Childlike Wonder at Hilton Hawaiian Village‏, Oahu

Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki Beach

Regardless of having a child or not, Darren and I are just two big kids. We often choose our accommodations based on the pool, the water slide, water sports or other fun activities and the proximity to the beach. We are out enjoying the grounds and barely see the room unless it’s time for sleep. Unique adventures are the icing on the cake and we pack in as many as humanly possible. With 5 pools, a lagoon filled with water activities and local tours offered from the hotel grounds, Hilton Hawaiian Village is the ideal resort for our fun-loving family. 

With five sparkling pools to choose from, there is definitely something for the whole family at Hilton Hawaiian Village but Paradise Pool is where it’s at for kids and kids at heart. The 5,000 square foot family activity pool boasts the longest slide in Waikiki and overlooks the Duke Kahanmoku Lagoon.

Toddler Friendly Water Slide at Hilton Hawaiian Village

We took turns between the large and small slides to make sure everyone in the family was having fun. I ran to the top of the largest slide and anxiously waited in line. I love the turns on open-air slides but the surprise ending on the covered slide shocked me every time. Equally excited, Darren tried going face first, feet first and on his butt. We usually follow the policy of it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission and no one said we had to go on our butts so we just went with it.

Admittedly, we only looked at the other pools. We’d found our happy place; there was no need to mess with perfection.

Water Silde Hilton Hawaiian Village

Although we could spend days on the slides and never tire of them, we did spend a full afternoon trying the water activities at the Duke Hahanamoku Lagoon, a spectacular five-acre salt-water lagoon featuring a state-of-the-art water circulation system.

Aqua bikes, kayaks, paddle boards, floats and peddle boats dotted the lagoon along with swimmers and snorkelers. As a family, we all enjoyed the kayak and splashed around until our hands were too pruney to hold the paddles.

We took turns playing with Athena and testing out the water activities on our own. While Darren played with Athena, I enjoyed the paddle board and a blow-up float. We make a game out of everything so I tried to race them to the shoreline. They paddled the paddle board and I kicked my legs in the water as I laid back in the round tube. I might have won if Athena, and Darren, didn’t splash me with the paddles. Let’s just call it a tie… or better known as me coming in way behind. When it was Darren’s turn to take a spin on the board on his own, I took Athena and a new friend of hers in a kayak. We slowly made our way around an island in the middle of the lagoon. The two girls were paddling so it took a while but we had no where to be and the girls had a great time.

I sometimes wonder if other adults think that we are absolutely insane, but I’m having too much fun to put more thought into it. I’ll stop playing when I’m too old to physically do it anymore. Until then I’ll enjoy the ride.

Aqua Bike in the Hilton Hawaiian Lagoon

Paddle Boarding at the Hilton Hawaiian Lagoon

Local tours and attractions can be booked directly at the hotel so we opted for the Atlantis Submarine tour and the Spirit of Aloha tour to compliment our family adventures.

Spirit of Aloha Turtle Snorkel Sail

The Waikiki coastline was waiting for us on the Spirit of Aloha tour. This modern 54-foot catamaran took us to a highly populated turtle reef where we snorkeled with turtles and other marine life. Although Athena didn’t snorkel with us, we took turns in the water and on the boat with her. I went first and returned at the half way point to give Darren a turn snorkeling. As usual, I jumped off the boat rather than using the stairs. Hundreds of fish awaited me just below the surface and two giant turtles gracefully swam by me during my adventure. Darren saw similar amounts of fish and several more turtles. For the rest of the cruise, we relaxed on deck as a family. The calming, refreshing waves rocked us gently as we took in the sights and sun.

Jumping off the Spirit of Aloha Catamaran

Athena and Daddy Sailing on the Spirit of Aloha

The next morning, we climbed aboard the Atlantis XIV, the world’s largest hi-tech passenger submarine. Descending beyond 100 feet underwater, we experienced marine life up close. Sunken ships, airplanes and other artificial reefs were on the bottom waiting to be discovered. Athena and Darren sat with their faces next to the glass; mesmerized by the schools of fish and sunken treasures, they excitedly pointed at the majestic world before us. I could see Darren’s inquisitive nature written all over Athena’s face. At that moment, they looked identical.

Athena and Daddy on Atlantis Submarine

Atlantis Submarine Tours

Atlantis Submarine Tours

You’re never too old to play and enjoy life. In every great parent, there is a child waiting to play a game. At Hilton Hawaiian Village, I anticipate every day as if it’s my birthday and I’m turning 5 again.

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17 thoughts on “Childlike Wonder at Hilton Hawaiian Village‏, Oahu

  1. Looks like a grand time!! I miss Hawaii!! Your picures are bringing back lots of great memories!! Thanks for sharing:) If you have the time I would recommend a quick trip to the beach in Kailua on the East side of Oahu… That is where my gravitar/avatar picture was taken:) Keep enjoying your time!!

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  2. I love the look of astonishment on Athena’s face. And, you all look like kids. It’s been years since I’ve been to Waikiki as I live on an outer island. Your descriptions make me want to book a room. As a side note…Duke Kahanamoku. It looks like you have a little difficulty with the name. He was Hawai’i’s premier waterman.

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  3. Yep your vacay is my daily lifestyle in Florida a huge playground with a private swimming pool in my yard and The Atlantic Ocean is my backyard!! Oh yes very lucky indeed. As for the submarine-no way too small for me to handle but we do have a Boat and I love to water ski! You are never to old for water sports!

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  4. Looks like so much fun…I love waterslides too. The rest of friends and family are such “stick-in-the-muds” unlike me, the big kid. So happy I have a 2 year old grandson so I can be a kid again with him. You daughter looks like she’s going to be big SUP’er (stand up paddle boarder) soon. You’ll need to take more water vacations!

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  5. Wow, it looks absolutely amazing, and it sounds like you enjoyed yourselves to the max. Thanks for sharing, should I be expecting a bill for my very enjoyable part in your wonderful vacation? Lol.

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  6. I went to Hawai’i, actually Kauai’i when I was 13. It was nice. The air was warm and fruity. My uncle Nemo got us there by submarine. No, actually that is a lie. I enjoyed seeing pictures of where I was 27 years ago. And I agree that the pool is pretty important. Some go for the view and triple there hotel room cost. My dad took us. He was as crazy as Nemo.

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