel


House Without a Key

Our family’s favorite special occasion dining spot is back open! After closing for renovations, live music, hula and open-air dining is back at the Halekūlani hotel in Waikīkī. We love the complimentary valet parking, scrumptious homemade potato chips and on-point mai tais. But the place’s best feature is the adjacent lawn where Duke can somersault or play tag while we finish our meals in peace.


Things To Do In 2022 Party Photo Oahu Bright Lab

Photo: Courtesy of O‘ahu Bright Lab


Arts & Crafts

We’ve done A LOT of messy projects at home the past couple of years. Now I’m excited to go somewhere else where Duke can be artsy and creative. I’m thrilled to see that O‘ahu Bright Lab is offering after-school art classes again in Mānoa, and I’m waiting patiently for the new Vivistop Honolulu, a creative lab for kids, to open in Kaka‘ako in the spring.


Things To Do In 2022 Kona Photo Laura Dornbush

Photo: Laura Dornbush



Last but not least, we are desperately ready to travel to the mainland to see family and friends again. We were able to island hop recently, but are now ready for the long haul. On our must-do list: skiing in Colorado, Duke’s first trip to Disneyland, and hugging aunts and uncles in California!