Kids’ Paradise | What’s it Like to Grow Up in Hawaii?

What’s it like to be a kid and to grow up in Hawaii you may be thinking? Well, it’s a whole lot of fun, actually. Kids in Hawaii, just like in many places enjoy being kids, but with our beautiful tropical weather, they can be outdoors a lot more than in other parts of the US and Canada. It also helps that we have some of the best beaches and a warm ocean to go along with the experience. Life in Hawaii can be exciting. It’s safe to guess that some kids don’t even realize how lucky they are that they can grow up in Hawaii.


Aloha Everyone!


When people think of Hawaii they automatically think of beaches, and rightfully so. Gorgeous beaches are minutes away from most locations. Kids who are fortunate to grow up in Hawaii have the beach as their playground. Life really is a beach in Hawaii. Warm weather allows or Hawaii kids to be outdoors year round, and playing in the sand and the ocean is just a normal part living in Hawaii.

Girl at the beach

The beach is never far away in Hawaii.

Growing up in Hawaii with Diversity

Hawaii is known for its cultural diversity. Kids from an early age are exposed to other kids from different cultures, states, and countries. The three predominant races are Hawaiian, Caucasian, and Asian, and each is fairly equal in distribution. People also move to Hawaii from all over the world too, which gives the kids even more exposure to different people. Kids who grow up in Hawaii are friends with everyone and embrace all the cultures. That’s just how things should be all over the world. In Hawaii, this diversity shows up in everyday living. It’s present in school programs, at the beaches, in restaurants, and in all types of daily activities.


Kids who grow up in Hawaii can attend public, or one of many private schools. School programs incorporate dances and various traditions. Many cultures are celebrated in some ways. Kids learn about each other and Hawaiian traditions and customs.

The Hawaii Department of Education is a good resource for parents interested in the Hawaii public education.

Private Schools have to be researched individually. One resource is the Private School Review website.

Hula dancing

Hula performance at a school holiday celebration.

Water Sports

Without a doubt, surfing is one of the most popular activities in Hawaii. Not all kids surf, but many have at least tried it, and many are also very good at it. It’s not as easy as it looks and the ocean can be unforgiving at times. However practice makes perfect, and kids who fall in love with this sport can practice all year round. It’s not surprising that many of the top surfers in the world come from Hawaii.

Surfing Kids

Surfing with parents and friends.

While surfing is very popular, for kids who grow up in Hawaii, it’s not the only option. With the ocean close by, kids take on bodyboarding, paddleboarding, sailing, and do a lot of free swimming at any chance they get. Outrigger canoes are also popular, and some kids begin paddling early in life.

Kids also have access to some amazing pools. Beautiful pools are everywhere; in neighborhoods, in condo buildings, and at private residences.

Birthday parties and events are often centered around water, whether it be the ocean or the pool. Water is such a major part of growing up in Hawaii. It’s very common to see families spend an entire day at the beach, equipped with tents, BBQs, chairs, beach towels, and always a surfboard, paddleboard, or boogie board too. What a life! Kids sure have it nice in Hawaii.

paddle boarding girl

Paddleboarding with the Koolau Mountains as the backdrop.

Urban Living

Ok, so here what may be a surprise to some people. Urban living can be very kid friendly. Honolulu on Oahu is very much an urban city with its population at about 390,000 residents. Roughly half of all people who live on Oahu (approximately 950,000), live in Honolulu, and a large portion live in condominium buildings. What may appear as an adult-oriented environment really isn’t that way at all. There are many kids who live in an urban setting and enjoy the conveniences that come with city living. Dance studios, arcades, and various clubs are all close by. City parks and beach parks are never too far away either.

Kids playing Ukulele

Playing the ukulele with friends.

Kids who grow up in Hawaii in an urban environment will often have above-street level playgrounds, pools, playrooms, tennis courts, volleyball courts, putting greens, or play structures to enjoy. Of course, not every building has these extensive amenities, but many of the condos in Kakaako do. The amenity decks are typically located on levels 5-7. They can be seen from above, but they are virtually invisible to the general public who may be driving by the condos. The buildings may appear boring from the outside, but the residents, including kids, are generally quite active on the inside.

hula hoop

Hula Hoop fun at the condo amenity deck in Honolulu.


There are some drawbacks for kids who grow up in Hawaii. Road trips to the nearest amusement park are not an option. Visiting Disneyland is a treat, and can be costly from Hawaii. However, that doesn’t stop from some of the fun to come to Hawaii. On a yearly basis, the Punahou Carnival in Honolulu is a draw for many island kids. Kids love to experience all the rides and eat hot malasadas. It’s a tradition that goes back to 1932 and supports the students attending Punahou School.


Highly anticipated Punahou Carnival. Kids love this event.

Hiking Paradise

There is no shortage of hiking trails all over Hawaii. They range from easy to difficult. Kids who grow up in Hawaii are exposed to hiking from an early age. Hiking is a big deal in Hawaii. The scenery is so beautiful that it’s hard to not to want to explore the islands more, and every island offers a different experience. From waterfalls to amazing views, kids learn to appreciate nature and to enjoy the outdoors.


Exploring a beautiful stream on Kauai.

Hawaii is an awesome place to call home! Growing up in Hawaii is a memorable experience for many.

For information on Oahu real estate, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

If you would like to appear on our popular “Hawaii Life” TV show on HGTV as you are purchasing your new home or condo, check out the casting opportunity.

Let’s stay connected!


Hawaii life and Chrisite's real estate kinga mills

About the Author

Kinga Mills

Kinga Mills is a REALTOR Associate, Forbes Global Properties, Luxury Portfolio Affiliate, & Military Relocation Professional with Hawai'i Life. I adore Hawaii, its people, and the natural beauty that surrounds me. I live on Oahu. It's a pretty incredible place to call home. There is a little bit of everything here. From pristine beaches and quiet neighborhoods to the trendiest of restaurants in the urban Honolulu. I simply love Oahu and the variety it offers. My real estate career allows me to enjoy the Island life, and to work with some amazing people. With over a decade of experience and hundreds of closed sales, I provide my clients with expert buying and selling advice. My goal for clients is to enjoy the process, while my team and I handle the details. As a member of the Hawaii Life Military Specialized Team, I regularly provide real estate assistance to active-duty military personnel who are PCSing to Hawaii, to the mainland, or overseas. For the Luxury Real Real Estate buyers and sellers, I am affiliated with Luxury Portfolio International and Forbes Global Properties. These exclusive affiliations extend an even greater reach, exposure, and effectiveness within the global luxury marketplace. In my time off, I love walking along the beach, enjoying meals out on the town, and taking family vacations. Sign up for my Oahu Hawaii Life blog updates and follow my journey. You can also find me on HGTV "Hawaii Life" Season 14. I look forward to helping in making your Hawaii Life real estate dreams happen! You can email me at or via phone at (808) 722-3985.

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