Your Weekend: The Best Family Events–July 2, 2020

Register to read for prizes, sign up for a family dip in a pool or take some art classes online.

Photo: Karen DB Photography

Summer Reading Program at the Hawaiʻi State Public Library

The library’s popular program went online before COVID-19, so many families may already be familiar with logging their reading time on the website. You can reserve books online and pick them up at your neighborhood branch, reserve and read ebooks, or spend time with stories you already have at home. Kids who register are eligible for prizes (my daughter was allowed to pick a free book this week when we stopped by for our reserved books). Sign up on

If your home library could use a refresh, check out the Friends of the Library’s new online store to buy children’s books for $1 to $3, $3 DVDs, or CDs that you can pickup at the group’s warehouse in Halawa. 

While you’re on the library’s website, take advantage of its free access to, available to cardholders through July 31. My kids were excited when we were able to pull up yearbook photos of their great grandmothers and census records of their families from the 1920s.

Wander Through Lyon Arboretum

Go on an easy hike, run through a giant lawn to a kalo field, sit by a lily pond or play in pavilions at Lyon Arboretum. The botanical garden, which reopened in June, is still free but limits visitors to a 2-hour time slot and reservations are required. Families will need to wear masks and know that the bathrooms are closed.

SEE ALSO: Town Treasure: Lyon Arboretum

Waikīkī Aquarium is the latest place to welcome families back. There are few changes: touchscreen displays have been turned off, kids older than 2 will need to wear a mask, some pathways are now one-way only and there are new lower limits for the number of guests strolling through the exhibits. Tickets must be bought in advance online.

This is the last weekend kama‘āina and military keiki get in free at Bishop Museum. The special, with promo code keiki, ends after Sunday.

The YMCA branches are moving into another phase of reopening by allowing families some pool time beginning on Tuesday, July 7. People with family memberships can reserve a lane in heated pools, which were previously limited to lap swimmers.

Many of Honolulu’s favorite places for families are reopening. See our updated list of expected dates and new safety requirements

Take a Tour Through American History


Walk up the staircase inside the Statue of Liberty and enjoy the 360-degree view from her torch. Stroll through Ellis Island and the stories of the more than 12 million immigrants who passed through. Learn more about Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, look at how families camped in the 1930s, find out how Pringles were invented and more in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History’s almost 100 online exhibitions.

Create Art 

If you missed the Hawai‘i State Art Museum’s virtual keiki art classes, you can catch up. HiSAM is posting the videos on its Facebook page. Right now, instructors will walk you through making a mandala, crafting paper mache and creating paintings. w posted on Facebook. The Art Explorium has been creating quick crafts with supplies you can find around the house. Find the tutorials on Instagram.

Play Around

Kids jump from an inflatable slide into the ball pit.

The team at Kids City was focused on cleaning its indoor playground when it opened last year. Now the popular business with a giant video screen, make-believe spaces and lots of options for playing around has reopened new sanitizing procedures, 2-hour limits, a smaller capacity and a reservation system to manage it all. Weekends fill up quickly.

  • Toddlers to 13-year-olds
  • $20 per child/parent team for 2 hours
  • 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays
  • Ka Makana Alii, 91-5431 Kapolei Parkway, Kapolei
  • (808) 393-7909