Oahu with Kids: Polynesian Cultural Center and Laie

Oahu with Kids polynesian cultural center

After a fun afternoon at Dole Plantation, we prepared for another great day on the North Shore of Oahu exploring the small town of Laie and visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center.

During our time on this island, we stayed at the Marriott in Laie, right next to the Polynesian Cultural Center, and it was perfect.

Oahu with Kids polynesian cultural center
Best breakfast!

My husband and I met our freshman year at Brigham Young University-Hawaii and we really loved coming back to Laie to show our girls around.

Oahu with Kids polynesian cultural center
It used to be painted green, but that’s where I lived as a student!

We started our morning with breakfast at the Hukilau Cafe, a great place to get french toast or pancakes and a favorite of mine from my days at BYUH (be aware though that it’s cash only).

Oahu with Kids polynesian cultural center
Hukilau Beach: This was directly across the street from where I lived and I loved it.

From breakfast, we walked past where my roommates and I used to live and down to Hukilau Beach. We didn’t spend very long there, but it’s a beautiful beach and one where I spent so much of my time hanging out with friends and trying to study as a student.

The whole town of Laie is very walkable and we made sure to walk past the Laie Temple on our way to BYUH where we spent a little time in the gift shop. It was so fun showing our girls around and pointing out all the different little spots that held so many memories for each of us.

Oahu with Kids polynesian cultural center
Laie Temple

The Polynesian Cultural Center opens at 11:45, but the Hukilau Marketplace opens at 11 so we headed over to check it out. The marketplace was a new experience for us! The marketplace is fairly new, it being less than 5 years old. It celebrates Laie’s rich history and has many great looking places to eat along with several shops.

After the marketplace, we headed over to the Ticketing Center and checked in since we had gotten tickets online ahead of time.

Oahu with Kids polynesian cultural center

We were given maps with all the demonstrations for each village and their times on it. We headed over to Samoa first (it’s one of our favorite’s) and caught the opening ceremony along with its cultural presentation.

Oahu with Kids polynesian cultural center

It was rainy off and on during our visit, but we still had a really great time. The cultural presentations are fantastic and everyone in our family stayed entertained. We quickly went to the following villages:

  • Samoa (One of my favorites, learn how to climb a coconut tree and how to crack open a coconut)
  • Tonga (Another favorite- I love the drum demonstration)
  • Tahiti (The dancing is amazing!)
  • Fiji (Super interactive for kids)
  • Aotearoa (See the haka being performed)
  • Hawaii (Beautiful hula dancing)

That said, there is so much more than you can really do in one day, so it’s best to check out the villages online to plan out your visit. There’s also a canoe show that is fun to watch too.

Oahu with Kids polynesian cultural center
Aotearoa Village
Oahu with Kids polynesian cultural center
Hawaiian hula dance

Our girls got a Kieki Passport that they loved and that included info on each village along with a place to earn a stamp from each after participating in different activities. They learned how to play a Tongan game, saw the Iosepa Voyaging Canoe (it reminded them of Moana), and learned how to weave fish out of palm leaves.

Oahu with Kids polynesian cultural center

For dinner, we ate at the Ali’i Luau Buffet which also included a show. The food was great and we also enjoyed the show quite a bit.

Oahu with Kids polynesian cultural center
The show at the luau

Afterwards, we had a little bit of time to look through the villages one more time (Aaron and Adeline tried to make fire over in Samoa).

While everyone else then headed over to the IMAX, I went back out to the Hukilau Marketplace and had fun looking through the different shops. We ended up getting the girls each a dress.

Oahu with Kids polynesian cultural center
Where we ended up buying the girls’ dresses

Our day ended with the incredible night show, Ha: Breath of Life. No photos or videos were allowed, but trust me when I say that it was amazing! I had gone before as a student but loved seeing it again. Both our girls loved it and so did their cousins. It ended rather late after such a full day so our littlest fell asleep before it was over, but both were captivated for the most part during the performance.

Overall, we had a great time at the PCC and we can’t wait to go back again someday!

Oahu with Kids polynesian cultural center
Happy, sleepy little girl

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